The AFL-CIO Union Summer Internship Program


More than ever, workers are fighting for a voice on the job and in the public debate on issues affecting all working people. As income inequality grows and CEOs continue to enjoy outrageous pay packages, workers continue to face layoffs, stagnant wages and loss of benefits.

As activists committed to social and economic justice, Union Summer interns help build the labor union movement.

What is Union Summer?

Union Summer is a nine-week educational internship in which participants are introduced to the labor movement through union organizing campaigns.

The Union Summer internship will run June 15 through Aug. 14, 2015.

What kinds of qualifications are needed to participate in Union Summer? Union Summer interns must be dedicated to social and economic justice and have a specific desire to learn about the labor movement. It is NOT necessary to have union experience or knowledge of the labor movement to be accepted as a Union Summer intern, but such a background is a plus in the application process.

Union Summer interns MUST be:

  • Flexible and willing to work long hours and nights and weekends on an unpredictable schedule (depending on needs of the campaign);
  • Adaptable in the face of new challenges and experiences;
  • Able to work in teams and have excellent communication skills;
  • Open to working with people of different races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations; and
  • Willing to immerse themselves in an intensive, learning-by-doing experience.

A sense of humor is also a definite asset!

What do Union Summer interns do?

The program begins with an intensive weeklong orientation and training, which will be held June 15–19, 2015. After the orientation, interns will work in teams on union organizing campaigns across the country. Interns will play an important role in helping build support for workers trying to gain a voice at work and in their communities.

The work could include (but is not limited to):

  • Working on state legislative battles;
  • Talking with workers one on one about their jobs;
  • Planning and participating in direct actions like marches; and
  • Assisting in building relationships with community, labor and religious organizations.

Do Union Summer interns get paid?

Union Summer is NOT a job but an educational internship. Participants will receive a stipend of $400 per week (minus taxes). Union Summer does NOT provide a housing allowance. Accepted applicants MUST have housing in cities where Union Summer sites have been designated. Please visit for a list of confirmed sites. Application deadline is April 3, 2015. 

The AFL-CIO Union Summer internship is designed to introduce young activists to the labor movement through union organizing campaigns and to encourage them to think about careers as union organizers and researchers. The Union Summer internship program is committed to achieving diversity among interns, which reflects, as closely as possible, the diversity of the workforce with which we are working.

The above interests and qualities should be demonstrated clearly in the Union Summer application and in the interview process.


Online and attach resume.