Cincinnati
AFL-CIO
Labor Council
Friday, February 12, 2021
The labor movement has been central to the defense of our democracy and the election of the Biden–Harris administration. The AFL-CIO celebrates the inauguration of a new president and vice president, as well as the strength of our great American democracy.
"We are in a moment..."
A Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Over the past few weeks, it’s clear why working people need to be able to freely and fairly form a union. In Montana and New Hampshire, “right to work” legislation is back on the table. We are going to fight back against these attacks. We will stand strong together. We will use our leverage wisely. When President Joe Biden signs labor law reform into law, the days of fighting right to work will be over for good. That moment is within our reach. We’re seeing the groundswell of collective action. It’s awe-inspiring. And it’s not limited to blue states and red states. Our power spans across the United States.

Union approval ratings are near a 50-year high, and half of America’s workers would join a union today if given the opportunity. Sadly, not enough unorganized workers have that chance. Employers and anti-worker politicians have rigged the system to make it as difficult as possible for workers to join together and form a union. The PRO Act would unrig the system by doing away with “right to work” laws and guaranteeing free and fair union elections across the country. It would penalize employers who punish workers for organizing. It’s clear we need the PRO Act to put more power in the hands of working people.

We are in a moment. We can either seize it or suffer the consequences. Unions are being seen in a new light—in the White House, on Main Street, and Wall Street is getting nervous. We know what our movement is capable of. We are change agents, a political force, beacons of our country. So let’s leave it all out on the field. Win a Workers First Agenda. Organize the unorganized. Bring equality and justice to every corner of America.
AFT and AAUP Launch New Deal Campaign for Higher Education
WASHINGTON— The American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors launched a joint national campaign Wednesday, “A New Deal for Higher Education,” calling for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and massive federal investment in colleges and universities.

Activists joined AFT President Randi Weingarten, AAUP President Irene Mulvey, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the Roosevelt Institute’s Suzanne Kahn to lay out a vision of higher education as a public good and discuss a reimagined federal role for the sector under the Biden-Harris administration.

The campaign’s website details how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the long-standing crisis in public higher education. Declining state support, the erosion of tenure and shared governance, the increased use of contingent appointments, and the loss of the faculty voice are threatening the core mission of higher education in our society. Now is the time to stand up for a just, inclusive system—one that can help transform our society.

The AAUP and the AFT propose an ambitious agenda centered on four main values:
  1. Building prosperity from the bottom up;
  2. Advancing social, racial and economic justice;
  3. Strengthening democracy and civil society; and
  4. Fostering knowledge and innovation.

The New Deal for Higher Education platform will seek to re-center our public colleges and universities as a common good. In addition to addressing tuition costs, institutional funding and student debt relief, it spotlights reforms related to racial injustice and inequities, labor practices, academic freedom and governance, federal research funding, technical and vocational education, and a host of other challenges that have diminished our national capacity to educate our communities.

The AAUP’s Mulvey said: “Any attempt to simply address the problems brought on by the pandemic will be unsuccessful. A Band-Aid approach will only lead us back—to precarity and unsustainability, and a weakened educational sector. It’s time to go big. It’s time for this New Deal. And it’s essential that an initiative as ambitious as the New Deal for Higher Ed be guided by educators—the people in the trenches delivering higher education to today’s students. We’re creative thinkers; we’re problem-solvers; we envision a system of higher education on solid sustainable financial footing in order to prioritize teaching, student success, research and knowledge.”

The AFT’s Weingarten said: “After decades of counterproductive austerity, we stand at the precipice of a new era for higher education. We know from experience that we can’t create a system that works for all if we don’t allow everyone to access it. We know we can’t have meaningful job security and voice if faculty and staff aren’t treated with dignity and respect. That’s why we need a New Deal for Higher Education. We’re fortunate that we now have a president and Congress that understand the need to massively invest in the American people and the institutions that support us. With an urgency born of crisis, we have a unique opportunity for our schools, colleges and students to thrive—and we need to seize it.”

The New Deal for Higher Education campaign website and supporting documents are available here.
Congressman Tim Ryan Urges House Cleaning At Postal Service
Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today urged President Biden to fire the entire United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors and nominate new leadership to begin to rebuild a strong and efficient postal service. In a letter to the President, Ryan highlighted how operational changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy continue to negatively impact the quality and timeliness of mail service nationally.
 
“My offices have been inundated with calls, emails, and letters detailing their unfortunate experiences with the USPS. Too many are receiving bills weeks late, which has caused them to miss car, credit card, and utility payments through no fault of their own. Many are also expressing frustrations that they have not yet received their pension checks that they depend on or the holiday greetings and gifts that their family and friends sent weeks ago. The Postmaster General and the entire Board of Governors have failed the American people,” wrote Congressman Ryan.
 
“The Postal Service should be an institution the American people unquestionably count on. It is an economic engine for many businesses in my community and my constituents, particularly in rural areas, count on their service. The survival of the Postal Service will require strong leadership if it is to endure. To begin that work, the USPS needs a governing body that can be trusted to represent the public interest,” Ryan continued.
 
This letter follows after widespread outcries over efforts taken by Trump appointee, Postmaster Louis DeJoy to throw out sorting machines, cut overtime, restrict deliveries, and remove mailboxes – which slowed USPS mail delivery across the United States. See the full text of Congressman Ryan’s letter here.
 
The USPS Board of Governors has the power to remove the Postmaster General from office and appoint a new one. 
Take Action To Build Back Better With Unions
Outdated labor laws have hampered our fundamental right to join together and negotiate for better wages, benefits and working conditions. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act will empower America’s workers and make our economy work for working people.


The House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act last year, but anti-worker legislators in the Senate blocked it. Undeterred, working people fought to elect pro-worker lawmakers to the Senate, House and White House. And we won. We thank Senator Sherrod Brown and Representatives Tim Ryan, Joyce Beatty and Marcy Kaptur for signing on as co-sponsors. Now is the time to put pressure on our Republican Representatives to stand up for working people.

Lawmakers gave us their word they would make the PRO Act a top priority. It’s time for them to keep that promise. You can read my statement on the bi-partisan introduction of the PRO Act here.

The PRO Act is the cornerstone of the AFL-CIO’s Workers First Agenda. If it passes, it would:
  • Empower workers to organize and bargain.
  • Hold corporations accountable for union-busting.
  • Repeal “right to work” laws, which were created during the Jim Crow era to keep White and Black workers from unionizing together.

Stronger unions mean higher wages, safer working conditions and dignity for all people who work. The PRO Act is our first step to get there.


In Solidarity,
Tim Burga, President
Ohio AFL-CIO
Honoring Black History And Fighting For The Future Of Education
Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper had a Guest Column for Ohio Capital Journal. Below is a portion. Read the full column here
 
On Feb. 1, as Black History Month began in Ohio’s classrooms and virtual classrooms, Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled his proposed budget for the next two years, which continues the education funding policies that systematically underfund public schools that educate Black students and even shift some of that funding away toward unaccountable, for-profit private schools.
 
Black History Month is an important time for our nation’s educators to focus their curriculum around the contributions that African Americans have made in government, industry, art, science, literature, and every field of human endeavor. However, we do a disservice to our students if we don’t also teach about the harder, more painful history of slavery, segregation, disenfranchisement, and racist violence, and if we do not weave it into our everyday curriculum as deeply as it is woven into the fabric of our country.
 
Even then, we are not telling the full story if we teach about these topics as relics of the past, as dark chapters of our country’s past that have ended. Racist structures in our society didn’t cease to exist when the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were ratified following the Civil War, or after Brown vs. the Board of Education desegregated schools, or after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, or even after Barack Obama’s historic election. 
 
Each of those events has been an important step along the way, but as we are reminded all too often, the vestiges of white supremacy live on in our current institutions. We see it in the over-policing and incarceration of Black, brown, and immigrant communities, we see it in our city neighborhoods that were shaped by redlining, and we see it in Ohio’s school funding system. 
(Melissa Cropper is President at Ohio Federation Of Teachers (OFT) and Secretary Treasurer at Ohio AFL-CIO - mcropper@ohaflcio.org)
Are “WE’’ Willing To “Buy-In”?
by Bill Froehle
Definition of “buy-in." Acceptance of and willingness to actively support and participate in something (such as a proposed new plan or policy or organization such as a labor union) Without buy-in from his troops, Gruden's just another tuned-out coach. — Tim Keown

I heard this story about a football coach that was passionate about having his players tuck in their shirts. Of course, the players really questioned him and pushed back on tucking in their shirt. They asked him, "Is tucking in my shirt going to help me score more touchdowns? Will tucking in my shirt help me run faster?" And, of course, the coach responded, "No... it's for buy in."
 
This coach was testing the commitment level of his players. Are they willing to do whatever it takes? Are they willing to show everyone that they trust the team? Are they willing to cut the life raft and go down with the ship? Are they “buying in”? Or will they send the message to their teammates that they are not willing to simply tuck in their shirt.
Brothers and Sisters,

As members of Local 392, or any other organization that we are members of, the story is almost always the same. Those organizations are continually looking for members who “buy in” to whatever the organization advocates for. If you are a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars or Disabled American Veterans you advocate on behalf of veterans of the United States military. If you are a member of a Kiwanis club you advocate on behalf of children and local communities. As a member of several organizations over the past 54 years of my life it is no secret that many of them are struggling to attract new members or to retain existing members. As the Business Manager of Local 392 this is something that concerns me deeply because at times it feels like many of our own members are not “buying in” to what we as a labor union advocate for every day.

It is no secret why teams are successful whether it is at the grade school, high school, college, or professional level. Success of an organization is always tied to the level of “buy in” from its members, Local 392 is no different. Whenever we speak to new apprentices at orientation, whenever we speak to new members who come to us through organizing, whenever we speak to members who have been with local 392 for any length of time our message is always the same, “Local 392 NEEDS our members to “buy in” to the mission of the United Association which has always been to help our members build a better life for themselves and their families. For over 130 years, this has been the cornerstone of who we are and what we stand for. Even as our organization and the world have grown and evolved, we have not changed in our commitment to the following core values, 1. The highest standards in training, 2. The health and safety of our members, 3. Fair wages and benefits, 4. Building industry relationships with our partner contractors and the end users who utilize them. 

As your elected leaders of local 392 our ability to advocate for our members and all workers will only be effective if we have “buy in” from you.
 
The next union meeting will be on March 12th, 2021 @ 7 P.M. at the Local 392 JATC. Please remember that you are responsible for keeping your dues and drug card current.
(Bill Froehle is Business Manager for Plumbers, Pipefitters & Mechanical Equipment Service Local Union No. 392 and President of Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council - bill@local392.com )
"We are always stronger when we act collectively together"
by Pete McLinden
In 1935, Congress passed and President Franklin Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act (aka Wagner Act), the legal foundation for a new national labor policy, guaranteeing the right of private sector employees to organize into unions, engage in collective bargaining and participate in collective employment actions. Under this Act, the government would act as a neutral intermediary, to promote labor peace, protecting and balancing the rights of employers and workers, while promoting stronger labor-management relationships. In the midst of the Great Depression, massive economic inequalities and expanding Fascist and Communist dictatorships, the United States government decided that it served the best interests of our nation, our democracy and our people, to have a national labor policy based on cooperation, collaboration and collective bargaining. Utilizing this policy, we put people back to work, rebuilt our economy and country, won victory in the Second World War, and built the strongest, working/middle class citizenry in the history of the world.
 
Over the last forty years, anti-union corporations, far-right extremists and their political allies have continued their relentless attacks to weaken and dismantle the NLRA and national labor policy: politicizing the National Labor Relations Board; allowing Federal judges to create countless loopholes, exemptions and exceptions to the law; disproportionately favoring the rights of employers to the detriment of employees under the false claims of economic/individual freedom and so-called “free trade”. The consequential results speak for themselves: a rapidly declining American middle class; corporations closing American factories and moving production overseas; a U.S. trade deficit of more than $679 Billion dollars (2020); parents having to work 2-4 jobs with longer hours, less pay and benefits to support their struggling families; lower jobs/economic opportunities for our children; lower union membership/density; and, finally, a weaker United States of America, trying to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and facing greater challenges/threats from other rising world powers (China, Russia, etc.). 
 
In 2021, our country is ready for change and an economic revitalization; to strengthen our national labor policy and bring it into the 21st century: Congress must pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, and the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. These federal laws will bring back a new, fairer balance of employer-employee rights; promote strong labor-management relationships and collective bargaining; hold bad employers both responsible and accountable for their unlawful actions against workers; bring renewed hope, jobs and economic opportunities to millions of American working families and future generations; and finally, these laws will help to rebuild America and make our nation stronger and more united. 
 
Sisters and Brothers, if there is one lesson to be learned over the last forty years, it is this simple truth: We are always stronger when we act collectively together.  So please, on behalf of yourself, your family, and your union sisters and brothers throughout the country, join our collective action campaign and contact Congressman Steve Chabot, Congressman Ben Wenstrup, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Senator Rob Portman, and demand that they stand up for all working Americans by co-sponsoring and voting for the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, and the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. 
 
Thank you, and may God’s Blessings be with all working American families throughout 2021... In Solidarity, U and I...
(Peter M. McLinden Esq. is a proud member of AFSCME Local 2461/Union Township, and Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council - pmclinden@cincinnatiaflcio.org)
Pro Act Summary: The pro Act (H.R. 842) has recently been introduced by the 117th congress. The bill currently has 200 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and has been referred to the Education & labor committee for further review. The resolution would still need to pass the Senate without a filibuster or possibly vote by party lines and Vice President Harris as the tie breaker. President Biden has express support for the PRO Act as apart of his “Build Back better” plan and his support for Labor. The Passage of the Pro Act would strengthen unions, penalize employers for violating labor laws and eliminate ALL Right to Work laws. Please participate in our Pro Act Campaign Actions.

For additional information please refer to the Language from Education and Labor Committee HERE  or Follow the Pro act in Congress HERE.
It Is Always Darkest Before The Dawn…
by Dave Baker
As a result of the last election, we currently control the Senate, the House, and the Presidency. We have now been truly given a chance to really make some strides for the working people of America. My hope is they take full opportunity to now pass some long-needed assistance in Unionizing and rebuilding the Middle Class.

The last four years we have watched as the National Labor Relations Board was slowly being decimated by Peter Robb. This anti-union lawyer was hired by the Trump administration and has done everything he could to take away our rights to Organize. Joe Biden fired him on the first day of his Presidency and then fired his second in command Alice Stock on January 21st.

We have also gotten to see the realigning of Buy American. Which will ensure when your taxes are used for government purposes then American products and services will be utilized. There will be a new leader appointed here and the loopholes to the system will be closed. This will do way more than sanctions ever would.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “What about that shutting down of the Keystone pipeline.” To those folks, I say maybe you should look at the photos of the 410,000 gallons of spilled oil which was caused by that pipeline so far. Then ask yourself just how many jobs were lost. By the numbers I have been given it was about 1,000 lost jobs. Some Union and most not. Meanwhile we saved the environment and ensured a lot more work for the Teamsters who will be driving trucks to deliver the oil instead. Those trucking jobs were going to be gone after the pipeline was completed.
 
These are just a few things we have had happen so far. I believe we will finally get an infrastructure bill soon. We will also see more stimulus granted to help the working class. The Coronavirus is slowly getting better and will continue to lessen now that there is a Federal plan of containment. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

I truly think we are about to see the rebuilding of the American Labor Unions. Groups like Amazon are already seeing people trying to Organize the facilities and this is going to catch on. The people are tired of not making a decent living and they know the only way to change it is to Unionize. 

Many people have lost hope for the future. I have spoken with many young people lately and they are tired of the bullshit which has become the political norm for the last 20 years. They have spent their whole lives watching the government do nothing but fight between the two parties for control. This has inspired them to action.

I anticipate we will begin seeing the old rule leave and a new group of fresh new faces with fresh new ideas take over. The youth believe in this country but they feel it has lost its way. They are ready for real changes and they believe in Unions. This country has always had a way of fixing its problems and the time has come for some real changes.

While I am excited about what the current office holders will do for us, I am even more excited for were we will be in 10 years. The attitudes and ideas I have heard from people under 25 have restored my faith in the future. We are on the dawn of a new generation. While it has been very dark times for our country lately, remember, “It is always darkest before the dawn”
(Dave Baker is Business Manager / F.S. - T. Iron Workers Local Union #44 and a member of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council Executive Board - davebakeronline@gmail.com)
IUE-CWA Walmart Action
We continue the fight with our Sisters and Brothers in Bucyrus Ohio! Thanks to our collective efforts Walmart is noticing us, but we can’t stop there! Join IUE-CWA Feb 20, 2021 for the next Walmart Action! 
 
What:
Leafletting Walmart parking Lot to educate shoppers and urge Walmart to not allow GE-Savant to outsource Jobs to China!
Saturday Feb 20, 2021 @ 12pm-1pm
 
2 Locations:
 
1143 Smiley Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45240 
10240 Colerain Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45251

For information contact Ohio AFL-CIO Southwest Ohio Field Rep, Julien Johnson
614-312-4507
AFL-CIO Celebrates Black History Month
This February, the labor movement celebrates Black History Month and everything that our Black sisters, brothers and friends have contributed to our country. And as we celebrate Black achievements, Black aspirations and Black lives, we know that there is more work to be done. In the past year, we have continued to witness attacks on Black people from a system that was designed to perpetuate white supremacy. Indeed, “right to work” laws are one of the last vestiges of Jim Crow. Attacks on voting rights continue as well. In our best hours, the labor movement has welcomed into our family people of all backgrounds and races while standing shoulder to shoulder with our Black allies fighting for equality. We honor this year’s Black History Month by recommitting ourselves to the cause of racial justice.
Remembering Cleveland “Cleve” Robinson
Cleveland “Cleve” Robinson is fondly remembered as the historian of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU). That’s because he was directly involved in nearly every fight for justice and equality in America over the last half of the 20th century. He served as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s labor adviser and went on to be the administrative leader of the historic 1963 March on Washington. With A. Philip Randolph, Robinson formed the Negro American Labor Council, the predecessor of CBTU. For 40 years, Robinson served as secretary-treasurer of UAW District 65. He was a relentless opponent of apartheid in South Africa and was co-chairman of the welcome committee for Nelson Mandela’s visit to the U.S. in 1990. Mandela, a South African freedom fighter, led the struggle against apartheid for decades. Robinson passed away in 1995.
Remembering Bayard Rustin
Bayard Rustin laid the groundwork for the historic 1963 March on Washington and took on crucial roles in the civil rights movement as a close adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A gay man, Rustin was prosecuted in the 1950s for his sexuality. Throughout his life, he was a steadfast opponent of racial segregation and later became active in the LGBTQ rights movement. Rustin served as president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. “When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him,” he said. He died in 1987. Click here to read more about Rustin.
 Honoring Velma and Norman Hill
Few civil rights leaders have had a greater impact on the labor movement than Velma and Norman Hill. While youth leaders of the NAACP in Chicago in 1960, they led a protest at a segregated beach. Velma was badly injured by beach-goers who hurled rocks and bricks at them and other Blacks who gathered to enjoy the beach. In 1969, Velma Hill founded the New York City school district paraprofessionals’ chapter of United Federation Teachers/AFT Local 2, facing down racism and anti-union bigotry in the process. Norman Hill went on to become president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. “Having been grossly oppressed as slaves, sharecroppers and agricultural laborers, and industrial workers, unions have given African Americans the opportunity to work as truly free men and women,” Norman Hill said.
We Honor C. Faye Harper
C. Faye Harper currently serves as the 10th international vice president for the Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). She also serves as a trustee and business representative for IATSE Local 834. She has been with the union for nearly 30 years. She said her activism is driven by never having seen a person of color on the IATSE General Executive Board. "As a leader, it’s necessary that someone of color see that there is representation and somebody represents who they are," Harper said. In 2016, Harper was elected to the General Executive Board, becoming the change she wanted to see in the world.
Senator Brown blasts Amazon's anti-union policies in the wake of its workers in Bessemer, Alabama organizing to fight for better pay, respect, and rights in the workplace. If so, they would become the corporation's first U.S. employees to unionize. See the video...
Dear Friends,

Amazon's profit-over-people, anti-union culture is finally facing a reckoning. Workers at Amazon's Bessemer facility began a historic vote this week to have a real voice in the workplace - by joining a union. If they succeed, they'll be the first of Amazon's hundreds of thousands of American workers to unionize - and Amazon's doing everything it can to stop them.

I spoke on the floor about everything Amazon doesn't want you to know - its LONG record of worker mistreatment and anti-union tactics, and what I’m doing to level the playing field for workers.

Give it a watch. I stand in solidarity with the Bessemer workers fighting for DIGNITY, RESPECT, and POWER in the workplace. That's why I called directly on Amazon's leadership to do right by its employees and support their efforts to unionize.
 
Corporations like Amazon have attacked and undermined worker protections for decades. That’s why I introduced the PRO Act – a bill to give power back to workers and restore every worker’s right to organize.

Here’s the bottom line: Amazon's profits have soared 70% during the pandemic, while its workers put in long hours and risk their own health to meet unprecedented demand.

It's time for Amazon's workers to share in the company's success that they made possible.

Sincerely,
Sherrod
Sherrod Brown: Working For Working People!
FEBRUARY 10, 2021─Brown Office Wraps Up Roundtables with Labor Leaders from Across Ohio CLEVELAND, OH – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) staff hosted 16 virtual roundtables over three weeks to meet with Ohio labor leaders from across the state. Brown’s office will take their priorities back to Washington, where he now serves in a Democratic majority in the Senate dedicated to working with President Biden to restore the Dignity of... READ MORE

FEBRUARY 08, 2021─On Senate Floor, Brown Urges Amazon to Recognize Workers Seeking Union Representation as Key Vote Starts Today WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) took to the Senate floor to support Amazon workers seeking to freely exercise their right to organize with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), and pushed the company to take this opportunity to recognize the true value of its workers to the company’s success. Brown’s... READ MORE

FEBRUARY 05, 2021─Brown Helps Reintroduce Bill to Fund Gun Violence Prevention Research at the CDC WASHINGTON, D.C. – As 2020 marked the deadliest year for gun violence in the last 20 years, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) to reintroduce the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act to fund research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on firearms... READ MORE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), along with U.S. Representatives Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Scott Peters (D-CA), in introducing bicameral legislation to dramatically scale up efforts to track coronavirus variants. The Tracking COVID-19 Variants Act would provide $2 billion for the Centers for... READ MORE

FEBRUARY 05, 2021─ICYMI: Leading U.S. Senators: Homeowner Assistance Fund is Critical to Pandemic Emergency Response WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Jack Reed (D-RI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee reintroduced the $75 billion Homeowner Assistance Fund bill. This legislation... READ MORE

FEBRUARY 05, 2021─Brown, Booker Lead Colleagues in Urging Amazon to Recognize Workers Seeking Union Representation Ahead Of Key NLRB Vote WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) led a group of their colleagues in urging Amazon to do right by its workers and support their efforts to freely exercise their right to organize a union. In a letter sent to current Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and his successor, Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy, the... READ MORE
Keep up with Sherrod:
NEWSROOM: https://www.brown.senate.gov/newsroom
Celebrating Ronnie (Pup) Wardrup - Servant Leadership at its Very Best!
Ronnie (Pup) Wardrup has run the race, fought the good fight and has hung up his cap as Staff Representative at USW. Ronnie joined Southwestern Ohio Steel September 7th, 1978 and became dues paying member of the United Steelworkers Local Union 5541. He was Appointed as a Grievance Committeeman in the early 1980’s of USW Local Union 5541.

Ronnie joined the Butler Warren Clinton Counties AFL-CIO serving as an Executive Board Member until merging with the Dayton-Miami Valley Regional Labor Council of the AFL-CIO serving on the Executive Committee and Executive Council and worked collaboratively with the Cincinnati AFL-CIO at every opportunity. He was first appointed and then elected in his own right to serve on the Area Labor Federation (ALF) of the Cincinnati and Dayton/Miami Valley Labor Councils of the AFL-CIO.

Ronnie joined the Butler County Democratic Party serving as 2nd Vice President until serving as Chair of the Executive Committee Butler County Democratic Party. He is currently serving as Central and Executive Board member and Governing Board member in a Labor Position.

Served Vice President of USW Local Union 5541 and moved up according to USW Constitution to President of USW Local Union 5541 when the office was vacated. He worked on the Civil Rights Committee, the Political Committee, Organizing Committee. Ronnie also served on State of Ohio Worker’s Compensation Committee and on USW Safety Committee and was appointed as Butler County United Way as a board member by the Butler Warren Clinton County AFL-CIO.

Ronnie was brought out of the plant and placed on Casual Status by Director Frank Vickers. He was hired by Director Dave McCall for the United Steelworkers as a Staff Representative May 15th, 1998 and served in that capacity as a USW Staff Representative for 21 & 1/2 years. He was appointed to Co-chair of the USW Sports Committee by Director Dave McCall and was elected as Democratic Party Man for Butler County as a member of the Executive Committee to the Ohio Democratic Party then appointed and serving as “At Large” for the Ohio Democratic Party Executive Committee. Finally, Ronnie was appointed and served as a USW Vice President to the Ohio AFL-CIO State Federation by Director Donnie Blatt.

Another of the many, many things Ronnie was not just involved in, but active and dedicated to was Masons. In 1993 he became a Freemason in Columbia Lodge # 44, now known as Nova Caesarea Harmony # 2. Soon thereafter he joined the Cincinnati chapter of Scottish Rite Masons, and then the Cincinnati Chapter Shriners Serving the Shriners Burns hospitals.

Of course, anyone who really knows Pup, knows the greatest source of his energy, focus, and zeal for life comes from the love of his life, his wife Lisa. About them and their relationship, he said “I would never have been able to do any of my activism without the love and support of my beautiful and understanding wife Lisa.”

In speaking with Ronnie about his new-found status, he said “Although my exit from The United Steelworkers as a Staff Representative was hurried along due to health reasons, I will never forget all of those I have met through this journey of Solidarity, from the beginning when I first started paying dues In September of 1978 until my Retirement on February 1st, 2021. I’ve have made lifelong friends I will treasure eternally. Always remember to say a good word about your Union. Solidarity Forever...

Ronnie (Pup) Wardrup, your leadership, your activism, your support, and most of all your kindness will always be remembered and missed. Happy retirement Brother Pup…Well deserved!
Working In The Community!
This Weeks "ATTA'BOY" goes to James Inskeep with Laborers Local 265, Nicole Comer with Veterans Hospital and Fred Lampe, Executive Secretary, Greater Cincinnati Building & Construction Trades Council. Its this kind of community involvement and support that makes all of us proud!

Keep up the good work!
Requiescet in pace
Plumbers, Pipefitters & Mechanical Equipment Service Local Union No. 392 is saddened to report the passing of the following members:

Nicholas Esz Jr.,80 on January 6, 2021
Larry Lykins, on January 11, 2021
George Kort, 80 on January 13, 2021
Robert “Red" Foegle, 88 on January 18, 2021
Carl Adkins, 80 on January 18, 2021
Steve Rinehart, 51 on January 19, 2021
Beechum Richardson, 85 on January 19, 2021
John Gleason, 93 on January 20,2021
Ryan Sheldon, 42 on January 21, 2021
Charles Cox, 83 on January 22, 2021
Walter Ham Jr. 83 on February 1, 2021
Dave Vogelgesang on February 1, 2021

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
A Word From Our Community Partners
Your 2021 Medicare Checklist

Whether you’re retired or continuing to work, planning for your transition to Medicare is a process. Most individuals qualify for Medicare around their 65th birthday, but there are exceptions. Follow these steps to be prepared and feel confident in your Medicare knowledge!
 
The Latest in the Medicare Industry

Courtesy of RetireMEDiQ, you and your employees can stay up to speed on recent announcements in the Medicare industry. This February, we cover COVID-19 vaccination campaigns—including Medicare’s coverage of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

 
Answering Your Medicare Questions

Are your retirees curious about what they can expect to pay for Medicare this year? We break down the basics, as well as updates to drug coverage, innovative health care technology, and more.

Medicare FAQs: What Are Insurance Providers and Brokers?

Finding the right Medicare plan starts with understanding the industry. How can you know if someone is trustworthy and credible when choosing your health coverage? Here is what you and your employees need to know about insurance providers and brokers.

What Are Medicare Star Ratings?

Did you know that Medicare Part C and Part D plans are evaluated using a star rating system? Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) publishes a rating based on a plan’s coverage, benefits, and customer service. Learn more about how star ratings work on our blog. 
AFL-CIO COVID-19 Update | Feb. 1-5, 2021
This update captures the scale and complexity of the work moving through the Strategic campaign structure. We begin each report with the Strategic Campaign Center’s Weekly Spotlight, lifting up a particular piece of the program. This week, we are highlighting The Battle for Worker Empowerment Begins.

This document covers reports from:

A. Weekly Spotlight
B. Political/Democracy
C. Data, Analytics and Infrastructure Resource
D. Communications Resource
E. Policy/Legislation
F. Training
G. Essential Life Services/Growth
H. Governance
I. Safety & Health
J. Office of the General Counsel
K. Coalition Partners
L. Field Reporting—Highlights
NIEHS WTP and the National Clearinghouse COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheets Available
The NIEHS WTP and the National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training developed three new fact sheets:

  1. The first fact sheet, COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Workers, offers important facts to help workers make an informed decision about being vaccinated.
  2. The Injection Safety for COVID-19 Vaccinators and Vaccine Administrators fact sheet covers sharps and needle safety to protect vaccinators from needlestick injuries and blood exposures.
  3. The third fact sheet, Key Elements of a Model Workplace Safety and Health COVID-19 Vaccination Program, includes a step-wise plan and key elements to help employers and workers implement a safe and effective workplace vaccination program. 

The fact sheets can be found under the COVID-19 Toolbox on THIS PAGE.
 
Additionally, you can check out the recording of our January 14 webinar on Addressing the role of the vaccine in workplace COVID-19 prevention: How to weed through misinformation, mistrust, and improve worker protections. You can access the recording here https://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?id=2592
 
Upcoming webinars in this series are listed on the WTP Meetings & Workshops page.
 
Kerri Moran Voelker, CMP, CGMP
Director of Events
National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training
Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Update
February 09, 2021
K-12 Progress, Rent Assistance, Ongoing Nursing Home Vaccination Plan

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

K-12 PROGRESS
Governor DeWine announced progress toward the goal of getting K-12 students back into the classroom by March 1. In December, 45 percent of Ohio students were attending school remotely full-time, but today, less than 15 percent of Ohio students are still attending classes completely online. Despite this progress, the pandemic has taken a toll on academic progress, as demonstrated in the Ohio Department of Education’s fall 2020 enrollment report.

“This once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has impacted all of us, so it should be no surprise that it has impacted our children. But we should not panic, nor should we be surprised by the results of assessments,” said Governor DeWine. “Instead, we should do what Ohioans have always done when facing a challenge – stay calm, roll up our sleeves, and work to solve the problem."

Governor DeWine asked school districts to work with their communities to help students advance and make up for any learning that may have been lost or delayed because of the pandemic.

Governor DeWine also requested that school districts design plans to meet the needs of the students in their districts that include ending the school year later than scheduled, beginning the new year early, or even extending the school day. Summer programs, tutoring, or remote options could also be considered. School districts should provide their plans to the public and General Assembly no later than April 1.

Lt. Governor Husted today also highlighted a provision in the proposed Executive Budget that guarantees student access to a computer science education. 

The “right to access” computer science classes would be defined as the statutory right of a student to be able to take a class either offered directly by their school district or through another provider of the student’s choice. However, the program must be approved through the Ohio Department of Education. 

“Every budget cycle presents an opportunity to distinguish ourselves as a state,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Coming out of the pandemic, the stakes are higher and the impacts more consequential. We must rise to the challenge and commit to the work that will lead to an educational recovery that will echo economically for a generation.”

RENT ASSISTANCE
The Ohio Development Services Agency is now distributing $100 million in federal funding to help low-income Ohioans who do not own their own home pay their rent, water, sewer, wastewater, electric, gas, oil and/or trash removal bills.
Ohioans can apply for assistance with outstanding balances dating back to March 13, 2020, assistance for future rent/utility payments once back bills have been made current, and assistance for future rent and utility assistance for three months at a time.

Eligible Ohio households must:
  • Be at or below 80% of their county’s Area Median Income (varies by county and size of household);
  • Have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and
  • Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

The funding, which was approved by the Ohio Controlling Board for distribution, will be divided among Ohio’s 47 Community Action Agencies. Ohioans can apply for assistance by contacting their local Community Action Agency. A list of agencies can be found at businesshelp.ohio.gov under Home Relief Grants.

MAINTENANCE COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRAM
Governor DeWine announced that Ohio's maintenance COVID-19 vaccine program plan to ensure residents and staff within nursing homes and assisted living facilities have continuing access to the life-saving vaccine is nearly complete. The plan will outline how nursing homes and assisted living facilities will move forward to vaccinate new residents, new workers, and workers who initially declined the vaccine but are now willing to be vaccinated. The plan will leverage existing relationships between nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and the pharmacies that regularly provide them with prescription drugs.  

In preparation for the release of this plan, Governor DeWine urged administrators for long-term and assisted-living facilities to find out if their facility already has a pharmacy provider that can administer the vaccine. If the provider is not a COVID vaccine provider, they should determine if they intend to become one. 

Since the pandemic began, individuals in long-term care settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, have been at the greatest risk of death from COVID-19. Over 50 percent of Ohio’s deaths have been individuals from long-term care settings.

To protect family members and loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Ohio immediately activated the federal long-term care vaccination program in mid-December. First and second doses of the vaccine have been administered in nearly all of Ohio's nursing homes and most of Ohio's assisted living centers.

CURRENT CASE DATA
In total, there are 925,350 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 11,793 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 47,853 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,869 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
Preparing for Your COVID-19 Vaccination

These resources below, created by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, can help people prepare for their vaccination.
Ohio is distributing safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines statewide to those who choose to be vaccinated. As COVID-19 vaccines are granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the state will strategically and thoughtfully distribute the vaccines to Ohioans at the greatest risk in conjunction with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).
Questions and Answers
COVID-19 Vaccination: Ohio's Phased Approach

Questions about COVID-19
Ohio Department of Health call center is ready to answer your questions about COVID-19

Call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
The Call Center is staffed from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, including weekends.
Ohio COVID-19 Dashboard
Current Trends
Below are the current reporting trends for key indicators calculated from data reported to the Ohio Department of Health. The graphics and information were taken from the Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) website Thursday, February 11.
COVID-19 By The Numbers
Global Confirmed - 107,444,504
Global Deaths - 2,357,270
U.S. Confirmed - 27,288,291
U.S. Deaths - 471,764

Hamilton County
Cases
70,101
Hospitalizations
2,491
Deaths
488
Clermont County
Cases
17,503
Hospitalizations
724
Deaths
127
Brown County
Cases
3,555
Hospitalizations
51
Deaths
26
Butler County
Cases
33,750
Hospitalizations
1,022
Deaths
272
Warren County
Cases
21,375
Hospitalizations
617
Deaths
160
Its More Than A Mask!
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