Joseph Riedel is a labor activist and freelance writer in the Washington, DC Metro Area. Riedel operates the independent labor blog, The Virtual Picket Line, which focuses on all aspects of the labor movement, especially on reform issues. Riedel is known for his struggle to improve working conditions for the lowest paid employees within the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Veterans Canteen Service.
Joseph Riedel was born February 23, 1980 in Dallas, Texas. He was raised in Cedar Hill, Texas by a single mother, after his biological father was incarcerated in 1984. After high school, he lived in Waxahachie, Italy, and a few other cities in Ellis County, Texas, before he relocated to Washington, DC.
Riedel attended Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas for his primary education. After high school, Riedel attended classes at Cedar Valley College, Richland College, and Brookhaven College. All three are affiliated with the Dallas County Community College District. Riedel was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the Honor Society for 2-year colleges. In 2006, Riedel transferred to American University in Washington, DC, where he continued with his declared major in Political Science. In 2009, he received his certification in Federal Labor Management. In 2010, Riedel attended the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute and received his certification in Union Organizing.
Joseph Riedel first became a union member in 2009, when he joined Local 2437 of the American Federation of Government Employees at the VA Medical Center in Dallas. Riedel had his first active involvement with the labor movement in 2004, when he became a member of the now defunct union, the Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers(APDD). The APDD folded a few years later after losing NLRB votes in various states. The APDD was eventually eclipsed by an organization known as the American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers(AUPDD), which was headed by Jim Pohle in Florida. Riedel returned to the AFGE in 2005, and remains a current member as of 2010. Riedel is currently a correspondent for LabourStart, as well as a volunteer consultant for the Industrial Workers of the World(IWW).
Veterans Canteen Service
Riedel has gained national recognition within the AFGE for his struggle to win better working conditions and pay parity for the lowest paid employees within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Riedel has lobbied members of Congress on Capitol Hill, and served as the AFGE representative on the Canteen Service Ombudsman Council during the development phase. Riedel currently assists AFGE Locals around the Unites States in handling cases involving employees of the Veterans Canteen Service.
Riedel is a freelance writer, often covering labor issues. A few of his published works include, Hawaiian Sovereignty, and The Return of LIUNA: What This Means For Building Trade Unions. Riedel also operated The Virtual Picket Line, an independent blog covering labor issues.
Riedel lives with his wife, Jessica Arencibia, and their son, Aodhan Jasper, in Brunswick, Maryland, in the Washington, DC, Metro Area.