Labor Council

Saturday, December 18, 2021
President Liz Shuler Joins VP Harris in Push for Union Members to Replace Lead Pipes and Paint
  • Nowhere in the United States should drinking from the tap be a health hazard. But there is a long, terrible history of using lead pipes in low-income communities and communities of color. This is one of the literally toxic effects of systemic racism.

  • It was an honor to welcome Vice President Kamala Harris to the House of Labor earlier today as we joined together to plan for the replacement of lead pipes and paint that will create good union jobs and protect the health of our communities.

  • The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act gives us the opportunity to eliminate lead poisoning and provide clean drinking water for everyone. The labor movement, working with the most pro-union administration in American history, is moving our country forward.
Message from President Liz Shuler on the Tornado Disaster
The tornadoes that ripped through several states on Friday have left a trail of devastation and heartbreak. Our thoughts are with the dozens of families who lost loved ones—including the
many workers at a candle factory and an Amazon warehouse who were killed. From the rubble of this disaster, union members will do what we always do: Roll up our sleeves and get to work building stronger communities. Union members know the power of the bond we share is there to rely on in the difficult days ahead.
With each ensuing extreme weather event, we are reminded that the climate crisis is not just a future problem. It’s happening right now. The labor movement will continue to center those impacted by climate change in our work toward a clean energy future built by good-paying union jobs.
Watch: President Liz Shuler on How Private Equity Has Harmed Striking Workers
About 1,100 members of the Mine Workers (UMWA) are on strike in Alabama at Warrior Met Coal and have been without a paycheck since April because of the conditions that private equity created.

It was the workers at Warrior Met Coal who sacrificed after the company’s predecessor, Walter Energy, declared bankruptcy in 2015. Private equity firms have cashed out, but mine workers are still asking for their fair share back after more than five years of making the company profitable again.

As we stick together to support our union brothers, sisters and siblings on strike, I was proud to join UMWA President Cecil Roberts and Sens. Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren for a press conference yesterday to call on Warrior Met Coal’s Wall Street investors to use their ownership voice to urge the company to negotiate a fair end to the strike.
Pass the Build Back Better Act to Lay the Foundation for Equitable Recovery, Redmond Says
With the Build Back Better Act hanging in the balance, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond wrote a persuasive column for The Hill urging the U.S. Senate to pass this unprecedented investment in America’s workforce. He called for senators to include a paid family leave policy in the final bill, which will allow millions of women to re-enter the workforce after being pushed out by the pandemic.
“As we rebound from the pandemic, our nation is at a crossroads. We can either continue to push women out of the workforce or we can create an economy that works for every working person,” Redmond wrote. “Inequality in any form threatens not only our economy but also our democracy. And believe me: The longer this imbalance continues, the heavier the burden becomes on the most critical infrastructure—the institutions and communities that define our nation.”
PETITION: Build Back Better Now
The Build Back Better Act would create jobs, lower costs and protect workers’ rights. The House already passed it, and now it’s the Senate’s turn. Sign the petition to tell your senators: Build Back Better now!
There are people trying to stop this bill by talking about how it might worsen inflation.
But three months ago, 17 Nobel laureate economists said it would ease longer-term inflationary pressure.
Just this past week, 56 economists said it would alleviate some of the strain of inflation.
The Build Back Better Act would help working people. 
Our Kentucky Sisters and Brothers Need Our Help...
Help Make things Merry and Bright!
Dearest Sisters and Brothers,
As you know by now, on December 10th and 11th 2021, much of Kentucky was devastated by a series or tornadoes and storms that traveled over 200 miles across 4 states. Western and certain parts of Central Kentucky were affected most severely by these tornadoes. The people and communities in western and central Kentucky, in particular Mayfield, Kentucky, will need our help in the days ahead.
Please take a moment to read the letter below from our Brother Kyle Henderson at Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 184, Paducah, Kentucky and the accompanying list of the various items we can donate to help our Sisters and Brother Kentuckians and friends. 
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council President, Bill Froehle and our Sisters and Brothers from Plumbers, Pipefitters and MES, Local 392 are taking the lead to coordinate these important efforts, and the Local 392 Training Center at 1300 Century Circle North, Cincinnati, OH, United States, Ohio is the drop point and organizing facility. Collections at the Training Center will continue through next Wednesday, December 22. Thursday morning a semi will take whatever we gather to our friends in Paducah for subsequent distribution to those in need.
Please, if you can, help as much as you can as soon as you can!
In unity and solidarity,
Brian D. Griffin
Executive Secretary - Treasurer
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council
513.421.1846 ​Office
513.608.0033 Cell
Kentucky Disaster Relief
You have all no doubt seen the news coverage of the devastation wrought last weekend by the tornado that tore through multiple states, killing dozens, including many workers while they were on the job. Communities in Kentucky appear to have been hardest hit, and the Kentucky AFL-CIO, Greater Louisville Central Labor Council and the United Way of Kentucky are working together to provide assistance to union families in need. If you would like to help, you can contribute in one of two ways:
To make a contribution by check please make the check payable to: United Way of Kentucky and include on the memo line: UNION DISASTER RELIEF. It is essential that UNION DISASTER RELIEF is included on the memo line of the check. 

Checks can be sent to:
United Way of Kentucky, P.O. Box 4653, Louisville, KY 40204-0653.

Credit Card or Bank Transfer
To make a contribution by either credit card or bank transfer, please use this link:

If you have any questions, please reach out to AFL-CIO Director of United Way Worldwide Partnership/Labor Community Services Kristie Small at or 202-215-7341.
Direction on Unsanctioned Boycott Requests of Kellogg’s
There have been a growing number of independent Kellogg's boycott communications circulating online and we wanted to provide direction to state federations, area labor councils, and central labor councils who might be approached to support these unsanctioned boycotts.

The BCTGM has NOT initiated a formal boycott of Kellogg's ready-to-eat cereal. The BCTGM has NOT sought support from the AFL-CIO for a boycott. However, BCTGM does encourage consumers to avoid purchasing dry cereal products made by Kellogg's until this labor dispute is resolved. Suggesting a boycott of any Kellog’s products will confuse consumers, and potentially harm the hardworking members of BCTGM and other unions who are NOT on strike but work at Kellogg’s.

Rule 21 of the Rules Governing prohibits a state federation, area labor council, or central labor council from initiating a boycott. Your council may only support a boycott upon written request from the aggrieved union or in response to an action of the AFL-CIO. Until that time, your council should not engage in supporting any unsanctioned boycott of Kellogg’s. However, per the BCTGM’s guidance, you may avoid purchasing dry cereal products made by Kellogg's. 

Hopefully this clears up any questions you may have regarding the handling of unsanctioned boycott requests of Kellogg’s.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact AFL-CIO Director of Federation, Oversight and Training Maya Goines at or Associate General Counsel Maneesh Sharma at
Biden Condemns Kellogg’s Plan to Hire Permanent Replacements as Reddit Users Crash the Company’s Jobsite
President Biden issued an unprecedented condemnation of Kellogg’s plan to hire permanent replacements at the four plants where workers are on strike. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) said it was the first time a U.S. president has made a public statement of support for striking workers. BCTGM International President Anthony Shelton (not pictured) welcomed Biden’s support, saying, “The President’s condemnation of Kellogg’s actions reinforces the position our Kellogg members have taken; they will not be bullied at the negotiating table and are ready to bargain a fair and just contract that rewards them for their hard work and does not sell out future generations of Kellogg employees.”
And users on the social media site Reddit—mostly millennials and Generation Z—are hitting back at Kellogg over its plan to permanently replace striking members of the BCTGM. Although Kellogg said it was left with “no choice” but to hire permanent replacements, the company that’s been making record profits during the pandemic has the ability to offer a fair contract to members of the BCTGM. After last week’s announcement from Kellogg, Reddit users got to work taking down the food manufacturing giant’s hiring website by overwhelming the site with scores of fake applications. The BCTGM tweeted: “A fair contract could fill those openings in seconds.”
Blue Skies Ahead: TWU Members at JetBlue Ratify First Contract
Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) who work as flight attendants, or “inflight crewmembers” (IFCs) as JetBlue calls them, decisively ratified their inaugural contract on Monday with the airline. The union said that while successfully negotiating a first contract is not an easy feat to accomplish under ordinary circumstances, it was made even more challenging because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a skyrocketing number of assaults against aviation workers. TWU members at JetBlue have been fighting for a fair contract since overwhelmingly voting to form a union in 2018.
“This is a tremendous victory for our 5,500 IFCs at JetBlue. In this time of uncertainty and peril, there is no greater security for workers than a solid contract,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “Our JetBlue inflight crewmembers are no longer ‘at-will’ employees of the carrier, but union workers whose employment is secured by an enforceable collective bargaining agreement. What a huge difference it is.” The new contract includes a grievance and arbitration system, work rule improvements, health insurance and retirement benefits, and wage increases.
Big Cartel Workers Form First Tech Union in Right to Work State
Tech workers at Big Cartel received voluntary recognition of their new union, Big Cartel Workers Union, on Monday in a groundbreaking organizing victory. Staff at the e-commerce platform for creative businesses are the first tech workers to form a union in a “right to work” state as the company is based in Salt Lake City. The union members, who are affiliated with Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Tech Workers Union Local 1010, will begin bargaining their first contract with their employer next month.
“Tech workers are becoming increasingly aware of the power a union brings them at work,” said OPEIU Organizing Director Brandon Nessen (not pictured). “Unionizing gives working people agency to advance not only their own interests, but the mutual interests shared by both staff and management.”
Wirecutter Union Members Reach Tentative Agreement for Their First Contract
Members of the Wirecutter Union, part of The NewsGuild of New York/CWA Local 31003, announced on Tuesday that they have reached a tentative agreement with management. The workers at The New York Times’ product review site have been fighting for their first contract for two years. They went on a five-day strike during the recent Black Friday shopping season to pressure management to stop its union-busting practices and negotiate a fair agreement.
Rallying together with 100% membership participation in the strike, and with the entire labor movement and our allies backing them up, these union members now get to vote on a groundbreaking new contract that includes significant wage increases, the elimination of nondisclosure agreements in cases of harassment, and strong diversity, equity and inclusion commitments. “We’ve fought to build our power over the last two years, despite continuous union-busting from The New York Times,” the Wirecutter Union tweeted. “The result is a bargaining agreement we’re proud of.”
Watch: Sellers Explains How Infrastructure Law Will Help SMART Members, Calls on Congress to Pass Build Back Better Act
General President Joseph Sellers Jr. of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) celebrated the labor movement’s achievement of passing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In a recent video, he highlighted all the ways these investments will create good union jobs and help members of SMART, including funding to improve indoor air quality, build thousands of electric school buses, upgrade our ports and airports, improve America’s railroads, and bolster safety measures to protect transit operators.
“Brothers and sisters, it’s been a long road in securing a much-needed investment for the future of our nation, but Congress must also immediately pass the Build Back Better Act,” Sellers said. “This legislation will make unprecedented investments in American families and further boost economic growth.”
Start Elevator's Union-Busting Exposed (On Facebook Live)
Employees at Start Elevator in Bronx, New York are trying to organize with International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 1. Unsurprisingly, Start Elevator was quick to go after its own employees by hiring union-buster Mike Penn, Partner at The Crossroad Group and holding captive audience meetings.

The organizing workers are pushing back.

You can watch a video of Penn heading into one of Start Elevator's union-busting captive audience meetings here.
Bringing in the union-busting industry and holding captive audience meetings, where workers are forced to attend anti-union presentations, are two of the most common tactics used by union-busters to target workers attempting to exercise their right to join together in a union.

Workers have taken matters into their own hands and exposed their employers' union-busting. On Friday December 3, workers live streamed an entire captive audience presentation delivered by Mike Penn. Every word he utters is straight out of the union-busting playbook. It's pathetic, but he's still getting paid a lot of money to try to scam his fellow humans out of having a voice in their own workplace. However, the organizing employees are having none of it. In fact, they roll over the union-buster Mike Penn, using his own logic to undress every one of his lies. They are so clearly aware of Penn's union-busting tactics and so much more intelligent that you almost feel bad for this union-buster... almost. At one point, Penn asks a Start Elevator employee to stop filming the rebuff, but the worker rightfully declines.

Organizers are responding passionately and supporters are being encouraged to let Start Elevator know what they think of union-busting.

Update: LaborLab is working to transcribe Mike Penn's entire union-busting presentation. We hope to post it within the next 24 hours, so check back soon. Tracking and compiling union-busting activities is labor intensive and time consuming. Help us expose union-busters by throwing a few bucks our way. Donate here >>>

Update 2: the entire presentation has been transcribed. You can access it here.
UA Celebrates Administration’s Plan to Eliminate Lead Pipes While Creating Good Union Jobs and Safer Communities
At an event held at the AFL-CIO earlier today, Vice President Kamala Harris and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan detailed the administration’s plan to replace all lead pipes in the coming years. The first round of funding totals $2.9 billion—an investment made possible by the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which the labor movement strongly supported. The funding will put thousands of members of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) to work cleaning up America’s drinking water.
“These investments will not only put our members to work with fair wages and benefits but help ensure all Americans have the clean water they deserve,” said UA General President Mark McManus. He reflected on the role UA members played during the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, in which they were the first on the ground to replace the community’s dangerous lead lines. “Simply put, our members are the best in the world at what we do—and when it comes to protecting our water supply, we cannot settle for anything less.”
EPI Report Shows Higher Union Density States Have Better Economic, Personal and Democratic Well-Being
By many different measures, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) demonstrates that higher union density can result in higher wages, better benefits and more support for voting rights. The study found that the 17 states with the highest union density have median annual incomes $6,000 higher than the national average, a greater share of the population covered by health insurance, and fewer laws that restrict voting.
“Current law places too many obstacles in the way of workers trying to organize and gives employers too much power to interfere with workers’ free choice,” the reports’ authors concluded. “It is therefore critical that policymakers enact reforms that restore a meaningful right to organize and collectively bargain. One simple way to help accomplish this would be to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which will help restore the right to organize and give workers access to a union and the well-being it promotes.”
Many Art Agency Grants Lack Wage Requirements That Could Make Industry More Inclusive, Actors’ Equity Report Finds
Actors’ Equity Association issued a new national report that reviewed the grant criteria of nearly 50 of the largest state and local art agencies. The study found that less than 12% of agencies required a commitment to diversity and inclusion as part of their grant-making and less than 10% required performers to be paid a living wage. While releasing the report at the National Press Club on Wednesday, Actors’ Equity President Kate Shindle called for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the creation of new grant criteria that foster diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry.
“As theater continues to reopen, it has to look different than the industry that shut down in March 2020,” Shindle said. “This report outlines specific ways that state and local governments can make real change. By requiring fair pay for artists and removing barriers that exclude organizations by and for people of color and other marginalized communities, funders can drive [diversity, equity and inclusion] in the arts organizations they support.”
SIU Committed to Fostering Safe Work Environment for All Members
Seafarers (SIU) President Michael Sacco said the union is determined to create a work culture free from abuse and harrassment after an allegation of sexual assault aboard a U.S.-flag ship. In a recent message to SIU members, Sacco wrote: “We are not sitting back and brushing aside any part of our shared responsibility to protect all of our shipmates. We are working with other unions, government officials, schools and businesses to improve shipboard life for everyone. It’s an ongoing process and we take it seriously.”
U.S Senator Sherrod Brown: Working For Working People!
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.
United Way: Helping More Families
Every time I see a success story – someone we have supported on their chosen path to economic well-being – I cannot help but wonder how many more would welcome our engagement and support. 

Project Lift has supported more than 1,100 families since it was created more than two years ago, and there are hundreds of similar success stories.

Daja Moore now has financial stability and the chance for career advancement. How many more Daja Moores are in our community, just waiting for a chance with a program like Project Lift?

We are doing our best to find them. You can help. With your support, Project Lift will connect with even more families in 2022, supporting them on their self-chosen path to economic well-being.
With gratitude,

Moira Weir
United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Freestore Foodbank: Restocking Shelves and Fighting Hunger - Are You In?
We at Freestore Foodbank believe that every family deserves to share a holiday meal together.
Our December Holiday Food Distribution Event is the angel on the tree every year that makes wishes come true for more than 280,000 people struggling with hunger across the tristate area this holiday.

Today we’re counting on the generosity of friends like you to help us guarantee no family in our tristate community will sit down to an empty table this holiday season.

Will you make a gift to our virtual food drive today to keep hope alive and shelves stocked with food through the holiday season?

Hunger is in every community—one in seven of our neighbors—and it’s not just about getting enough food, but about getting nutritious and diverse foods to keep families healthy. You can give healthy meals to families right here through our virtual food drive.
There is no feeling more magical than the appreciation and gratitude felt when a simple wish comes true. Together, we can help struggling families gain a sense of hope and share happy memories this holiday.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Warm Wishes,

Kurt L. Reiber
President & CEO
Freestore Foodbank
RetireMEDiQ: Your Medicare Webinars for January!
New in 2022: Starting in January, RetireMEDiQ is launching a series of on-demand Medicare webinars to watch at any time!

For those who want to ask questions and connect with a local expert live, we also offer our complete lineup of live webinars.
In January, we cover the basics of Medicare, including…
  • Medicare Parts A and B: coverage and costs
  • Medicare plan options in 2022
  • Comparing employer group coverage to Medicare
  • Early retirement health insurance options
...and more!
Sign up for any of our webinars by sharing this January Webinars Flyer with your teams. We are here to assist individuals who need help with Medicare options, including clients, family and friends.
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, December 17 from daily data reporting to the Ohio Department of Health. These metrics are updated daily.
Below are the current reporting trends from Friday, December 17 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: