By Ann Belser
April 10, 2014 – Pittsburgh, the cradle of the American union movement, is now nurturing a new generation of union workplaces.
“There’s more organizing drives going on in Pittsburgh than in any other city of the country,” said Richard Trumka, the national president of the AFL-CIO, in Washington, D.C., who came home to Pittsburgh Thursday to address the 41st Constitutional Convention of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.
Mr. Trumka, a former mine worker who grew up in Nemacolin, Greene County, said in his speech that there are 45,000 people who are in the midst of organizing campaigns at their workplaces in Western Pennsylvania.
In addition to the SEIU campaign targeting health care provider UPMC, there are high-profile campaigns at Duquesne, Robert Morris and Point Park universities. An effort to organize workers at the Rivers Casino is under way, as well.
Part of the change in unionization efforts has been that instead of various unions organizing businesses on their own, unions have come together to help each other.