Labor Council

Saturday, January 29, 2022
This Week's Messages from AFL-CIO President, Liz Shuler
We’ve been through a lot together these past few years. And right now, working people are hungry for change. We’re speaking up, taking risks and using our power.

And we’re keeping our foot on the accelerator to get the Build Back Better Act over the finish line because it’s going to rebalance our economy and create new opportunities for every worker in America.

We know how hard you’ve been working to empower our members. Together, we are mobilizing, we are organizing and we’re getting the job done.
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.
Rapidly changing technologies are transforming workplaces and altering jobs in almost every industry across the country.

The technological revolution poses real challenges for working people—but we’re seizing this opportunity to put workers at the center of our economy.

Our labor movement has always adapted to changes in work, and this generation is no different. All workers deserve a voice on the job, and by putting organizing front and center, America’s unions can ensure the future economy means good union jobs for millions more workers.
The Women Leading Today’s Historic Labor Movement
The labor movement saw an un-precedented, uproarious resurgence in 2021, as workplace strikes be-came commonplace throughout the country in what’s being referred to as a historic employee uprising. As the pandemic continues to evolve, leaving in its wake the worst U.S. recession in history with millions of people still out of jobs, employers across industries are facing acute labor shortages. Why? In short, be-cause swaths of people have left their pre-COVID positions in pursuit of more money, more flexibility, and generally better quality of life in an especially fraught time. According to the Labor Department, four mil-lion people quit their jobs in April of 2021 alone, while those who’ve remained are shown to be joining unions and organizing in ways they perhaps previously hadn’t.

Despite decades of declining membership, labor unions are currently seeing their highest approval ratings in the United States since 1965, according to a recent Gallup poll. Given that issues like pay, benefits, paid sick time, paid fam-ily leave, minimum staffing levels, schedule flexibility, mental health, and workplace safety have become increasingly urgent in the midst of the pandemic, women and femmes have emerged as union leaders across industries like never before, playing pivotal roles in some of the 45+ labor strikes since August tracked by Bloomberg Law. This should come as little surprise, as the Economic Policy Institute found that women in unions are paid more than their non-union counterparts, and that collective bargaining has also aided in lessening pay gaps for workers of color. Of course, women and femmes have also historically been leaders of, and active participants in, the country’s labor movement.

Among this decade’s most visible leaders are Liz Shuler, recently named the first female president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest U.S. union federation; Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA); Crystal Dunn, vice president and secretary of the U.S. Women’s National Team Players’ Association, who has been charged with spearheading negotiations for a new labor contract; and Mary Kay Henry, the leader of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
America’s Parents Overwhelmingly Support Teachers, Their Unions, and Public Education
A supermajority of U.S. parents give their public schools and teachers top marks for their tireless efforts to respond to the challenges of COVID-19, according to a new poll. Overall, 72% of parents surveyed said their school provided excellent or good-quality education, and 78% endorsed the quality and performance of their teachers, up seven points from 2013. The survey of more than 1,300 public school parents also showed approval of teachers unions soaring to record highs, mirroring increased support for the labor movement as a whole.
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten said the poll confirmed what she has seen in her months of school visits throughout the country. “Parents value educators’ heroic actions to help their kids through COVID and view them as partners to keep schools open safely and deliver the social, emotional and academic support kids need,” she said. “This polling shows the virus is our enemy, not each other. Parents are saying teachers are heroes for their efforts during this pandemic and they deeply value how their public schools have gone above and beyond to help their kids recover and thrive.”
Statement of Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga on the Ohio Redistricting Commission’s Latest Legislative Map
Last weekend, the Ohio Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission disregarded the ruling of the Ohio Supreme Court and passed gerrymandered maps again along party lines.
It is expected that the plaintiffs that brought the litigation will file an objection to these maps, whereby the Ohio Supreme Court has obtained jurisdictional right of review.
In response to the Commission’s latest legislative map, Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga issued the following statement:
"Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission continue their inexcusable intransigence on what Ohio voters and the Ohio Supreme Court have made very clear, that the maps this commission produces must be fair.
"This latest version of their undemocratic power grab is an affront to the voters who overwhelmingly required these fair maps, and it is ignorant of an equally clear ruling issued by the highest court in the state. This unending charade is demonstrative of what has become of the Republican Party in Ohio. Devoid of any policies that help working people, Ohio Republicans are trying to distort the will of Ohio citizens as a last resort to hold on to their unjustified majorities."
Kroger's UFCW Workers Approve New Contract After Nine-Day Strike!
More than 8,000 UFCW workers ratify contract that gives them wage increases and better healthcare and pension benefits
More than 8,000 workers at Kroger Co. KR +2.34% ’s King Soopers grocery stores ratified a new three-year contract following a nine-day strike in Denver.

The new agreement includes higher wages for King Soopers employees, with some receiving increases of more than $5 per hour, according to United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, which represents King Soopers workers in Colorado. Unionized workers will also receive better healthcare and pension benefits, the union said.

Expect Great Things In Cincinnati . . .
by Dave Baker
There is much to be excited about in this time of constant negativity. When we listen to the television, radio or social media we are consistently bombarded by the next round of bad news. Everything from the Omicron variant to the constant barrage of political bulls#!t that is coming from all sides, we are forced into a state of doom. So, we can focus on that, or we can focus on the good stuff that is also happening.

Currently in the Cincinnati area we have lots of work coming our way in the construction market. With over 2.7 billion in new projects breaking ground this year we should be set for plenty of work headed our way soon. I know it is a little slow right now, but this is not going to last.

We have also seen the best lineup ever of leaders to be elected to Cincinnati City Council. This new group is going to do big things I can just feel it. The bulk of these new council members have Labor backgrounds, and we can trust they will be doing all they can to help grow the labor market in Cincinnati.

 The newly signed Infrastructure Bill is also reason to celebrate because this will finally open up the chance to fix our roads and bridges. With new roads commerce will only grow in our area and this will also increase job growth in both Construction and Manufacturing sectors. When suppliers can navigate their trucks through the area better, they will move more goods and this boost will help us continue to grow.
We currently have political friends in both the Ohio and Kentucky Governor’s offices and the President even invited the Ironworkers to the White House.

The current administration believes in Unions and is doing all they can to see Union membership grow all across America. I anticipate Union membership will be on the rise over the next three years.

I guess what I am trying to say is everything is not going the wrong way even though the media may want you to think it is. There are many, many, things headed in the right direction, but it is going to take some time to watch it blossom. Stay focused on the positives and then expect to see great things in Cincinnati and across the country over the next year.

Dave Baker
Business Manager and Financial Secretary, Ironworkers Local 44
News From Local 392
Brothers and Sisters.

On December 10th, 2021, Local 392 held our elections for the officers and trustee’s that will represent all of us for the next 3 years from February 2022 until February 2025.
Local 392 also elected the 8 delegates that will represent the body at the 2022 Ohio State Convention July 19th through the 22nd in Mason, Ohio at Great Wolf Lodge, hosted by Local 392. More information regarding room reservations etc. will be forthcoming in the months prior to the convention. We would like to congratulate the following Officers and Members on their election to their positions within Local 392.
We also would like to say Thank you to all the members who came out and voted, thank you to every member who out themselves out there and ran for any of the positions and thank you to the officers and trustees who served us all for the past 3 years. We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.
Always remember that this is your Local and that your dues money is what makes this organization the great organization that is has been for over 109 years. Local 392 will continue to be strong if the members get active and involved in the operation of our great union.

William E. Froehle
Business Manager , Local Union 392 Plumbers, Pipefitters & Mechanical Equipment Service 
Congrats To IBEW Local 212 Mary Jo Kenter! 
Last November, Sister Mary Jo Kenter (IBEW Local 212) was appointed to the IBEW International Women's Committee as the 4th District Representative. This appointment came from International President Lonnie Stephenson with the recommendation of International Vice President Gina Cooper.
In this role, Mary Jo will be tasked as an advisor to other locals in IBEW's 4th District to encourage and motivate them in forming their own Women's Committees and act as a liaison to the International.
Mary Jo plans to draw on her own experiences in forming Local 212's Women's Committee, where she serves as Chairperson.
Kenter has been a strong local leader in the Cincinnati area in recruiting women to join the IBEW for a middle-class career.
"Women in our local have been doing a variety of work,” said Kenter. Jobs for women, she said, range from heavy industrial sites like the local Nucor steel plant, to the ever-increasing demand for commercial, residential and utility-scale solar installations.
"But shattering outdated sex-based stereotypes about electrical workers doesn’t happen overnight," said Kenter. "That’s why the committee’s focus is not just on bringing women into the trade but also on helping them stay in it. So far, it’s been working."
USPS’s COVID-19 Tests Begin to Arrive, Biden Inaction on DeJoy, and more...
COVID-19 Test Program Puts Post Office to the Test

A week into the USPS's COVID-test shipping program and millions of Americans have put in their orders for COVID-19 tests. Many tests have already been delivered across the nation. Remember to get yours! To reiterate how herculean this undertaking is for USPS, they are working under some of the highest worker shortages it has ever seen. Yesterday, an all-time record of 20,623 USPS workers were in isolation due to COVID-19, making the shipping program all the more challenging. In order to accommodate for the worker shortages, USPS has retained 7,000 seasonal workers to assist in the packing and shipping of the tests.

It should be noted that experts have called this the largest disaster-relief mobilization in the history of the USPS. Seeing the Postal Service serve as a relief agency opens the door of opportunity for what else USPS can do. 

Biden’s Lukewarm Message to Post Office Supporters

As new leadership gets settled on the post office board of governors, a lot of questions are swirling about Biden’s positioning with the USPS, both in the press and in Congress. Republicans are declaring victory on keeping DeJoy in post. Biden’s nominee Derek Kan effectively replaces John Barger with no changes to the postal board balance of power. The Chicago Sun-Times’s editorial board argued that not showing DeJoy the door is “bad for the postal service and for Americans who depend on affordable, reliable mail delivery.” Voters frustrated by not getting their mail have demanded major change, and a majority of Congress have been with them. But it’s looking increasingly clear that President Biden doesn’t intend to act decisively.
Mail Carriers Under Pressure Across the Nation

From Virginia to Minnesota to Indiana, cities across the nation are reporting mail delays, some locations not receiving their mail for days on end. A big reason for this is the sheer number of workers out right now due to COVID-19. Lafayette Indiana workers also reported feeling “exhausted,” “overworked,” and “understaffed.” Postal workers that remain despite burnout are working extended hours to make deliveries. Be sure to show your appreciation for your local postal worker!

Other News:

USPS' New Black Heritage Stamp features the famous Black-Native Sculptor Edmonia Lewis!

Beware of third party websites masquerading as the USPS selling the COVID-19 test kits attempting to scam unknowing web surfers. Remember you never need to put down your credit card information to receive these tests
ACTION: Restore Tax Fairness for Arts Workers
The arts and entertainment unions of the AFL-CIO have launched a congressional letter-writing campaign to tell Congress to restore tax fairness for arts workers by supporting the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act (PATPA), H.R. 4750 and S. 2872.
If passed, the PATPA would be a game changer for arts workers, allowing us to once again deduct common business expenses associated with practicing our crafts. Our goal is to build additional support in Congress, so the bill may be brought up and considered for a vote in the coming weeks.
We need your help amplifying this joint congressional letter-writing campaign, backed by the Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Actors’ Equity Association (Equity), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), SAG-AFTRA, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), and the AFL-CIO. Using the link below, please urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the PATPA and encourage others to do the same by circulating the campaign.
As working-class musicians, stage managers, singers, dancers, actors, stagehands and other arts workers across the country return to work, the last thing we need is a tax code that punishes us for doing our jobs.
The bipartisan Performing Artist Tax Parity Act, introduced by Reps. Judy Chu (Calif.) and Vern Buchanan (Fla.) and Sens. Mark Warner (Va.) and Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), fixes this problem!
Let’s use the strength of our collective voice to ensure that Congress hears us on this critical issue.
In Solidarity,
Infrastructure Bill’s Amtrak And Broadband Expansion Is Good For Ohioans -
On his monthly appearance on the America’s Workforce Union Podcast, Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, spoke about the infrastructure bill and what its provisions to fund Amtrak and broadband internet expansion will mean for Ohioans. 

When it comes to the infrastructure bill, Hager is particularly ex-cited about the expansion of Amtrak to construct passenger rail lines connecting Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Once completed, this project could help alleviate congestion problems by taking traffic off the roads. Hager would like to see the rail expansion one day expand to other Ohio cities including Akron and Marietta.

He also spoke about $65 billion in the bill earmarked to fund broad-band internet expansion. This is key to bridging the digital divide, which is essential to providing economic prosperity, particularly for rural Ohio. Facebook and Google are building multi-billion dollar data centers in Ohio, and broadband inter-net access will further encourage this trend, Hager said. If Ohio can bridge the digital divide and get more people trained through increased educational programs, it will only continue to make Columbus and central Ohio a bigger selling point to attract more technology companies. 

Besides the infrastructure bill, Hager also talked about a recent visit by Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh to Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 189, an event Hager personally at-tended. Harris and Walsh toured the Local 189 JATC and touted the im-portance of the infrastructure bill and what it will mean for unions.

 Hager said he has never heard a presidential administration in his lifetime mention the words apprenticeship and union as often the Biden administration. They recognize what registered union apprenticeship pro-grams can do for people by ending generational poverty and providing a path to the middle class. It is refreshing to see, he added.

Lastly, Hager and AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about the Driv-ing Futures program, which trains men and women to work in the transportation industry. The program helps members of the underserved community overcome job barriers and receive training to begin good-paying careers in transportation. Many of these jobs have a starting salary of $65,000 per year, as program participants often go on to work for Sigma, UPS and other trucking companies in an industry that regularly faces high demand for more drivers.
SAG-AFTRA Reaches Agreement with Super Bowl Halftime Producers: Professional Dancers Will Not Be Asked to Work for Free
Following an “open and frank discussion,” the producers of the Super Bowl halftime show have agreed with SAG-AFTRA that professional dancers will not be asked to work as volunteers for the massively popular TV event. In a statement released on Tuesday, SAG-AFTRA said:
“It is important to note that [producer] Roc Nation had always contracted for 115 paid SAG-AFTRA professional dancers as part of the stage show. We are grateful to Roc Nation, their producer and in particular our member Jay-Z, for their collaboration and commitment to professional artists.
“As a union, we believe all working participants should be paid and compensated for their labor, and we will be advising our professional dancer members that they should not be rehearsing or working on the Super Bowl Halftime Show without compensation.
“Like millions of Americans, we are looking forward to this seminal moment in hip hop history.” 
The agreement follows complaints from professional dancers who had been encouraged to volunteer to work the field show without compensation.
Make Sure Our Labor-friendly Candidates Are On The Ballot!
Don't let all the redistricting nonsense deter you.

Your signature is needed just so these very worthy contenders can get their names on the ballot. Come out TODAY, Saturday, January 19 and put your John Hancock on the dotted line for these Labor-friendly statewide candidates!
U.S Senator Sherrod Brown: Working For Working People!
Senator Brown delivers a floor speech on voter protection and ensuring every worker's vote counts.
Your February Medicare Webinars With RetireMED!
When you get questions about Medicare, RetireMED delivers answers — so that you do not have to be the expert in Medicare!

Plus, learning the basics of Medicare just got easier with our on-demand webinars series. Co-workers can share with friends and family or listen more than once from the comfort of home.

Retirement isn’t a requirement to enroll in Medicare. In fact, many people over age 65 receive more benefits by enrolling in a Medicare plan while they continue to work.

Join RetireMED live or listen in on-demand to learn about:
  • Coverage and costs for Medicare Parts A and B
  • Medicare plan options in 2022
  • Comparing employer group coverage to Medicare
  • Early retirement health insurance options...and more!
This February Live Webinars Flyer gives you an early look at Medicare webinars this month. Please share this flyer with your team members, clients, and anyone else who could benefit from Medicare education.
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 
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 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.
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.
Hamilton County
Clermont County
Brown County
Butler County
Warren County
Other News For and About Working People: