- Published: January 09, 2024
In 2009, the AFL-CIO passed a resolution at its convention to form the Union Veterans Council (UVC) and the organization continues to thrive today, focused on its mission of bringing a voice to working-class veterans and their families. PASS is a proud affiliate of the Veterans Council and has supported the UVC since its inception.
The goal of the Council is to bring “working-class veterans together to speak out on the issues that impact us most, especially the need for good jobs and a strong, fully funded and staffed VA.” It also holds elected officials accountable for their words and actions, ensuring that those who claim to be ‘pro-veteran’ truly honor that title.
According to the Office of Personnel Management, one in four federal workers are military veterans and that figure is even higher for the employees PASS represents at the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense. The union is proud to have these dedicated public servants among its members and will continue to make every effort to recruit veterans into the workforce and secure their rights.
PASS was honored to have UVC Executive Director Will Attig speak at both the 2017 and 2019 PASS conventions where he discussed his experience as a combat veteran. Despite his demonstrated leadership ability on the battlefield, without a college degree, Attig was unable to find a job when he returned home. He then turned to Helmets to Hardhats, a nonprofit that partners with the construction trade unions to provide training and jobs. A paid apprenticeship as a pipefitter and then a union card put him on a journey to success. In Portland in 2019, Attig stressed the importance of union membership for veterans. “If you look at the statistics, on average, a veteran who’s a union member earns $12,000 per year more [than a nonunion veteran]. That’s something we should be proud about as a labor movement.” Attig was applauded for his support for federal employees during the 2018–2019 government shutdown.
In both the House and Senate Appropriations bills for fiscal year 2024, PASS secured language that would strengthen veteran recruitment efforts to make it easier for them to transition from military to civilian life with a career in transportation.
To learn more about the UVC, please visit unionveterans.org