Labor Council

Saturday, November 13, 2021
Message from President Liz Shuler
  • The bipartisan infrastructure bill is a huge victory for the labor movement. For decades, we’ve been calling for transformative investments in America’s physical infrastructure. Congress must take the next step by passing the Build Back Better Act.

  • Working people have sacrificed enough to keep our country going during this pandemic. Wealthy corporations need to pay their fair share for a just recovery.

  • Striking workers are demanding contracts that will change their lives and improve their communities. And we are refusing to accept scraps at the bargaining table.
President Biden Set To Sign His Historic, Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Next Week As Congress Returns
Late last Friday, an era of broken promises ended as the U.S. House of Representatives passed President Biden’s infrastructure bill (228-206), representing the largest investment in American jobs in history. This is why organized labor across the country worked so hard to elect Joe Biden.
Ohio's Democratic Congressional Delegation, (Joyce Beatty, Tim Ryan, Marcy Kaptur and Shontel Brown) was joined by the lone Ohio Republican (Anthony Gonzales) in voting "Yes" on the bill. The remaining 11 Ohio Republicans (David Joyce, Mike Turner, Steve Chabot, Brad Wenstrup, Bob Gibbs, Troy Balderson, Mike Carey, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, Warren Davidson and Bob Latta) all voted "No" on this major investment in roads, bridges, broadband, public transit, clean water and good union jobs that cannot be outsourced.
In part, Ohio is set to receive nearly $11 billion including $9.2 billion for roads, $483 million for bridges, $1.2 billion for transportation, $100 million for broadband and $140 million EV charging stations.
Organized labor also recognizes the critical role that Rep. Joyce Beatty, Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, played in getting this bill across the finish line. (Read more here on her work). Former Congresswoman and now HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge also played a key role in the passage of this bill (Read more on her work here)
The overwhelming majority of the funds in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will be subject to Davis-Bacon requirements, which ensure that contractors pay workers on construction projects a fair, prevailing wage so that local wages, labor markets, and workers won’t be undercut. These requirements will protect wages for millions of workers, grow the economy, and support good-paying, union jobs. Read the Fact Sheet here.
President Biden promised to be the most pro-union president in history — and passage of this bill is another down payment on that promise. We are so close to making our economy fairer and safer for working people, and we can’t stop now. 
Rep. Tim Ryan: ‘They are Pro-Insurrection And Anti-Infrastructure’
Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss sentencing for some of the 600+ defendants in the investigation into the January 6th attack on the Capitol and why Republicans refuse to back President Biden’s infrastructure package.
By the Numbers: How the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Benefits Each State
The bipartisan infrastructure bill is a monumental win for union members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the territories. For example, California—home to more than 2.4 million union members—will receive more than $25 billion to rebuild roads and $4.2 billion to repair bridges.

While many politicians have talked for years about rebuilding our physical infrastructure, it is the Biden–Harris administration and a pro-worker Congress that actually delivered the investments workers have been demanding for so long. And it wouldn’t have happened without the power and persistence of the labor movement, winning the 2020 election for working people and keeping up the pressure on Congress to pass our highest priorities.
What's in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Here are the facts about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:

  • $110 billion to rebuild 173,000 miles of roads and 45,000 bridges

  • $66 billion in funding to upgrade America’s rail service

  • $65 billion to improve the resiliency of our power grid

  • $65 billion to expand broadband internet access, particularly in rural areas

  • $55 billion to make sure Americans have access to safe and clean water, including $15 billion to replace lead pipes

  • $42 billion for port and airport repairs

  • $39 billion for public transit to keep workers moving

  • $21 billion in environmental remediation to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites in hard-hit energy communities

  • $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations and $5 billion for electric and hybrid school buses

In total, the act represents the biggest down payment on America’s physical infrastructure since President Dwight Eisenhower established the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. The bipartisan legislation is fully paid for and doesn’t add a dime to the deficit. The vast majority of expenditures are subject to prevailing wage laws, ensuring that skilled local workers earn a fair return for their hard work.
It’s time to spread the word: this is a tremendous victory for working people in America, but still there’s more work to do. Congress needs to pass the Build Back Better Act and bolster America’s human infrastructure. Working people didn’t vote for a return to normal; we voted for a better future for our country.
America's Unions Herald Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
On Friday, the House passed the bipartisan infrastructure framework, paving the way for the creation of hundreds of thousands of high-quality union jobs. The labor movement celebrates the vote for this landmark legislation—and continues to call for urgent passage of the Build Back Better Act. Here are the infrastructure statements of AFL-CIO affiliates:

AFL-CIO Executive Council Recognizes Distinguished Service of Seven Labor Leaders
The AFL-CIO Executive Council met last week to chart the path forward for the labor movement. Members of the Executive Council also used the gathering to recognize the service of exceptional labor leaders following their retirement, as well as our departed brother and friend, Richard Trumka. Click on the links below to read the Executive Council’s statements:

Labor 2021 Election Program Helps 56 Union Members From Both Parties Get Elected To Public Office, Wins 74% of Races
The AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils endorsed 233 candidates for local public office and ballot issues across Ohio. Overall, our endorsed candidates/issues won 173 of these races for a success rate of 74%. The Ohio AFL-CIO worked hard to assist Central Labor Councils and affiliated unions as they executed their campaigns, and the results are encouraging for the labor movement and working families. 
Building on the AFL-CIO Path to Power program where union members are recruited and supported in their bid to hold elected public office the Labor Councils went all in this year endorsing 73 candidates who brought the voice of working people and the labor movement to their campaigns. With the hard work and dedication of the candidates and organized labor, 57 (78%) of those union members were victorious. These successes happened at every level, including school board, township trustee, city council, village council, and mayor
Some of the electoral wins to highlight include:

  • Aftab Pureval - The first Asian American mayor of Cincinnati.
  • Mary Wineberg - Cincinnati School Board. Mary is a member of Cincinnati Federation of Teachers/ACPSOP Local 1520 and an American track and field athlete, and 2008 Olympic Gold medalist
  • Sharetta Smith - The first African American mayor of Lima .
  • Shontel Brown - Congressional District 11 Special Election (She quickly made an impact by voting “YES” for the bipartisan infrastructure bill).
  • No on Issue 7 - Defeated this Issue which would have stripped millions of dollars from the Columbus City budget costing us hundreds of union jobs.
  • Jeffrey Mims - Dayton Mayor and Path to Power candidate.
  • Katie Moline - Top vote getter for Toledo City Council and Path to Power candidate.
  • Davida Russell - Top vote getter for Cleveland Heights City Council and Ohio AFL-CIO Executive Board member (OAPSE/AFSCME).
  • Jodi Mills - Ashtabula City Council and Path to Power candidate.
  • Gary Steinbeck - Warren City Council and Path to Power candidate.

Additionally, four Path to Power members were elected in Scioto County and the Mid-Ohio Labor Council worked with the Firefighters in Richland County to help win a critical Springfield Township Trustee seat. A labor-backed city ballot campaign to re-charter Canfield government came up just short, however, this led to a first contract for the city’s Utility Workers the day after the election. 
Striking UMWA Members Take Action in New York City
Striking members of the Mine Workers (UMWA) are taking their struggle for justice from Alabama to the heart of America’s financial sector in Manhattan. Since April, UMWA members have been on strike against Warrior Met Coal in Alabama, demanding a fair contract that recognizes their contributions to the company. Hundreds of members from the UMWA, the New York City Central Labor Council and its affiliated unions gathered on Thursday, Nov. 4, outside the offices of BlackRock, one of Warrior’s biggest investors, to pressure management to bargain in good faith.
Something needs to be done in this country to protect the workers who have made America,” said UMWA International President Cecil Roberts. “We have veterans on strike in Alabama. We have veterans coming here today who have fought for this country. At the same time, people in these big fancy offices up here haven’t done a damn thing to support the United States and its democracy that we all enjoy.”
After years of workers sacrificing to help Warrior stay afloat, the company is profitable again, and its workers are now saying it’s their turn to prosper. At the rally, UMWA Director of Communications and Governmental Affairs Phil Smith read a statement of solidarity from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. Roberts and six other union members were later arrested for blocking the street outside of BlackRock in an act of civil disobedience.
BCTGM Stands Firm Against Two-Tiered Employment, Rejects Kellogg’s Contract Offer
The 1,400 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) remain on strike after rejecting Kellogg’s contract proposal last Thursday. The workers at the Kellogg cereal plants in Battle Creek, Michigan; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee, are demanding a fair contract that allows all employees to obtain full benefits and a secure retirement.

“The company’s last, best and final offer does not achieve what our members are asking for; a predictable pathway to fully vested, fully benefited employment for all employees with no concessions,” BCTGM said in a statement released Nov. 4. “Kellogg’s continues to insist on takeaways. The company came to the table insisting that there will only be an agreement if the union accepts the company proposal exactly as it has been written. The company’s proposal was filled with conditions and terms as to what was acceptable to Kellogg’s. These terms and conditions are unacceptable to our members.”
#Strikesgiving Win: IAM Local 588 Ratifies Strong Contract
Members of Machinists (IAM) Local 588 ratified a new contract on Wednesday, Nov. 3, after a three-day strike against their employer, Garlock Sealing Technologies, in Palmyra, New York. The four-year agreement includes many of the workers’ demands: significant wage increases, a signing bonus, an automatic 2% employer contribution for all members to their 401(k) plans, seven full paid sick days and improvements to company medical contributions.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our Local 588 members for sticking together and showing the company what the Machinists are all about,” said IAM District 65 Directing Business Representative Ron Warner. “It was a tough fight, but we didn’t waver. Member activism was high, and the bargaining committee was ready and well prepared. This group was determined to get a good contract, and they did.”
CWA Members at Catholic Health Ratify Groundbreaking Agreement After Five-Week Strike
Healthcare workers returned to work at Mercy Hospital on Wednesday after overwhelmingly ratifying a landmark agreement with Catholic Health in Buffalo, New York. The members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) locals 1133 and 1168 voted 96% in favor of the new four-year contracts that set safe staffing levels and provide improved compensation to attract and retain health care workers at Mercy, as well as Kenmore Mercy Hospital and Sisters of Charity Hospital-St. Joseph Campus.
“Thanks to the steadfast determination and sacrifices of our members over the past five weeks, these Catholic Health hospitals are now the first in New York, and some of the only [hospitals] across the country that will guarantee safe staffing levels,” said Debora Hayes, the area director for CWA District 1’s Buffalo office. “This is a tremendous victory not only for our members, but for the patients, their families and the community who can be assured they will receive the highest quality care. We have set a new standard and we applaud Catholic Health for working diligently with us to get there.”
Republican Legislators Produce A More Gerrymandered Congressional Map Than Ohio Currently Has
In 2019, a panel of federal judges found Ohio’s current Congressional map to be illegally gerrymandered due to extreme partisanship. The judges found that Ohio's congressional map was illegally rigged to favor Republicans. "Either the Republicans were exceedingly lucky, or their map drawers made exceedingly expert use of political data to manipulate district lines to secure the most seats and the least amount of competition possible," the court wrote. "The evidence in this case points to the latter conclusion."
The Ohio voters also passed a bipartisan Constitutional Amendment that provides specifics into how the Congressional maps need to be drawn to reflect the votes of Ohio. But last week, House and Senate Republicans presented maps that are more gerrymandered than the ones Ohioans are currently suffering under. Meanwhile, Democrats drew maps in-line with what the voters of Ohio demanded when they voted to ensure the Ohio Constitution had strict guidelines in place to instill fairness into the system and end illegal gerrymandering. You can see the proposed Congressional maps by clicking the bill number below:
  • House Republican Map: HB 479
  • House Democratic Map: HB 483
  • Senate Republican Map: SB 258
  • Senate Democratic Map: SB 237
While the congressional mapmaking process plays out this month, three lawsuits have already been filed in the Ohio Supreme Court for the state legislative maps that the Republican majority on the Redistricting Commission passed recently. Oral arguments on this litigation is set to begin on December 10th. Meanwhile, We Are Ohio, the citizen-driven, bipartisan coalition that formed after extreme politicians in Ohio attacked public sector collective bargaining rights (Senate Bill 5) in 2011 filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of working people.
The Ohio AFL-CIO will continue to engage and mobilize in the fight for fair districts and common-sense balance in our legislative bodies for a true reflection of Ohio. Ohioans should be able to choose the politicians to represent them rather than politicians choosing their voters. Gerrymandering leads to extreme policies and polarization that hurts Ohio’s working families and enables a pay to play culture and the rise of political scandal.
U.S Senator Sherrod Brown: Working For Working People!
Native American Heritage Month
What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994. READ MORE…
United Way: The Value of Listening
Dear United Way friends,

Too many times in my career, I watched families and children suffer from no one listening to them.

  • A child custody case where no one gave the child, parent or caregiver a chance to speak.

  • Hungry families waiting in long lines for food assistance only to find out -- before anyone even knew their situation – they would have to wait at least 30 to 45 days for food.

  • The unemployed shuffled to the next minimum-wage job without anyone asking what training/skills/job they needed for true financial stability.
Families know what they need to be successful. Too often, we don’t ask, but assume we know what is best.

Listening is now an important part of United Way’s DNA. You may have heard about our new Community Insights survey launching this month. We need help determining how to align our funding against the most pressing community challenges so we can achieve true systemic change.
Over the next six months, I will pull back the curtain and share more details about lessons learned through listening and the changes it brings. Read more.

Moira Weir
United Way of Greater Cincinnati

P.S. We also want to hear from Hamilton County families with young children about the early childhood support system. If you live in Hamilton County with children younger than 6 years old, you can participate here
Update from RetireMEDiQ
4 Medicare Myths You Can Confidently Ignore
When it comes to Medicare, there are a lot of Medicare myths and misconceptions floating around—maybe you’ve encountered information on social media or in conversation and thought, “Is that really true?” 

Read more as our advisors debunk some common Medicare myths

Your Monthly Medicare News
Every month, our advisors put together a list of the latest news in the Medicare industry and explain how you and your team members may be impacted. This November, read about COVID-19 booster coverage, actions to take during Annual Enrollment, and more on our blog
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, November 12 from daily data reporting to the Ohio Department of Health. These metrics are updated daily.
Below are the current reporting trends from Friday, November 12 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: