Labor Council

Friday, July 2, 2021
"Labor and Allies Uniquely Positioned to Make Big Structural Change"
Richard Trumka June 29, 2021 
Thank you so much, Erica [Smiley]. On behalf of AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and our 56 unions, it is an honor to join all of you on this call, and be with so many old friends in the struggle for a more equal society and brighter future for working people. You push the envelope. You invest in change. You drive activism. You make a difference. 

When I was young, and working in a coal mine, I thought a lot about what I would do with my life. I was drawn to the labor movement for one simple reason: I believed there was no greater force for economic and social justice than workers coming together in unions to exercise our collective power. I experienced the union my own own community...and across our country. But in the years since, those rights have been hacked away. Workers who try to improve their lives are far too often met with retaliation, intimidation, loss of employment, and the list goes on. And this silencing of working people has profoundly hurt our country and threatened our democracy. 

Supreme Court Voting Decision Will Have Dire Consequences for Democracy

PRESS RELEASE: July 1, 2021 Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee U.S. Supreme Court Decision: 

The labor movement has always fought for the freedom to vote without discrimination and without intimidation. Today, that freedom was once again attacked by a Supreme Court dead set on unraveling democracy at the workplace and the ballot box. Endorsing the efforts of extremist Arizona lawmakers to silence voters’ voices based on the color of their skin is a stain on the highest court in the land. It also makes it that much more difficult to challenge discriminatory voting laws in the future. 

America’s unions are committed to working with our allies to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the For the People Act and the PRO Act to prevent future attacks on our democratic freedoms.
Trumka: ‘It’s Time to Build’

PRESS RELEASE: June 29, 2021 — Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the ongoing infrastructure talks:

For too long, lip service has been paid to infrastructure without making the investments we need. It’s time to build. The bipartisan infrastructure framework secured by President Biden would be the single greatest infrastructure investment in history and has the potential to create good union jobs and middle-class opportunity. Investing in roads, bridges, transit, rail, climate change mitigation, electric vehicles, clean drinking water, high-speed internet, resilient transmission lines and more would make America a stronger, more competitive nation. The final legislation must ensure infrastructure jobs have full labor protections and nothing in the bill can be used as a backdoor to privatization. We urge Congress and the administration to continue working together to achieve a long-overdue infrastructure breakthrough. And that must be followed quickly by the rest of the multitrillion-dollar Build Back Better Agenda, including the American Families Plan and the PRO Act. 
Ohio AFL-CIO President Burga Joins Sen. Brown to Talk About Recovery, Infrastructure
Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga joined Senator Sherrod Brown and community leaders in Cleveland to celebrate the progress being made in Ohio under President Biden. Happy Dog, a Cleveland institution, re-opened its doors last Friday evening after a year-long hiatus as Ohio continues on the road to recovery because of Democratic-led efforts like the American Rescue Plan.
“The Ohioans I talk to aren’t interested in the division and distraction of the past – they want to know what we’re accomplishing to build a better future. We’ve made progress, but our work is far from over. To continue to make progress, we need all Ohioans to get involved– and we need everyone to have a voice,” said Brown. 
Today, thanks to Democratic leadership, more than 5,000,000 Ohioans have been vaccinated, Ohio businesses like Happy Dog are reopening and Ohioans are looking forward to being able to safely gather with friends and loved ones over the Fourth of July holiday. 
“Working families in Ohio have had a tough year, forced to overcome a lot of obstacles. But now thanks to President Biden, Senator Brown and others, Ohio is back on the road to recovery. And while we’ve made good progress, we know there’s more work left to be done. The way we achieve our goals like passing the PRO Act or passing a meaningful infrastructure package is by organizing and standing together in the face of those who want to come here and try to divide us,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. 
A Breakdown Of The Ohio Biennial Budget From The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio lawmakers finally settled on a $75 billion, two-year spending plan that cuts income taxes, creates a new school funding formula and allows college athletes to make money off their fame.
Ohio lawmakers sent the bipartisan budget to Gov. Mike DeWine Monday evening following an 82-13 vote in the Ohio House and 32-1 vote in the Ohio Senate. Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo was the sole "no" vote in that chamber. DeWine has a deadline: He must sign the bill before Thursday. 
Here are some of the big changes that Ohio lawmakers made.
School funding
One of the biggest challenges of this budget was deciding on a formula for funding Ohio's K-12 public schools. They went with the House plan but made the change effective for just two years.
The House plan changes the way schools get money from the state in a number of significant ways. For example, the state will look at both local incomes and property values to determine how much a district should be able to cover on its own. And their base amount (cost to educate the average kid) will be based on local costs instead of a single, statewide average.
One part of the Senate education plan that did make it into the final budget was an increase in the EdChoice scholarships, often called vouchers. The annual amounts will be going to $5,500 per year for grades K-8 and $7,500 for high school.
“This budget is a huge step forward for Ohio students and schools, but it falls short of a long-term solution to meet our constitutional responsibility to fully and fairly fund Ohio schools. We’re disappointed that legislators chose to expand tax breaks and giveaways for the wealthy rather than fully fund the amount that it takes to provide a quality education to our students," said Ohio Federation of Teachers President and Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary/Treasurer Melissa Cropper. "This, coupled with the expansion of private school vouchers, should make Ohioans ask whether the majority in the legislature cares more about privatizing education than about providing long-term stability for our public schools that educate over 90% of the students in this state.”
Tax cuts and refunds 
Republicans, who control the House and Senate, wanted to cut taxes by different amounts.  They finally landed on an across-the-board income tax cut of 3%. The minimum amount Ohioans can earn before paying any income taxes was also raised to $25,000 a year, and lawmakers eliminated the top income tax bracket for wealthy residents. 
PRO Act Path Forward
Winning Majority Support
The PRO Act passed the House on a bipartisan vote, is a top priority of President Biden, has broad popular public support and is currently cosponsored by 47 U.S. senators. The next and most important step for the PRO Act is majority support in the Senate. That means 50 votes, with Vice President Harris breaking the tie. We are three cosponsors away and there is no scenario where the PRO Act will pass with 47 votes. If you are in a state with one of the 53 holdouts, we are asking you to lobby your senators as hard as possible. We are taking no one of either party for granted and we are writing no one off. We have developed a comprehensive suite of tools to do that. If you are in a state with two PRO Act cosponsors, we are asking you to push them to elevate their public engagement both at home and in Washington so their colleagues will come on board. If you are in a split state, we are asking you to do both of these things simultaneously. And if you are in Alaska, Arizona and Virginia, home to our four most likely additional cosponsors, we are asking you to put on a full court press that ultimately moves these senators to sign on.
Democracy Reform
Given the attacks on voting rights across the country, there is rightfully a lot of attention on democracy reform, particularly the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S.1). This legislation has passed the House and a compromise version is supported by all 50 Democrats in the Senate. However, on June 22, Republican Senators used a procedural tool to block the bill from getting to the floor so it could be debated, and its prospects remain unclear. The fate of the For the People Act and the PRO Act are closely tied together. As President Trumka said in a statement after the Senate blocked S.1: “The For the People Act and the PRO Act would restore democracy to America’s polling places and workplaces after decades of destructive attacks.” The labor, civil rights and broader progressive movements strongly support both pieces of legislation and could form the powerful coalition that is necessary to change business as usual in Washington.
Perhaps nothing represents the status quo more than the Senate filibuster, an arcane rule that allows a minority of senators to block legislation from moving forward. In a March statement, the AFL-CIO Executive Council made clear that policy matters more than procedure. “The AFL-CIO calls on the Senate to work with the president and the House to enact a Workers First Agenda—investment, democracy, freedom and dignity in the workplace and justice in our economy,” the statement read. “But if that proves to be impossible under the Senate’s current rules—we call for swift and necessary changes to those rules so that the will of the people of the United States expressed in the 2020 elections can be turned into the progress our country and our people desperately need.”
The filibuster rule like all rules in the Senate can be changed by a vote of a simple majority. 50 senators. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan passed by 50 votes. The Senate is a 50-vote body. We need to get 50 real votes to pass the PRO Act.
Bottom Line
Our case to change the Senate rules becomes much stronger when our agenda has majority support in that chamber. So the fight for 50 PRO Act cosponsors continues. Once a majority is secured, we can turn our focus exclusively to the remaining roadblocks standing between the American people and the change we voted for.
Pride and the PRO Act: Cleve Jones
PETITION: Stop Elon Musk’s union-busting!
The American Jobs Plan includes a tax credit for electric car manufacturers, but one of the biggest names in the industry is a known union-buster: Elon Musk. Sign this petition to make sure President Joe Biden and Congress include strong union protections in the American Jobs Plan.

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan includes expanding a tax credit for manufacturers of electric vehicles, so long as they are made in America by workers in jobs with good wages and labor standards.
Here’s the problem: The biggest name in electric vehicles doesn’t just use nonunion labor, but he has been fined by the National Labor Relations Board for violating labor laws to prevent union organizing.
That’s right: Elon Musk is a union-buster.
So we can’t let anyone, not even the second-richest man in America, pressure President Biden and Congress into removing protections for unions.
In Solidarity,
TA Reached!
Nurses Reach Tentative Deal with UC Medical Center
CINCINNATI – The Registered Nurses Association (RNA) at UC Medical Center, a local unit of the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) national affiliate, reached a tentative agreement with the Medical Center.

The agreement seeks to address important staffing and nurse retention and recruitment issues raised by the nurses in negotiations since April 26th. The agreement will be voted on by the nurses July 7th and 8th.

“We fought hard for UC Medical Center to recognize the importance of nurse recruitment and retention, and its relation to safe nurse staffing. Because of these efforts, the tentative three-year deal includes a commitment on the Medical Center’s part to write their staffing plans to nationally recognized nurse to patient ratios. This is a win for patient safety, the Cincinnati community and nurses” stated Michelle Thoman, RNA President. The contract includes wage increases with an average increase of 8.8% in the first year of the contract and some nurses receiving salary increases up to 25% over the course of 3 years. The agreement contractually requires the Medical Center to tie incentives to nurse-to-patient ratios rewarding nurses who work extra shifts to achieve those ratios.

The union’s current agreement has been extended until July 8th, 2021. If ratified, the new agreement would be retroactive to July 1, 2021.

RNA consists of 1700 registered nurses. 
Join Us For Our Labor Day Picnic at Coney Island Park!
Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends,
We’re pleased to inform you that the 2021 Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic will be held once again this year on September 6th at Coney Island.
As you know, this is the largest event of its kind in the country. The picnic celebrates union working men and women and draws approximately 20,000 people each year. The 2021 Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic program book helps to finance the event, which highlights local unions, union employers, and affiliated businesses and services, and it is an excellent way to introduce your organization to union members and working families.
I am writing to ask you to consider purchasing ad space in our 2021 program book.

A rate sheet/order form is enclosed for your review as well as sample ads from last year’s program book. You may submit your artwork to the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, 1385 Tennessee Avenue, 2nd floor, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229 and electronically to Checks should be made payable to the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council.
We also invite you to attend and participate in our Labor Day festivities. I hope you, your family, and your friends are able to join us to celebrate working families. Thank you for your consideration and support with the Labor Day picnic. If you have any questions, please email Brian Griffin at or call him at (513) 421-1846 x5.
In unity and solidarity…
Bill Froehle,
President, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council
Business Manager, Plumbers, Pipefitters, & MES Local 392
U.S Senator Sherrod Brown: Working For Working People!
COPE Dinner 2021: Save the Date


6:00 pm Reception and
7:00 pm Dinner.

Details of Place and Keynote Speaker Coming SOON!!!
Ohio AFL-CIO: Southwest Field Rep Update
Congratulations ONA-AFT @ UC!
Brothers and sisters, Our ONA nurses at UC recently had a tough contact negotiation. Through community action and education, our Nurses were able to stand firm against UC and their Anti-union attacks. As of June 30,2021 a Tentative agreement has been reached and will be voted on by the ONA-AFT membership July 7, 2021. (see Statement from Nurses) Congratulations to our nurses for reaching their T.A. and thank you to all who “liked & shared”, leafleted and displayed yard signs! 
Pro Act
Pro Act Summary: The Pro Act (H.R. 842) passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 225-206 by the 117th congress On March 9, 2021. The bill is at a stand still in the Senate. The National AFL-CIO has revamped their efforts to fight for the key bill by asking affiliates to contact all 100 Senators to Pass the Pro Act. In Ohio specifically, we are targeting Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown. The Passage of the Pro Act would strengthen unions, penalize employers for violating labor laws and eliminate ALL Right to Work laws. There is a big push for the Pro Act week of Action which will begin July 17-July 25. Please stay tuned for an update of events and actions available during the week of action!
PRO Act Actions
PRO Act Community Canvass: On Saturday July 17, 2021 @ 11 am- 1pm, the Cincinnati AFL-CIO will be kicking off the Pro Act week of action with a massive community wide canvass to educate our union households and neighbors about the importance of the Pro Act. The Event will take place at the IUPAT (200 Kovach Dr. Cincinnati, Ohio 45215) This is our opportunity to increase awareness and support for this pivotal bill. Refreshments will be available to volunteers and participants. Come out and help us get the Pro Act Passed!
PRO Act Week of Action: From July 17- July 25, the Ohio AFL-CIO and the all the Central Labor Councils from around the state will be hosting PRO Act events through out the week! Look out for weekly updates on the upcoming Cincinnati AFL-CIO Actions!
Pro Act Postcards: PRO ACT POSTCARDS ARE IN! We have added a new action for the Pro act campaign. We have a postcard campaign geared toward our Ohio senators. The paid postage postcards are available at the CLC or you can order at any time! Every Postcard order made will contain half Sen. Portman postcard and half Sen. Brown post cards. Follow the link to request postcards today!:

Call In: We are mobilizing and organizing members to participate in the Pro Act campaign by calling our Senators and telling them to Support the Pro Act. Please Call your Legislator and urge them to PASS THE PRO ACT.                
 To Participate, Please Call 866-832-1560 and tell your Senators to PASS THE PRO ACT! 
Letter to the Editor (LTE): We are mobilizing and organizing members to participate in the Pro Act campaign by submitting Letters to the Editors to local Newspapers across the State. If interested please see attached file for Letter templates! 
PRO Act Informational meetings: We are mobilizing and organizing members through education. If you would like to organize a Pro Act Informational or want a short Pro Act presentation at your next Local union meeting, Please Contact me to set up the event.
Follow the Bill: If you are interested in following the PRO Act (HR 842) through Congress, Please Click HERE! 
Labor 2021
Everyday we get closer to Election Day 2021. As we progress toward that day, we must continue to build and strengthen our Labor 2021 program. In order to build that program, we need to hit 3 big objectives by August. We must….
1. Update our L.U.C Database
We can start this process by identify local union coordinators (L.U.C’s), Political coordinators and organizers willing to learn and organize their communities and unions. This comes as a follow-up after our most robust L.U.C round up last year that contributed to the big Presidential win last November.

We can continue this trend of successful elections as long as we continue to build our Local Union Coordinator Database. If your Union has a new or existing: political director(s), LPC(s) or Political organize(s), please Email or contact me!
 2. Get members registered to Vote!
 With the end of the first phase of Labor 2021, I wanted to take the opportunity to encourage Leaders, Members and Activists to distribute voter registration forms and links to their unions and communities. As you know, the key to winning elections is voter power! Lets build that power by getting our friends and family registered. Please download voter registration or request forms from the CLC today! 

3. Educate members about our endorsed candidates.
  After endorsements have completed, we will have actions and flyers with our slate of Labor endorsed candidates. I will also have a campaign plan submitted for the CLC to follow through out the Labor 2021 campaign!
Check Out Our Latest Medicare Webinars!
Medicare isn't just for retirees—in fact, many people over age 65 receive more benefits and coverage by enrolling in a Medicare plan while they are still working.

Every month, my team and I host a series of free webinars for people who are approaching retirement to learn about Medicare. Best of all, when you attend, you can ask questions and get personalized answers in real time.
Join my team at one of our webinars where we will cover the basics of Medicare, including:

• Coverage and costs for Medicare Part A & Part B
• Plan options for employees working past age 65
• How Medicare compares to employer group coverage
• Early retirement health insurance options

…and more!

For your convenience, we've included an informational flyer for you to share with employees, clients, and anyone else who needs to learn about these important topics. Please let me know if you have any questions about the series or how I can serve as a Medicare resource.
A life turned around - thanks to you.
Dear Community Friends,

When Major first came to us, he was barely getting by.
With a felony on his record from his 20’s, he was limited to certain jobs and paid just $9/hour.

When he contracted COVID-19, he suffered anxiety and sought help from one of our partners, Talbert House. A caseworker there gave Major the support he needed and helped him think about what could be next. Our LIFT program fit the bill.

LIFT (Logistics, Inventory Management, Facilities Management and Transportation) offers an opportunity for unemployed and underemployed adults to become trained in a growing field, providing essential job skills.

Major was driven to succeed in LIFT and received several coveted certifications upon graduation. With guidance from Freestore Foodbank staff, he started a new career in inventory control at Verst Logistics, starting at $16/hour with benefits.

This story is made possible thanks to dedicated supporters like you who help us to not only provide essential food, but to also get to the root causes of hunger—giving people the help they need to go from crisis to stability.

At graduation, Major let us know he’s grateful to the organizations and people who helped him get to this exciting place in his life. That includes YOU, and we’re thankful.

— Freestore Foodbank

1141 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Phone: 513-482-4500
© 2021 Freestore Foodbank, All rights reserved.
Repairing the Post-Pandemic Economy
Dear friends,

Those hardest hit by the pandemic were those who could least afford it: people earning lower salaries.

This is probably of little surprise, but some of the national survey data we accessed paints a troubling portrait for those earning low incomes. In April, more than a year into the pandemic:

Our 211 helpline received nearly 21,000 calls from Jan. 1 to May 31. That is almost 5,000 more than during the same period of 2020. The main reason people called was for help with housing. The second most frequent reason was income support/assistance. 

I relay these numbers to communicate that even as the health effects of the pandemic subside, the economic effects still rage. As an organization committed to the financial well-being of all families in our community, we have much work to do. When families thrive, our community thrives.

We continue our recovery and revitalization efforts. We will be intentional in supporting equitable recovery and addressing current gaps so all families buffer future setbacks on their own.

Please join us on this journey! Your support enables us to impact our community in great ways. 


Moira Weir
United Way of Greater Cincinnati

News From Our Partners in Safety at
The Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training
OSHA issued a COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)

The ETS was officially filed in the Office of the Federal Register on June 17, 2021, and it became effective when it was published on June 21, 2021.
U.S. Department of Labor Announces Availability of More Than $21M in Grants for Training on Workplace Hazards, Infectious Diseases

The U.S. Department of Labor announced funding opportunities for more than $21 million in Occupational Safety and Health Administration training grants for non-profit organizations. The first availability will provide $10 million under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the Coronavirus grants. Applications are due July 19.
Toxic chemicals in beauty products commonly used by and marketed to people of color could be contributing to racial health inequities.

So say researchers and community groups studying chemicals in consumer goods, arguing that the term "environmental justice," which has gained prominence in recent years to describe how communities of color bear larger pollution burdens, should be expanded to include exposure from toxic beauty products.  
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses (HRIs) and preparing employees for warmer weather is critical to creating a sustainable, healthy workforce during warmer months. In this article in Occupational Health & Safety Online, Reed Erickson highlights the symptoms of HRIs, and preventative steps that can be taken.
Global Confirm ─ 182,377,702

Global Deaths ─ 3,949,761

U.S. Confirmed ─ 33,669,341

U.S. Deaths ─ 604,874

Global Map        U.S. Map
NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) Resources
NEW Fact Sheet: Selection and Use of Portable Air Cleaners to Protect Workers from Exposure to SARS-CoV-2

WTP released a new fact sheet on selection and use of portable air cleaners. The fact sheet provides guidance to help employers, building operators, and union officials select and use portable air cleaners to remove virus-contaminated air in indoor spaces.

Building Programs to Protect Workers from COVID-19 in the Workplace Resource Now Available in Spanish

The WTP resource, Building Programs to Protect Workers from COVID-19 in the Workplace, is now available in Spanish. The goal of the resource is to increase health and safety awareness for workers to prevent potential exposure to COVID-19. Available as a pdf and ppt.
COVID-19 Dashboard

ODH is making COVID-19 data available for public review while also protecting patient privacy.

The State of Ohio COVID-19 Dashboard displays the most recent preliminary data reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) about cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Ohio by selected demographics and county of residence. Data for cases and hospitalizations is reported to ODH via the Ohio Disease Reporting System (ODRS), and verified mortality data is reported via the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS).

Below are the current reporting trends from Thursday, July 1 for key indicators calculated from data reported to the Ohio Department of Health. These trends are updated daily and are presented by report date.
Below is a snapshot of key metrics pulled Thursday, July 1 from daily data reporting to the Ohio Department of Health. These metrics are updated daily.
Hamilton County
Clermont County
Brown County
Butler County
Warren County
Other News For and About Working People: