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State of the Unions


State of the Unions is labor‘s podcast, a production of the 12.5 million member, 56 union AFL-CIO, bringing you the issues and guests important to working people.


United States


State of the Unions is labor‘s podcast, a production of the 12.5 million member, 56 union AFL-CIO, bringing you the issues and guests important to working people.






(202) 637-5000


Our Newest Affiliate: NWSLPA

Co-host Carolyn Bobb sits down for a conversation about the AFL-CIO's newest affiliate, the National Women's Soccer League Players Association (NWSLPA), with its Executive Director Meghann Burke.


Her First 100 Days

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler sits down with Emily's List President Laphonza Butler to talk about life as newly elected women leaders as Shuler celebrates her first 100 days. They lay out their plans to build more inclusive labor and political movements, respectively. They also discuss how their lives have changed since becoming new leaders of their organizations.


Meeting the Moment for Working Families

Tim and Carolyn sit down with Jimmy Williams Jr., general president of the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), to discuss the ongoing membership work of the IUPAT. They also talk about the positive impact the Build Back Better legislative agenda, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act will have on working people across the country.


On Strike at Kellogg‘s with BCTGM Members Heather and Andy

Tim and Carolyn are joined by two BCTGM members on strike at Kellogg's, Heather Greene and Andrew Johnson.


A moment for working people with Congressman Chuy García

Congressman Chuy García (Ill.) joined Tim and Carolyn to discuss the Build Back Better agenda, infrastructure and what passage of the PRO Act would mean for working people all across the country.


Democracy, Safe Schools and Union Power

Tim and Carolyn are joined by American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten to discuss back to school, the state of play on Capitol Hill and the rise of unions.


On the Front Lines: A Conversation with NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN

On this week's episode of "State of the Unions," co-hosts Tim Schlittner and Carolyn Bobb sit down with National Nurses United (NNU) Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN, to discuss how nurses went above and beyond to speak out and advocate for patient care and workplace safety while on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.


It‘s Labor Day! A Conversation with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh

Tim and new co-host Carolyn Bobb discuss the legacy of Richard Trumka, Liz Shuler and the new leadership team at AFL-CIO and talk to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.


Working America: A conversation with the AFL-CIO's community affiliate

Julie and Guest Co-host Carolyn Bobb sat down with Matt Morrison, executive director of Working America, to discuss how the affiliate union is mobilizing millions of workers from all demographics who otherwise lack representation at work.


Special Episode: Coronavirus and the Labor Movement's Response

Tim and Julie sit down with M.K. Fletcher, AFL-CIO Safety & Health Specialist to talk all things Coronavirus (COVID-19), what the labor movement is doing and how we are responding to ensure that frontline workers' needs are taken care of.


Redux: Can't Stop. Won't Shop. Stories from a UFCW Picket Line

Meet Caleb-Michael, the new executive producer of State of the Unions as he reintroduces SOTU Pod Episode 16, Can't Stop. Won't Shop. Stories from a UFCW Picket Line. In this episode Julie and Tim talk to Kristen Johnson, a deli manager and shop steward at the Stop & Shop in Somerville, Massachusetts. Kristen and more than 30,000 of her co-workers, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), are out on strike for fair pay, benefits and respect on the job.


A Refugee's Journey: A Conversation With AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre

Podcast co-host Tim talks with AFL-CIO EVP Tefere Gebre about his journey from being an Ethiopian refugee to success in the labor movement in Orange County, California, and in Washington, D.C., and the people and institutions that helped him along the way.


Healing A Community: A Conversation With Rev. Leah Daughtry of Reconnecting McDowell

Podcast co-hosts Julie and Tim talk to with Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of "On These Things," about Reconnecting McDowell, a project of the American Federation of Teachers that takes a holistic approach to revitalizing the education and community of McDowell, West Virginia, and how her faith informs her activism.


Collective Heroism: A Conversation With Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger

Podcast co-hosts Julie and Tim talk to International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger about IAFF's Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery, 9/11 and the life of a firefighter.


A Year of Progress: Our Favorite Episodes of 2019

Co-hosts Julie and Tim take a look behind the scenes of "State of the Unions" and chat with the team that makes the podcast and talks about everyone's favorite episodes of 2019.


The Far Right Today: A Conversation with Political Scientist Cas Mudde

Podcast co-host Tim Schlittner and guest host and AFL-CIO International Director Cathy Feingold talk with Professor Cas Mudde, a political scientist from the University of Georgia. Mudde has a new book, "The Far Right Today," which takes a look at the resurgence of right-wing politicians and activists across the globe, much of it cloaked in populist, worker-friendly rhetoric.


A Future Where People Will Have Jobs: A Conversation with International Labor Organization Director-General Guy Ryder

Podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to Guy Ryder, the director-general of the ILO about the international labor movement, the idea of "decent labor" and the future of work.


Serving Those Who Served: A Conversation with Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig

Julie and Tim talk with Will Attig about his work connecting the labor movement and the veterans community.


Flexing Labor's Muscle: A Conversation with Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.)

Tim talks to union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union.


Out of the Woods: A Maine Union Member's Journey From Logging to Senate President

Julie and Tim talk to Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (IUPAT/IAM) about his path to power and the experiences that have shaped his life and career.