The Union Edge launches Patreon program

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

The Union Edge: Labor’s Talk Radio is offering listeners a chance to earn a monthly shout-out on social media, exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content, extended interviews, off-air discussions, gifts and more for as little as $5 a month.

The program is called Patreon. “It’s very much in the spirit of unions,” said Nathan Ruggles, community relations director for the nationally-syndicated, Pittsburgh-based program.

“Patreon is a platform that enables us to reach out to folks individually,” he explained. “Members of the program, called patrons, get certain benefits, depending on the contribution. We are creating an online community of folks who support a good cause.”

Union Edge host Charles Showalter said that by joining the Patreon program, listeners’ monthly contributions “will help pay for our host and production team's union wages, leasing airtime on radio stations, critical equipment, high-speed internet access for sending programming to radio stations, and other resources we need to continue to bring you the high-quality content that you've come to expect.

“With your membership, you receive benefits like special gifts, exclusive content and the knowledge that you have strengthened labor’s voice with your own.” 

The Union Edge is heard coast to coast on over 30 radio stations and has become the only nationally- syndicated labor radio program in the country. 

The program features weekly interviews with national, state and local leaders from across the nation, including Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO; and Berry Craig, historian, freelance journalist and state AFL-CIO webmaster-editor.

“Today, labor is under attack at unprecedented levels” Showalter said. “Greedy oligarchs are scheming to harm labor unions and weaken the protections they provide.  The opposition is spending tens of millions of dollars every month to legislate us out of existence, to silence us, and to break us.

“We in labor must push back.  We must defend working people everywhere!”

Added Showalter, “For over a decade, The Union Edge has provided a robust outlet for unions and working people to talk about their issues. The more we educate the public on our issues -- like prevailing wage, so-called right to work, health care, and respect on the job -- the more the public supports our mission.

“The Union Edge educates the ‘not yet, but soon-to-be union’ public on our issues.”

When donations reach $500 a month, The Union Edge production team “will shoot a video sharing our appreciation, naming our patrons and thanking them, as well as send all subscribers a special gift,” Showalter said.

Meanwhile, The Union Edge family is growing. "We have asked Doug Cunningham and JoAnne Powers, formerly of Workers Independent News (WIN), to join our team under SAG-AFTRA contract," Showalter said.  "The Union Edge looks forward to providing both long and short format talk radio and labor news.

More information is available from Ruggles. His email address is [email protected] and his cell phone number is (412) 438-3180.