Labor Council

Saturday, January 22, 2022
This Week's Messages from AFL-CIO President, Liz Shuler
Working people across the country—from growing industries to mainstay American companies—are joining together to demand better. The next step is to channel that energy into successful organizing efforts and growing our ranks.

As we celebrate all our accomplishments over the past year with President Biden in office, the Senate’s failure to protect voting rights was a setback for us. But we’re not giving up.

We’ve got important work to do. We’re not shying away from the big challenges facing workers right now. We’re going to overcome them together, head on, like the labor movement always does.
It is deeply disappointing that just days after our nation paid homage to the great civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., critical legislation that would have strengthened our elections and ensured the right of every person to cast our vote was actively blocked in the Senate.

These were the same tactics that some, as Dr. King put it, “misguided senators” used to block civil rights legislation more than 50 years ago. We should expect that our leaders are capable of learning from the past and won’t get in the way of progress.

This year and beyond, we will put the full force of our federation behind efforts to defeat racist voter suppression tactics and secure voting rights for working people nationwide.
Secretary-Treasurer Redmond Helps Launch Initiative to Promote Hiring Equity
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond joined members of the Biden administration and others earlier today for a virtual roundtable to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and launch the Hiring Initiative to Reimagine Equity (HIRE). A joint effort of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, HIRE will engage a wide range of stakeholders to expand access to good jobs and address key hiring and recruiting challenges. The initiative will also identify strategies to remove hiring barriers along the lines of race, color, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ status, religion, disability, age and veteran status.

“The pandemic has pulled back the curtain. It is revealing the cracks. It’s putting the inequities and injustices of our systems on full display,” Redmond said at the roundtable discussion. “We have the opportunity to make sure that we don’t just recover from the pandemic, but that the recovery is equitable. And that starts with equitable hiring practices."
One Year After Biden’s Inauguration, AFL-CIO Celebrates Advances for Working People
Union members across the country went all out during the 2020 campaign to elect a pro-worker president to the White House. And over the past year, the Biden–Harris administration has been delivering for America’s workers. From the passage of the American Rescue Plan to the enactment of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the labor movement has made real progress working in partnership with this administration.
Here are just some of the other advances we’ve achieved in the last year:

  • President Biden fired the anti-worker National Labor Relations Board general counsel and installed a pro-worker majority on the board.
  • Union member Marty Walsh (LIUNA) was appointed to serve as secretary of labor.
  • The Biden–Harris administration created the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment.
  • President Biden used his bully pulpit to advance the causes of the labor movement, including calling for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, supporting workers’ right to organize at Amazon and calling out Kellogg’s corporate greed during an active strike.
  • More of President Biden’s lower court judicial nominees were confirmed in his first year than any president since John Kennedy.
  • President Biden appointed more Black women to the U.S. Court of Appeals than any president in history.

As we look to the future, our sights are set on passing the Build Back Better Act, reforming America’s outdated labor laws, and protecting our basic rights and freedoms. Our job is far from over, and we’re ready to continue making progress for all working people in this country.
Make sure our Labor-friendly candidates are on the ballot!
Union Members Working at USPS Ready to Deliver Millions of COVID-19 Test Kits
The Biden administration has announced a program to mail up to 500 million at-home COVID-19 test kits to every household that requests them. These kits could be mailed to as many as 160 million addresses. Union members who work for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will be critical to the success of the program. You can order free COVID-19 test kits through
“The APWU is excited and fully supports this plan,” said American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President Mark Dimondstein. “It is in the interests of the health and wellbeing of the general population as this dangerous pandemic continues. It underscores the invaluable role of the public Postal Service in the lives of the people. It shines a light on the importance of maintaining universal service to every address and person.”
“The ongoing pandemic has proven beyond a shadow of doubt the critical importance of the services we provide six and seven days a week to keep people connected and essentials moving,” National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) President Fredric Rolando said. “This partnership is the perfect example in action. Letter carriers are proud to be the face of this important initiative as we continue serving all communities equitably.”
The National Postal Mail Handlers Union-LIUNA (NPMHU-LIUNA) stated: “This pilot provides Mail Handlers with the opportunity to perform an essential Public Health Service to the American Public in our battle against the coronavirus pandemic. Mail Handlers are proud to be a part of these critical efforts.”
Members Join Together For The AFL-CIO MLK, Jr. Annual Conference
The AFL-CIO finished its two-day virtual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Conference Monday 1/17 where union members joined to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, and vowed to advance his call to protect the right to vote and ensure every eligible voter is able to cast their ballot.
“We must not give up or be complacent or complicit” about subverting, voting rights, Vice President Kamala Harris told the MLK conference. “We must not give up and we must not give in.”
Take action now to urge the Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, even if that means sidelining the filibuster for this important protection of our freedom to vote.
VP Harris was joined by Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, actor Michael B. Jordan, Judge Greg Mathis and musicians Yolanda Adams, Tom Morello, PJ Morton and Brittney Spencer performed over the two days.
“We are living in a crisis, facing serious attacks on voting rights, civil rights, and workers’ rights. And the fate of our democracy hangs in the balance,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, said.
In a statement yesterday, Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga reiterated these calls to action." Dr. King’s unwavering belief that a more perfect union lies at the intersection of societal equality and workplace democracy laid the foundation for the AFL-CIO’s mission to achieve economic and social justice. To this day, the trade union movement embodies this belief as we see in the renewed effort to empower workers through new organizing campaigns and fair contracts, while testifying and marching for equality, civil rights and voter protections."
Billboards Appear in 23 Ohio Counties Promoting President Biden's Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
In December, Congress passed President Biden's historic bipartisan infrastructure bill, which a Georgetown University study estimates will bring over 560,000 direct jobs to Ohio.
The Ohio AFL-CIO has secured billboards thanking President Biden and the Ohio members of Congress who voted YES on this massive jobs bill.
Already, 23 counties have had these billboards appear this month. An additional nine billboards are set to go live later this month thanking Ohio members of Congress for voting yes on the bill. U.S. Representatives appearing on a billboard will be Tim Ryan, Shontel Brown, Marcy Kaptur, Joyce Beatty and Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.
The Ohio AFL-CIO is committed to supporting lawmakers who will work to bring good, union jobs to our state. As Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga pointed out immediately after the passage of the legislation, "This bill created the largest investment ever in upgrading America’s roads, bridges, water pipes and broadband in history, with union jobs being at the center.
Above is our Greater Cincinnati Area Billboard... The billboard, is located off I-75 near the Hopple Street Exit. Go have a look, and when you do, get a selfie of you with the sign in the background and we'll run it in the weekly and in our social media! Send them to
Ohio Supreme Court Throws Out Both Gerrymandered Federal and State Legislative Maps: Commission Met Wednesday 1/19
Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled both the state legislative and congressional maps as passed by Ohio Republicans as unconstitutional.
The state legislature is tasked with redoing the Congressional maps and has 30 days to pass a new map consistent with the constitutional amendment passed by Ohio voters.  If the legislature cannot pass a map in a bipartisan manner, the Redistricting Commission will then have another 30 days to convene and pass a constitutional map.
While the legislature has ample time to work on the Congressional map, the Redistricting Commission must agree to a state legislative map by this Friday at which time the Supreme Court will review it for compliance. The Commission held their first hearing Wednesday. While the meeting was brief, some important steps were taken.

  1. During the first round of state legislative map making, two Republicans (Speaker of the House Bob Cupp and Senate President Matt Huffman) controlled their own data to draw the map and did not share that data with the rest of the Commission. Today, in bi-partisan fashion the Commission agreed to use a singular data source from elections dating 2016-2020.
  2. Commission member Secretary of State Frank LaRose said he is committed to a May 3rd Primary, but said without maps very soon that becomes "mechanically impossible."
  3. Governor Mike DeWine reiterated the desire of the Supreme Court which is to have a map that reflects the vote of Ohioans, which means about 53 Republican leaning seats and 46 Democrat leaning seats, as specified in Section 6 of the Constitutional amendment.
The End of Work: The current work crunch at hospitals is the tip of a much larger iceberg
by Robert Reich
Across America, hospitals are pushed to the limit because so many health care workers have quit just as Omicron is surging.

But hospitals aren’t alone, and Omicron isn’t the only culprit. We’re witnessing one of the most profound changes in the American labor force in a half century, at least since middle-class women entered paid work in large numbers during the 1970s. Only this time, women and men aren’t entering work. Many are leaving it (or at least, the way work has been organized).

For decades, work has had a total grip on most people's lives because there have been so few alternatives to either working full time (often 50 or 60 hours a week, sometimes at two or more jobs), or not working at all and worrying about making ends meet. Instead of working to live, most of us have been living to work.

Yet in recent months there’s been something of a sea change. The so-called “quit rate” of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs has reached record levels. The labor-force participation rate (the percent of people of working age who are in the workforce) is remarkably low for this point in a recovery. More workers are on strike than at any comparable period in the last thirty years.

As secretary of labor, I used to hear people complain that they needed more work or better pay. Now, I’m hearing lots of people say “I don’t want to work this hard any more,” or “I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend the rest of my life in this rat race,” or “They can’t pay me enough to sacrifice my life like this,” or “I want to be in control of my life.”
The GenZ’s I teach are even more adamant about not devoting their lives to work. “Life is too short” — they tell me.

The pandemic has surfaced many issues that have been smoldering for years -- mandatory overtime, stagnant wages, dangerous working conditions, insecure employment, employment discrimination, and lack of paid sick leave or paid family leave.

It has also forced -- or allowed -- many people to reconsider what they want from work and from their lives.

Donald Sull, Charles Sull, and Ben Zweig recently conducted a massive study of workplace data for the MIT Sloan Management Review, including more than a million Glassdoor reviews. What are employees complaining about at companies losing the most workers in this tsunami of resignations? Interestingly, not mainly pay. Complaints about pay ranked 16th of the issues that predict quits. The biggest predictor is a toxic culture – workplaces that fail to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; that don’t make workers feel respected and valued; and make them to feel insecure. No one likes to be underpaid. But it turns out people like disrespect and insecurity even less. 

When Australian researchers recently reviewed data on more than 1,000 workers, they discovered that working for a companies that “fail to reward or acknowledge their employees for hard work, impose unreasonable demands on workers, and do not give them autonomy” triples the odds that workers will suffer major depression. 

I’m no soothsayer, but as I look ahead I’m fairly certain we’re going to see companies and nonprofits moving toward more flexible work, autonomous work, and mandatory limits on work hours. They have no choice if they want to recruit and retain reliable employees.

We’re also going to see far more self-employment, more people moving to locales around the country where housing is cheaper, and, in general, more of us seeking to simplify our lives.

I also expect increasing demands for public policies that reduce the amount of time we have to spend working and give us more control of our own labor – such as a universal basic income, a ban on mandatory overtime, a shorter workweek, paid sick leave and paid family leave, and more tax incentives for profit sharing and self-employment.
We’re not facing the end of work, but we are facing the end of work as we know it. It’s about time.

Robert Reich
Former United States Secretary of Labor
2022 is Here by Fred Lampe
Happy New Year! Can you believe how fast time passes? The Holidays have come and gone. I took the Christmas lights down yesterday. Santa was good to me and my family. I hope you can say the same. Let’s hope our optimism for a steady amount of work in 2022 proves to be fulfilled. We thought we may have gotten past this COVID mess, but a new variant has created more chaos and a dramatic rise in infections.

My doctor took blood during my physical and is checking for the antibodies just to see if I may have had the virus already. She is also looking for sugar levels, vitamin D level, Cholesterol and all the other stuff that is trying to kill me. She even had to increase my blood pressure medicine which I am convinced is directly related to the stress of writing these articles.

I usually try to keep these alleged words of wisdom from dragging you down but my topic for this month is the Memorial Wall we have at IBEW Local 212 honoring all the members who have gone before us. Activate Clinic is in our building in Sharonville. The whole idea is to provide proactive healthcare to our members. Plumbers, Pipefitters & MES Local 392 also has an Activate Clinic in Northern Kentucky. The two work in partnership with each other to the benefit of both 212 and 392 members. After my appointment I stopped in to visit the 212 staff. One of our younger Business Agents and I ended up standing near the wall and telling stories about people we recognized.

The truth is, everyone memorialized on that wall is a building block to what IBEW Local 212 is today. Each name listed has a story to tell. Some were Officers & Business Agents. Most simply went to work every day as a member of the IBEW. As is my custom, I will not thank those instrumental in creating this wall by name because I would be afraid to leave someone out.

Let this shout out convey how much your work is appreciated. It should be noted however, that it took a tremendous amount of work to bring this project to fruition. I can’t give you total hours of research or hours of labor to build the board and engrave the placards, but you know it was a lot. I am aware of one retiree who spent countless days going through meeting minutes and various other sources of information to develop a list and a timeline of those who have gone before us.

Truly a labor of love. My impression is society has taken a bit more positive view of dying than what I remember as a kid. The celebration of a life well lived seems more common nowadays than a very somber tone in the funeral home. I would like to think this memorial wall invokes those kinds of feelings for most. It certainly does for me. I look at the names with gratitude and respect for the brothers and sisters who laid the foundation for what I enjoy today. At my age, I know way too many of the names listed.

Even worse, I am closer to having my name on the wall than I am to the year I started in the trade. But that’s OK, it has been one heck of a ride. I think room on this one is due to run out in the 2030s, so my goal is to make to the next wall. That’s not too much to ask, is it? I am only 62. Not every craft is in a position to create a Memorial Wall but please do what you can to honor those who came before us. We owe it to them.

Fred Lampe
Executive Secretary/Cincinnati Building Trades
Working Girl Sticks to the Union by Alberta L. Hemsley
After I finished a stint in the Philippines with the Peace Corps, I took a job as a Preparator in Paleobotany at the Yale University Museum of Natural History. I loved the work and the lectures to visiting classes of children, but I was dismayed that I was paid $2,000 less than any male doing similar work. The only difference was that I had my science degree and no male did.  

So I resolved to go into teaching where men and women were paid the same amount based on experience and special training. I have never regretted going into teaching. I have now taught for some 50 years, with 7 years abroad in 5 different countries on 4 continents. I have loved working abroad and exploring the world when I was healthy enough to get around and enjoy it.  

As part of a divorce arrangement, I moved to Cincinnati and started working for the Cincinnati Public Schools. I was stunned to discover that as a single person, I could afford to live without the added security of my spouse’s income.  

At one point I moved to Withrow High School, where my classroom was incredibly distant from the 100 faculty there. I immediately became the Building Representative for the next 18 years. I helped set up an arrangement where our faculty became trained in computers with Cincinnati Country Day School as both schools moved into the Age of Technology.

My two children finished their high school years in the Cincinnati Area. Along the way, both kids had a year in Finland, and another year in the Netherlands. My daughter came with me for a part of a year after finishing Northwestern University to Venezuela, and then moved to Seattle. Jenny began a stint working for Bill Gates and his international programs.   

When my son finished CalTech, he asked his sister where he should move, and she definitely recommended Seattle to him. David began a 23 year relationship with Microsoft.

Jenny married and had two little boys. David was happy with his computer work. I looked into moving to Seattle to be near my children and grandchildren. I had National Boards in Chemistry and was very employable, but working as a teacher in Seattle meant that I would take a $35,000 pay cut to move to be at the top of the teacher’s scale!

Then my daughter and her family moved to Tucson. Again, I looked to move, and faced a $35,000 pay cut.

Now my daughter’s family has moved to San Diego, and once again moving meant $35,000 less.  

I highly recommend teaching as a profession to folks, but then settle in with teachers who have a union.  

I am retired now, and the health and retirement benefits are crucial to my comfortable lifestyle. Go Union!

Alberta L. Hemsley
It’s time to make the expanded CTC permanent 
New reports show that recently the percentage of Ohio children living in poverty was its lowest in decades.

This is a direct result of efforts in Congress to lift up working families and put money straight in their pockets, so their hard work can finally pay off and they can keep up with the high cost of raising a family.

And ever since President Biden entered the White House and Democrats won back the Senate, we’ve built on those efforts by putting working families front and center of every policy and every piece of legislation. That’s why the American Rescue Plan included the largest tax cuts for working families ever with a dramatic expansion of the Child Tax Credit.

The CTC gave parents a tax cut every month -- a family in Franklin County used the tax cut to pay for child care so they could go back to work. 

I’m working to extend the expanded Child Tax Credit, and I need your help.

With gratitude,

Sherrod Brown
U.S. Senator
U.S Senator Sherrod Brown: Working For Working People!
Why I Wear My Mask In Public
NKU Alternative Dispute Resolution Center: Quarterly Speaker Series
Negotiate Like a Pro
Learn powerful methods to boost your success

Cost: $50 per registrant
Date: February 4, 2022 | 8:00AM - 2:00PM (in-person)
Must register by January 28, 2022

Whether you are a company principal, lawyer, executive, or project manager negotiations are critical to a project’s success. Even with years of experience, we're often left with questions about the effectiveness of our negotiations. Could I have gotten more from the deal? Have I or my client been taken advantage of? Will the deal last? One of the most powerful tools you can have is the ability to negotiate with confidence. Upon completion of this seminar, participants will be able to: plan for effective negotiation, analyze potential clients, and turn a bargaining session into a more positive outcome for you, your client and your company. This training builds on your existing negotiation experience to improve your future performance. No one is born a great negotiator. It's a skill that must be learned and practiced. This seminar will provide you with a variety of practical strategies to become a successful negotiator.
7 Ways to Start the Year off Right. Register now for upcoming FMCS Institute courses!
Training for the real-world challenges of labor-management relations and organizational change.

Don't wait! The FMCS Institute's 2022 courses will provide you with the opportunity to expand your conflict resolution and organizational change toolkit by introducing a diverse lineup of targeted and hands-on programs brought to you by experienced instructors and practitioners. Register today for some of our most in-demand courses. 

Funny You Should Ask - The Art of Inquiry (Online) February 2, 9, and 16

Negotiation Skills (Online) Spring 2022 

Negotiation Skills (Online) Summer 2022 

Arbitrating in the Federal Sector (Online) Spring 2022 

Arbitrating in the Federal Sector (Online) Summer 2022 
An Update From Freestore Foodbank
We hope the new year is treating you fairly and you're staying healthy!

Freestore Foodbank has come a long way in 50 years and we have our generous donors, participants, volunteers, and staff to thank!
We’re starting this year with a renewed sense of hope. We know that things will still be challenging, especially for our neighbors who continue to face financial hardship and struggle to put food on the table. That’s why your help is critical.

Through events like MLK Day's Food Distribution Day Freestore Foodbank continues our support efforts from last year—where we distributed nearly 750,000 pounds of food to 12,500 families.

We are looking for groups (up to 8 team members in a group) to come and help out at the Liberty Street Market. At least one group each week for about 2 - 3 hours to help bag frozen meat. The pre-packaged meat will be distributed to families when they shop for groceries. Shift times can be anytime between 9 am - 3:30 pm, Monday - Friday. You can reach out to me to schedule your team to volunteer at the Liberty Street Market located at 112 E. Liberty Street; 45202. Individuals are welcomed as well and can sign up by going HERE.

Tax season is just around the corner and tax preparers are needed. Here is another way to give back to the community by assisting customers with their taxes. Let us know if you are interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity.

There are still openings available to help glean and pack produce for our Freestore Direct program. As you may recall, this is a home delivery program to ensure that families who are homebound can receive the food and produce they need. Shift times are 8 am to 10:30 am, Monday - Friday; up to 4 volunteers are needed each day/shift. This volunteer activity is listed on our volunteer website as Distribution Ctr.- Tennessee Ave. Freestore Direct Please reach out to Carolyn Frank at or 513-482-7550 if you have additional questions about this volunteer activity or the program.

Thanks again for your dedication to our community. We hope our accomplishments have brightened your day—your generosity sure does brighten ours! As always, we thank you in advance for your consideration and continued support.

We hope to see you very soon!

With gratitude,

Trisha Rayner
Vice President & Chief Development Officer
Freestore Foodbank

P.S. Please consider making a monthly gift so your generosity can be felt and appreciated throughout the year!
From The The New York Times 
(as Friday, January 21 - 5:30 PM)

  • There have been at least 860,000 deaths in the United States.
  • More than 69 million cases in all 50 states, U.S. territories and Washington, D.C., have been reported.
  • Globally, there have been more than 340 million cases and more than 5.57 million deaths confirmed.
  • More than 9.81 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.
COVID-19 Dashboard
Ohio Vaccination Dashboard

The COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard displays the most recent data reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) regarding the number of individuals that have started and completed the COVID-19 vaccination series by various demographics and county of residence.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard displays the most recent data reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) regarding the number of individuals that have started and completed the COVID-19 vaccination series by various demographics and county of residence. “Vaccination started” indicates that the individual has received at least one valid dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The number listed as “vaccination completed” is a subset of the number included in “vaccination started,” indicating that those individuals within that group have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses and are considered fully immunized. ODH is making COVID-19 data available for public review while also protecting privacy. This dashboard will be updated daily. Please see footnotes below for more details.

Ohio 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).
Current Trends
Below is a snapshot of key metrics pulled Friday, January 21 from daily data reporting to the Ohio Department of Health. These metrics are updated daily.
Below are the current reporting trends from Friday, January 21 for key indicators calculated from data reported to the Ohio Department of Health. These trends are updated daily and are presented by report date.
Hamilton County
Clermont County
Brown County
Butler County
Warren County
Other News For and About Working People: