Cincinnati
AFL-CIO
Labor Council
News & Updates
Friday, May 29, 2020
AFL-CIO Endorses
Joe Biden for President
May 26, 2020
The General Board of the 12.5 million-member, 55 union AFL-CIO voted today to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States. Over the past year, working people have engaged in a comprehensive process to ensure our voices are heard and we play a prominent role in shaping the change in direction our country needs.

“Joe Biden is a lifelong supporter of workers and has fought his entire career for living wages, health care, retirement security and civil rights,” said Trumka. “Our members know Joe has done everything he could to create a fairer process for forming and joining a union, and he is ready to fight with us to restore faith in America and improve the lives of all working people.”

Over the next five months, the labor movement will draw a clear contrast between Biden and President Donald Trump. Trump’s record of slashing rules designed to protect us on the job, cutting workplace health and safety inspectors to their lowest level in history, and taking away overtime pay from millions of workers are just a few ways working people have been hurt by the current administration. Worse yet, America’s working families and communities are suffering because of Trump’s delinquent, delayed, disorganized and deadly response to the coronavirus.

“Working people have responded to COVID-19 with passion and dedication, even as our federal government falls down on the job,” Trumka said. “Just imagine what we can accomplish with an ally in the White House.”  

The labor movement is mobilizing across the country, in every city, state and community to ensure our message is heard loud and clear. While the methods may look a little different in the face of COVID-19, our program will continue its massive reach through virtual phone banks, peer-to-peer texting, digital actions and, as always, union member-to-union member conversations.

“The path to the presidency runs through the labor movement,” Trumka concluded. “And with the full force and unmatched reach of our political program, we are ready to pave that road for our friend Joe Biden.”
Contact: Carolyn Bobb
National Media Manager
Phone: 202-637-5018,
Trumka: Biden a Champion in Every Sense of the Word
Controversial Legislation
HB 606 Passes House 83-9
Temporarily Grants Businesses, Health Care Workers
Immunity From Coronavirus Lawsuit
Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed its version of the COVID-19 civil limited liability bill, House Bill 606. The introduced version was an extremely broad, harmful and unnecessary proposal that did not specify an end-date to the immunity, and the state federation quickly stated its opposition to the measure.  Working with allies, including the Ohio Academy for Justice, and legislators from both sides of the aisle, House leadership agreed to compromise by narrowing the scope and duration of the immunity (the entirety of the legislation ends on December 31st, 2020), making sure that it only applies to the transmission or contraction of COVID-19 or any mutations thereof.

Also, during the floor debate, House Democrats were able to insert an amendment that gives Workers Compensation benefits to front line workers (first responders, grocery store workers, prison guards, etc.) and will classify COVID-19 and any mutations as an occupational disease. While the state federation remains neutral on the bill, we believe the substitute version of H.B. 606 is a rational compromise to achieve limited liability protections for health care providers and businesses while maintaining reasonable protections for employees and the public. The bill passed 83-9 and will now move on to the Ohio Senate.
Contributed by:
Tim Burga
President, Ohio AFL-CIO
U.S. House Approves H.R. 7010,
The PPP Flexibility Act
The U.S. House approved legislation Thursday making it easier for small businesses and other recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding to qualify for forgiveness of the loans.

The House bill, called the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, H.R. 7010, extends from eight weeks to 24 weeks the time PPP recipients have to spend their funds. The measure also lowers to 60% from 75% the portion of PPP funds borrowers must spend on payroll costs to qualify for full loan forgiveness. That change would allow borrowers to direct more funds to costs such as rent and utilities Here is a top-line summary of what the bill provides:

Extends the forgiveness period to 24 weeks.
  • While small businesses in many parts of the country have begun to reopen, some remain closed and others must abide by strict capacity limitations.
  • Extending the covered period from 8 weeks to 24 weeks provides additional accommodations to businesses in many stages of reopening.
  • Small businesses that prefer to stay within the original 8-week window can opt-out of the extension.
  • Extends deferment window to end once the Small Business Administration (SBA) makes the forgiveness payment to the lender on the borrower's behalf.
Replaces the 75/25 rule with a 60/40 rule.
  • The current rule requires that 75% of the loan must be used on payroll costs and 25 percent to be used on mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. Failure to adhere to this rule impacts loan forgiveness.
  • Adjusting this rule gives small businesses more greater latitude in how loan funds are used
All new PPP loans will receive a 5-year maturity. Existing loans will remain at a 2-year maturity.
  • As small businesses continue to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, extending the loan maturity gives them more time to rebuild their business.
Allows businesses that receive forgiveness to also receive payroll tax deferment.
Ensures small businesses won't be penalized by high unemployment benefits.
  • To receive loan forgiveness, a business must rehire employees by December 31, 2020.
  • Unfortunately, higher unemployment benefits have discouraged some employees from returning to work.
  • Businesses that make a good faith effort to rehire will satisfy headcount requirements for the purposes of forgiveness.
Creates a safe harbor for businesses that are required to open at only 50 percent capacity.
Contributed by:
Charles H. “Chip” Gerhardt, III
President and Founder
Government Strategies Group, LLC. 
"This Is An Economic Crisis"
A Word from Dayton Mayor, Nan Whaley
Dear Friends,

Cities nationwide are struggling – including Dayton. At the brink of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio, we had to make some incredibly difficult budgetary decisions. Now, two months later, cities like Dayton are in  desperate need of federal funding.
 
The federal government has approved nearly $3 trillion in coronavirus relief assistance, but we have not seen very much—if any—of that money here in Dayton. Without this federal aid, we could see reduced funding for all city services, including first responders. We deserve better. 


I’m fighting for you, Dayton. I am doing everything I can to ensure that Dayton receives the aid we need to recover and prosper. 

We will get through this – together.  SIGN NOW to make your voice heard!
Stay safe and healthy, 
Nan Whaley
Mayor of Dayton, Ohio
Lunch With Your Legislators
Today at 11:00 AM
Come enjoy Lunch with your Legislators while we answer your questions and discuss what the future holds for all of us. We work for you and want to make sure we do so in the best way possible.

I hope to see you this week. Please  sign up here  to enjoy another conversation with your legislators. As long as we continue to work together and stay strong, I know we can get through this!

Join the Hamilton County Delegation, Representatives Jessica Miranda, Brigid Kelly, Catherine Ingram and Sedrick Denson on Zoom. Please register to receive your personal Zoom meeting access.
Workers First Caravan For Action
...And We Want YOU to be Part of the FUN!
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
 
On Wednesday, June 3rd,  working people from all over Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio are joining thousands of people from across the country in an all-out action of national solidarity calling for Congress to pass of  The HEROES Act , implementing America’s Five Economic Essentials for reopening our country. Caravans from across all 50 states and Puerto Rico will also be participating in solidarity actions and in Washington, D.C., a 2,500 car caravan will make its way through the city to ensure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knows his inaction is unacceptable, and that the Labor movement will mobilize to fight for our health, our economy and our country. 
 
So, what are we asking from you?   We’re producing a video montage of our Sisters and Brothers from affiliated locals who have been out there every day, putting their lives on the line to keep America open and running -- and we want you to be a part of it. We’re asking you and a few of others to  shoot a quick ten seconds or so of video  so we can cut it together in a short video to flood the internet and social media.
 
It’s easy… Here’s what we need.  Just print out the placard of your choice which you will find by using the Download and Print Button . Just hold it up in front of you while rolling video on your cell phone and saying, “Support the Heroes Act!” If possible, shoot your video in front of your favorite well-known Cincinnati landmark as your backdrop. You can even do it a few times and we’ll pick your very best one. Two more quick things though… Be sure to  wear your mask  and please get your video shot and  back to me by the end of today, May 29.  That’s it.
 
Once you’ve shot your video,  send it to me as an attachment to an email addressed to  bgriffin@cincinnatiaflcio.org Please include your name and local union affiliation  so we can make sure to get that right in editing. If you have any trouble or are not sure how to get it to me, just call me at 513-608-0033 and he’ll help you out.
 
So, thank you in advance  for helping us create a very nice, upbeat piece of social media content that will play all over the country!

Now HURRY UP! Go get creative and have some fun!
WRITE CONGRESS TO ENACT AMERICA'S FIVE ECONOMIC ESSENTIALS
We are at a moment of extreme crisis. Our nation’s workers have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment. There is a way to rebuild ourselves during this extraordinary moment in modern history, laid out in the AFL-CIO’s Five Economic Essentials. I implore you and your readers to consider these five factors in how we view economic recovery and growth after this pandemic. First and foremost is keeping workers safe. For months, front-line workers have risked their lives to go to work without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and hazard pay. We must make sure those who take care of us are protected. Second: Protect pension checks and keep workers employed. A pension is a promise an employer makes, one that’s upheld after their employee puts in decades of work for the guarantee of security in retirement. Third, we must keep state and local governments, our public schools, and the U.S. Postal Service solvent and working. It goes without saying these public services are crucial to our recovery. Fourth, we need to protect and expand health insurance for all workers, including a 100% federal payment support for COBRA extensions. And last but not least, we must keep America competitive by hiring people to build infrastructure, an investment that would create millions of jobs and stimulate the economy. 

Tell Your Congressperson to Act Now:
Adopt America’s 5 Economic Essentials
CALL YOUR SENATOR:
PASS THE HEROES ACT
Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, a stimulus relief package meant to help push America towards a much-needed economic recovery. Now the bill moves to the Senate, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has said there is “no urgency” to act on the bill. The truth is, we can’t act soon enough. The HEROES Act upholds the AFL-CIO’s 5 Economic Essentials, or a checklist of the multiple priorities our country needs from Congress in order to protect our workers and rebuild our economy. This includes making sure our state and local governments, public schools, and the U.S. Postal Service is kept solvent and working, our pensions are upheld, our paychecks are protected and more. The HEROES Act also requires OSHA to issue a temporary emergency workplace infectious disease standard -- something the AFL-CIO has been calling for since the first days of the pandemic. There is no reason for the Senate to stall when more than 93,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, as many as 50 million have lost their jobs, and 12 million have lost their health insurance. The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest public health threat our country has faced, and the HEROES Act is a progressive step forward.

Tell Your Senator:
Support H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act
Together on June 20th!
At AFSCME, we are committed to fighting inequality. To lifting people out of poverty. To protecting and expanding health care. To ensuring all working people have the rights and the respect we deserve.

These are basic human rights, and we proudly join the struggle anywhere for these values. Now, a global pandemic is exposing inequality and injustice – and making them worse. It is working class people who are losing their jobs. It is the poorest among us, as always, feeling the most pain as our economy shatters.

That is why AFSCME is proud to join with Rev. William Barber for his virtual Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington on Saturday, June 20.


Because of the pandemic, the assembly will be a virtual gathering, but it is no less important and no less historic. With tens of thousands of Americans dead and millions more suffering, now is the time for people in public service to take a stand for equality for all Americans.

The coronavirus pandemic and the mismanagement of it have laid waste to our economy, exposing in even more stark terms the inequality that is tearing at the fabric of our nation.

AFSCME members are on the front lines of this pandemic, putting our lives on the line to keep our communities safe. We do this because we believe in public service. We do this because we believe in justice.


Please join us on Saturday, June 20, and make sure you are counted among the voices standing up against inequality in America.
 In solidarity,
Lee Saunders
AFSCME President
Poor People's Assembly/Moral March-Washington-Virtual Event-June 20
RSVP for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering on June 20, 2020.
 
The Poor People's Assembly and Moral March on Washington will be an historic, generationally transformative digital event. Across the internet and the airwaves we will drive the vision and agenda of our communities into the heart of the national narrative.


 
Help us get the word out and invite your family and friends to June 20 by sharing this video and the RSVP page at June2020.org!
Forward Together!
  Ohio Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival 
Union Plus
Hardship Assistance Program
Through the  Job Loss Grant Disability Grant  and the  Mortgage Assistance Program , Union Plus is putting money in the pockets of union members in need of assistance during this crisis. Union Plus shortened the Job Loss Grant unemployment requirement from 90 to 45 days to simplify the application process for credit card and personal loan program participants.
 
Since the pandemic hit, more than 700 union members have applied for over $1.7 million in direct assistance from the  Union Plus Hardship Assistance programs . Union Plus is encouraging eligible members to apply. More information on these programs, including eligibility requirements and application process, are available at  UnionPlus.org/hardship .