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The recent surge of labor unions in Maine, and what to know about the past, present and future of unions

Bangor Daily News

Are labor unions experiencing a resurgence? According to a recent Gallup poll, American’s approval rating of unions is at its highest point since 1965. Yet, despite recent growth, only about 10 percent of the workforce is unionized. In Maine, recent successful unionization efforts among nurses at Maine Medical Center and employees at the Portland Museum of Art reflect national trends. We’ll look at the role of the modern labor union and how it fits into other labor trends, such as the Great Resignation.

This show is part of Maine Calling’s ongoing series of programs about Maine’s evolving economy.

Cynthia Phinney, president, Maine AFL-CIO
Michael Hillard, professor of economics; University of Southern Maine; author of Shredding Paper: The Rise and Fall of Maine's Mighty Paper Industry 
Steven Greenhouse, formerly a reporter covering labor, business and economics for The New York Times; diplomatic and foreign correspondent; author of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor 

Jennifer walked into her college radio station as a 17-year-old freshman and never looked back. Even though she was terrified of the microphone back then — and spoke into it as little as possible — she loved the studio, the atmosphere and, most of all, the people who work in broadcasting. She was hooked. Decades later, she’s back behind the radio microphone hosting Maine Public Radio’s flagship talk program, Maine Calling. She’s not afraid of the mic anymore, but still loves the bright, eclectic people she gets to work with every day.
Jonathan was born in Monsey, New York. A field trip to Washington, DC when he was in 7th grade started him on his circuitous path to a career in public radio. The trip inspired a love of politics and led to his desire to one day call DC home. After graduating from Grinnell College, he worked on a couple of campaigns in Iowa (presidential and congressional) and moved to Washington, DC.