Labor Council

Saturday, October 23, 2021
Message from President Liz Shuler
  • The Freedom to Vote Act, which failed today to get 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in the U.S. Senate, would have protected the right of every American to cast our vote and have that vote counted. To save American democracy, we need democracy in the U.S. Senate.

  • Workers are finding courage and taking risks. Right now, tens of thousands of union members are either on strike or about to go on strike across the country.

  • As negotiations continue on Capitol Hill, we are calling for both jobs bills to pass.

  • Across the country, working people are flexing our muscles and taking back power. The labor movement is coming together and building a better future for all workers in every sector.

  • Striking workers are united in their goal to ensure quality pay and benefits for not just themselves, but for future workers.

  • Thursday was Latina Equal Pay Day, and we know the best way to fight for equal pay is with a union card.
AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler to National Press Club: "We Don't Sell Out!"
On October 13, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler spoke to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. where she addressed the successful Nabisco strike and the current John Deere and Kellogg strikes along with the near-strike from IATSE members.
"In recent weeks, more than 1,000 workers went on strike at Nabisco’s bakeries and distribution centers.
"Nabisco and its parent company Mondelez had threatened to ship good union jobs to Mexico if the workers did not agree to major concessions, despite record corporate profits. These are the workers who made the snacks that got us through lockdown during the pandemic—the Ritz crackers, the Oreos. Let’s admit it—they were double stuffed.
"I had the privilege of walking the picket line with Keith, Darlene and the other union members in Richmond. The company tried to pit workers against each other by offering a two-tiered health care system that weakened coverage for new hires.
"The answer from the union was a resounding 'No.' To quote Keith and Darlene: 'We don’t sell out our young workers. We are fighting for the next generation.'
CFT Member Earns OH AFL-CIO Member Spotlight: Laura Hamilton, Community Activist, Helps Elect Union Sisters
Laura Hamilton, a member of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers (CFT), OFT, AFT is a resident of West Price Hill and past president of the West Price Hill Community Council. Laura is a lifelong community activist and this year has turned that activism into helping two of her CFT Union Sisters, run for public office.
Laura has been released by her union and has been literature dropping union households in Cincinnati to urge their vote for Michelle Dillingham for Cincinnati City Council and Mary Wineberg for Cincinnati School Board.
Laura has been active in electing pro-union candidates for several election cycles but finds working the Path To Power program to elect her own union Sisters extra rewarding.
Laura has been released with four other CFT members to help elect Michelle and Mary. She also started a GoFundMe page to raise money to Save the Schulte Mansion on Glenway, which has since reached it's financial need to have legal representation for the Historic Landmark application.
Black Men in Unions Conference to Be Held This Week
The Black Men in Unions: North Meets South conference is due to be held this week in Atlanta. Organizers said the gathering will be an educational and organizing experience, bringing together those who led in building equity and inclusion in historic northern labor strongholds, and those engaged today in the struggle for world class workers’ rights in the South. The conference will be hosted by Morehouse College International Comparative Labor Studies, in collaboration with the Black Men in Unions (BMIU) Institute. Attendees will hear from a distinguished group of Black union leaders, including AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre and AFSCME President Lee Saunders.
LCLAA Speaks Out on Latina Equal Pay Day
The pay gap is one of the most visible challenges Latinas face in the workplace, and it goes beyond low-wage workers, affecting Latinas at all levels. Thursday was Latina Equal Pay Day, and this year Latinas had to work nearly 10 more months on average in order for their pay to match White male workers.
The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is fighting for an economy in which Latinas’ potential and success are not limited by their gender. On Wednesday, LCLAA held an empowering online webinar: Beyond the Pay Gap: Building an Economy that Works for Trabajadoras. This event examined the various inequalities both in and out of the workplace that contribute to the pay gap.
“On Thursday, we observed this day by highlighting the challenges that Latinas face, both in and outside the workplace which contribute to the pay gap,” said LCLAA National President Yanira Merino (LIUNA). “As Latina and Latino trade unionists, we cannot allow a demographic that makes up nearly 8% of our national labor force to be systematically underpaid. We will therefore continue to fight for equal pay to raise awareness of the Latina pay gap among our union siblings and leadership.”
Union Plus Offers Benefits for Members on Strike
It’s an incredible time for union solidarity, as members are standing together to fight for a better future across the country. Walking the picket line takes solidarity and sacrifice. That’s why Union Plus offers hardship benefits specifically designed for union members.
Participants in our Union Plus Mortgage, Credit Card and Personal Loan programs may be eligible to apply for a Union Plus strike grant. Find out more about the grant requirements by visiting:
Over the past 12 years, Union Plus has distributed more than $1.2 million in strike grants to eligible members. If your union is gearing up for the bargaining table, reach out to Union Plus to see how they can help. Send an email to
Petition: I Support Union-Made Electric Vehicles
We need policies that promote U.S. manufacturing and good union jobs. The Build Back Better Act does exactly that by giving consumers a tax credit if they purchase a union-made electric vehicle (EV) made in the U.S. Sign the petition to tell Congress that you support this groundbreaking policy.
As all auto companies, both here and abroad, move toward lower emissions, the market share of EVs will grow. To make the shift to EVs work for our communities, we need policies that promote U.S. manufacturing and good union jobs.
Right now, there is a provision in the Build Back Better Act that does just that by giving consumers an additional tax credit if they purchase a union-made electric vehicle made in the U.S. That’s right—union-made.
The House and Senate are likely to vote on the legislation within the next few weeks. Without such groundbreaking policies, our country will likely continue to slip further behind foreign competitors in the production of EVs with no assurance that future automobile technologies will be built by union members in the United States.
The tax credit of an additional $4,500 for union-made electric vehicles made in the U.S. is a win for UAW members, unorganized autoworkers and the entire labor movement. The provision:

  • Supports the high standards in wages, benefits and safety that UAW members have bargained for in the auto industry.
  • Incentivizes nonunion companies to stop spending millions on union-busters and to allow their workers to form their unions freely.
  • Encourages U.S. auto manufacturers to bring back the jobs they offshored.

This provision recognizes the importance of unionized workers as the front line for creating good-paying, safe jobs for the entire auto industry. It’s public policy that invests in workers and communities, and should be a model going forward for all industries.
White House Moves to Bolster Union Membership in the Federal Workforce
The Biden–Harris administration is due to announce a plan today aimed at increasing union density in the federal workforce, according to a report from Axios. Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh (LIUNA) are set to release guidelines that allow unions to meet with new employees and ensure management is notifying workers of our union rights.
In response to today’s news, AFGE National President Everett Kelley (pictured above) said: “As workers across the country find their voices, exercise their power, and win transformational victories in a historic month of labor activism, we applaud the steps that the Biden administration is taking today to roll back attacks on labor unions, help federal employees understand their union rights, and support them in exercising those rights.”
Time Magazine: U.S. Labor Unions Are Having A Moment
U.S. organized labor is having a moment after decades of erosion in both influence and power, giving workers their best chance in recent memory to claw back lost ground.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, unions are finding they suddenly have the upper hand—or at least, more solid footing—when it comes to negotiating wages and benefits, spurring a flurry of new picket lines. Nearly 40 workplaces across the nation have gone on strike since Aug. 1, according to Bloomberg Law’s database of work stoppages, almost double the number during the same period last year.
From Deere & Co.’s factories and Kellogg Co.’s U.S. cereal plants to nurses in Massachusetts and distillery workers in Kentucky, tens of thousands of union workers across a vast swath of industries are either on strike or close to it, leading some to dub this month “Strike-tober.” One of Hollywood’s most powerful unions settled over the weekend to avoid a strike — the first in its 128-year history — that had been set to begin Monday.
“Workers are right to think the ball is in their court,” said Adam Seth Litwin, a professor of industrial and labor relations at Cornell University. “They need to take a really big bite of the apple right now, because whatever they get they’re going to have it in their mouth for a long time.”
#Striketober: 20 strikes and counting!
Working people, rise up! Thousands of workers are going on strike, so October is now known as Striketober. We made a map of all the strikes happening across the country—support one near you:
Working people keep our country running through this pandemic. Many corporations are even making record profits!
But as union members negotiate new contracts, we’re being told we have to give things up: lower wages, losing benefits and fewer days off.
And working people are saying NO.
As AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said, “The strikes are sending a signal, no doubt about it, that employers ignore workers at their peril. I think this wave of strikes is actually going to inspire more workers to stand up and speak [out].”
So across the country, across industries…we’re speaking out and saying that we’re ready to go on strike to get the fair treatment we deserve.
100,000 Workers Take Action as 'Striketober' Hits the US
Thousands of John Deere assembly workers on strike are the latest sign of unrest amid a national labor shortage stretching from health care to snack makers to agricultural machinery manufacturing.
Workers took to the picket lines early Thursday after the Moline, Illinois-based company failed to reach an agreement with United Auto Workers by the union’s midnight deadline. The 10,000 unionized workers on Sunday had rejected a tentative agreement by a 90% margin.
The Deere & Co. workers add to a swell of current or impending work stoppages nationwide, with employees feeling emboldened by worker shortages, rising company profits, and resulting leverage at the bargaining table.
“Workers are in the driver’s seat,” Harley Shaiken, a labor professor at the University of California-Berkeley, said in a phone interview. “And that is particularly true for a company like Deere.”
Hours earlier, on Wednesday, 60,000 union TV and film workers announced plans to strike for the first time in more than a century, beginning Oct. 18. IATSE has since settled their contract. But more than 1,000 Kellogg Co. cereal workers have been picketing since last week, and 24,000 Kaiser Permanente health-care workers may soon go on strike if the company doesn’t meet their union’s demands on pay and working conditions.
The AFL-CIO on social media recently dubbed this month “Striketober.”
“The headlines reporting a shortage of workers are missing the point,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler told reporters Wednesday during an appearance at the National Press Club. “The pandemic laid bare the inequities of our system. And as we try to get beyond Covid, working people are refusing to return to crappy jobs with low pay.”
The Joke's on the Boss: Trevor Noah Unpacks #Striketober
Greedy corporate bosses and scabs miserably failing at their jobs make for great fodder for late-night comedian and host Trevor Noah who earlier this week cracked some jokes about #Striketober. He talked about John Deere CEO John May, whose salary has more than doubled during the pandemic. “I mean, the CEO got a 160% pay raise while screwing over his workers?” Noah asked. “That’s a horrible idea, man. Especially when your getaway vehicle is a tractor.” Click here to watch the clip.
Rep. Garcia: Striking Workers Are 'Fighting for All of Us'
As strike actions spread across the country, pro-worker elected officials are making clear which side they’re on. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García of Illinois, a former union member, delivered a passionate speech on the House floor yesterday, saying that striking union members are fighting for all workers. “Safety at work, dignity in retirement, a living wage—these are important issues for everyone,” he explained. “There’s a picket line chant that says, ‘If we can’t get it, shut it down,’ and it’s time that working-class people did just that. Striketober was a long time coming.”
Cilento Rallies CWA Members on Strike Against Mercy Hospital
Today marks 21 days that health care workers at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, New York, have been on strike. The nearly 2,000 members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1133 are demanding a fair contract that provides for the best patient care. They have been receiving steadfast support from the New York labor movement and the community. On Wednesday, New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento (TNG-CWA) walked the picket line in solidarity. “We are here with you,” he said. “Your fight for dignity is our fight. Your fight for respect is the AFL-CIO’s fight. Your fight for justice is the labor movement’s fight. And your fight for a fair contract is everybody’s fight.”
DHS Releases Worksite Enforcement Strategy to Protect the American Labor Market, Workers, and Worksite Conditions
Last week, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to take actions to promote a fair labor market by supporting more effective enforcement of wage protections, workplace safety, labor rights, and other employment laws and standards.  
“The Department of Homeland Security has a critical role to ensure our Nation’s workplaces comply with our laws,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities, or impose unsafe working conditions. Employers engaged in illegal acts compel the focus of our enforcement resources. By adopting policies that focus on the most unscrupulous employers, we will protect workers as well as legitimate American businesses.”
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh today issued the following statement, “Labor laws exist to provide a basic level of protection for all workers in the U.S. When employers take advantage of immigrant workers, the government must be there to defend workers’ rights to fair wages and safe working conditions. We commend the worksite enforcement strategy laid out by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas as a bold step to help stop these abuses.
The Department of Labor stands ready to continue and expand our work with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure all people can work free from exploitation and retaliation. Unscrupulous employers can no longer build their businesses on the backs of exploited people.”
Logan Shares National Principals Month message with AFSA Members
October marks National Principals Month, and School Administrators (AFSA) President Ernest Logan is recognizing the occasion by thanking and applauding his members. “These past 18 months have been a challenge, but in many places, we’ve had our voices heard,” Logan said. “And we’ve helped direct the conversation for what is best for our schools, our children and our communities.” The union is also honoring some of its standout members on its website. The labor movement joins in thanking America’s principals and school administrators for their contributions to our communities.
Pitt Faculty Members Vote to Form Union in Organizing Victory for USW
The University of Pittsburgh’s 3,300 faculty members are looking forward to bargaining their first union contract with the school’s administration after the faculty’s successful vote to become members of the United Steelworkers (USW). The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board held a mail ballot election over the past several weeks for faculty members, following more than two years of delays as a result of legal challenges from the administration. Preliminary results on Tuesday showed more than 71% of the workers who voted cast votes to join the union.
This result has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait,” said Tyler Bickford, an associate professor in the university’s English department. “It’s a good feeling to know that we as faculty members have finally achieved what all workers deserve—a voice in the decision-making process that affects our lives on the job.”
Organizing Win: Ohio Workers at Worthington Libraries Vote Union Yes
Librarians and other workers at Worthington Libraries voted 80–10 (89%) to form their union with the Ohio Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The organizing campaign was driven by concerns that too many library policies, including health and safety concerns and paid leave policies, were being made without any input from library employees. Worthington Libraries are now the only second library system in central Ohio where workers have organized a union, and their organizing campaign has sparked interest from librarians and workers at other libraries.
“We organized our union because equity and democracy are pillars of public libraries,” said Libby Vasey, a librarian at Worthington Park Library. “All workers at the library, especially those who work directly and daily with the people we serve, should have a voice at the table where workplace decisions are made.”
Labor 2021: Come Lit Drop With The Sisters and Brothers!
Rides to the Polls
Volunteers Needed to Get Our Neighbors to the Polls!

The Greater Cincinnati Voter Collaborative (GCVC) is offering free rides to the polls for voters in the Cincinnati area during early voting and on election day. 

1. The collaborative is still searching for volunteer drivers to help take voters who lack access to transportation to the polls. If you're interested in learning more or signing up for a driving shift, click here

2. Please feel free to spread the word to your networks about free rides to the polls using the attached flyer.

If you have questions, please contact GCVC at
Buy Union-Made Halloween Candy
October 31st is only 8 days away! Did you know that when you do your Halloween shopping, you can use the power of your paycheck to support good jobs that pay well and respect the rights of working people?

Visit to receive a handy guide to the union-made treats that will make your holiday not only fun, but will help working people, too.
UVC Pre-Veterans Day Brief and Campaign Launch
Veterans Day is just around the corner. 

To celebrate Veterans Day, the Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO is launching our first “Operation Union Veterans Day.'' We will use this campaign to amplify the role veterans and military families play in the American labor movement over the course of November, along with cataloging the Veterans Day activities many of you on a national, regional, and local level are already executing. Not only will we be telling the union veteran story, but also seizing this moment as an engagement and mobilization effort to launch a Union Veterans Council membership drive. 

We need your help. Can you or a member of your organization join us for a Veterans Day 2021 preparation webinar on Tuesday, October 26 at 3:00 PM est to further discuss and detail our campaign and goals for this first-of-a-kind campaign? 

The successes we’ve achieved over the past few years have only been possible thanks to your long-standing support. Now more than ever our mission to Engage, Educate, and Mobilize our military veteran community is needed. 
U.S Senator Sherrod Brown: Working For Working People!
Freestore Foodbank Volunteer Opportunities
Hello Freestore Foodbank Volunteer,

Thank you for all you do to help Freestore Foodbank with our mission of feeding hungry children and families in our community. We would not be able to accomplish this without our wonderful volunteers.

We have some wonderful volunteer opportunities at our Liberty Street Market, the Mayerson Distribution Center and Holiday Food Box Distribution locations.

The Liberty Street Market, 112 East Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 is looking for volunteers to help during the month of November and December for our Holiday Shopping Assistants. The shifts are Monday through Friday, morning 7:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. and afternoon from 11:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. We have a variety of volunteer tasks for you to choose from, such as: Cart Attendants, Check-Out Assistants, Crowd Control, Front Bay Assistants, Produce & Dairy Assistants, and Stock/Reshop Assistants. Please click on the link below to view our available volunteer shifts for the Liberty Street Market.

We are seeking volunteers for the two December Holiday Box Distribution, which will be on held Tuesday, December 14th at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, 1500 James Simpson Jr. Way, Covington, KY 41011, morning shift from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and afternoon shift from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. On December 16th we will also have a Holiday Food Box Distribution at CAC Corinthian Baptist Ohio, 1920 Tennessee Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229, a morning shift from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and an afternoon shift from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You can click on the link below to register for either Holiday Distribution.

We’re also looking for 2 volunteers who can answer phones during the month of November and December from 8 a.m. to noon and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Liberty Street location. As well as 2 volunteers to help out in Back on Track (clothing room) on Tuesdays – Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Please contact Tawanda Rollins - if interested.

The Mayerson Distribution Center, 1250 Tennessee Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229, has volunteer shift availability Monday through Friday, morning, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., afternoon, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The 1st Saturday of each month, beginning in November, we will be offering volunteer shifts in the morning and afternoon. We would love for you to come and help to pack our Power Packs, Holiday food boxes and Senior food boxes. You can view our volunteer shifts by clicking on the link below:

If you need more assistance, please contact me.

Carolyn Frank
RetireMEDiQ Weekly Update
Retirement isn’t a requirement to enroll in Medicare. In fact, many people over age 65 receive more benefits and coverage by enrolling in a Medicare plan while they continue working.
Join my team at one of our webinars where we will cover the basics of Medicare, including…

  • 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!
You can share this informational flyer with your team members, clients, and anyone else who needs to learn about these important topics.
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, October 22 from daily data reporting to the Ohio Department of Health. These metrics are updated daily.
Below are the current reporting trends from Friday, October 22 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: