Labor Council

Saturday, December 4, 2021
Message from President Liz Shuler
  • We stand in solidarity with all of the workers on strike across the country. Your fight is our fight.

  • We also congratulate the tens of thousands of union members who have ratified new contracts and reached tentative agreements in recent weeks. Our wins at the bargaining table are multiplying, and they’re significant.

  • The wave of collective action sweeping the country is just getting started. We’ll keep going until we have an economy that truly works for working people.
Message from President Shuler on COVID-19
  • The emergence of the Omicron variant is cause for concern and is being closely watched by scientists worldwide. At this point, there are many uncertainties and scientists are working to determine the new variant's ability to infect, spread and cause serious illness.

  • The pandemic isn’t over. Employers must meet their responsibilities to ensure workers are protected from COVID-19 exposures and infections in the workplace. The high rates of transmission in the United States and the emergence of the Omicron variant is why we must have a layered approach to stop the spread of COVID-19 that includes vaccines and workplace mitigation measures to reduce transmission.

  • We continue to advocate for strong COVID-19 protections from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent exposure for all workers, including making permanent the emergency temporary standard for health care workers. And we are fighting for workers and unions to have a seat at the table as employers develop vaccine, testing and other workplace safety programs.
Listen to 'State of the Unions' Podcast with President Liz Shuler and Emily's List President Laphonza Butler
Liz Shuler and Laphonza Butler are making history.
Shuler is the first woman to serve as president of the AFL-CIO. Butler is the first Black woman and mother to serve as the president of Emily’s List.
In a new episode of “State of the Unions,” Shuler and Butler lay out their plans to build more inclusive labor and political movements, respectively. They also discuss how their lives have changed since becoming new leaders of their organizations.

Listen to the new episode now, wherever you get your podcasts.
Governor Signs Severely Gerrymandered Congressional Map
Headed To Ohio Supreme Court
As we headed into the Thanksgiving holiday, the Ohio Legislature passed extremely gerrymandered Congressional maps, which The Princeton Gerrymandering Project graded as an “F." The maps were passed in the legislature along party lines, even though it clearly goes against the Constitutional amendment for fair districts that Ohioans overwhelmingly passed in 2017 .
After skirting or downright ignoring constitutional deadlines during the entire redistricting process, the Republicans pushed this new map through the legislature at breakneck speed with little debate. The governor then signed the maps into law.
The National Redistricting Action Fund has already filed a lawsuit, which will be heard by the Ohio Supreme Court, claiming the maps are illegally constructed to disproportionately favor Republican candidates in violation of the Ohio Constitution.
The Republicans released a PDF of the new map late on a Monday night, and scheduled a vote on the map the next day. This rushed schedule and the fact that the Republican majority did not release the data files in time for sufficient analysis for public testimony or legislative action was widely criticized.
"Like the extremely gerrymandered state legislative maps Republicans passed earlier, which are now in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court, we believe the Congressional map violates the spirit and intent of the constitutional amendment that Ohio voters overwhelming approved," said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga.
BCTGM Reaches Tentative Agreement for Kellogg’s Workers
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International President Anthony Shelton issued this statement following negotiations between the BCTGM and Kellogg:
“Late last night, BCTGM negotiators reached a tentative agreement with Kellogg’s on a new contract. In the coming days, the local union officers on the bargaining committee will present the tentative agreement to their respective memberships who will then vote on the agreement on Sunday, Dec. 5, at destinations determined by each local union.
“I want to thank and commend all of the members of the bargaining committee for their many, many hours of extremely hard work to reach this tentative agreement. As always in our union, the members will have the final say on the contract.”
Wirecutter Union Members Strike at the Height of Shopping Season
After two years of negotiations with management at The New York Times, members of the Wirecutter Union, an affiliate of The NewsGuild-CWA, went on strike for a fair contract during the Black Friday shopping week. Workers at the ecommerce site are still fighting for a first contract from The New York Times many months after voting to form their union.

Let’s hold Times management accountable to their workers and their stated values this shopping season. Sign the pledge and don’t shop through Wirecutter today.
UWUA Members in Pittsburgh Prepare to Strike if Necessary
The wave of collective action sweeping the nation shows no signs of letting up. Currently, members of the Utility Workers (UWUA) in Pittsburgh are fighting their own battle for a fair contract with their employer. Earlier this month, UWUA locals 479 and 475 conducted a practice picket against Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania. Workers there have been without a contract and are demanding their employer come to the table to improve safety, wages and benefits. Members of the two UWUA locals have recently voted to authorize a strike to win a fair contract.
Tech Workers at Big Cartel Request Voluntary Recognition of Their Union
On Tuesday, employees at the e-commerce company Big Cartel requested from their employer voluntary recognition of their union with the Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 1010. A supermajority of workers at the e-commerce platform—including product developers, engineers, designers, support, marketing and operations staff—signed union authorization cards and have publicly signed onto a voluntary recognition letter delivered to the co-founders of the company.
“Our company is in a moment of transition, and as workers, we deserve a voice in how we move forward together,” said Lauren Fazah, who has been at Big Cartel for four years. “By unionizing, we’re showing our leadership that we’re strong together, that we workers have collective power, and we want to use that to benefit each other and the company as a whole.”
If recognition is denied or ignored, the union is prepared to file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board.
IFPTE Members Help Secure Settlement for DoorDash Workers in San Francisco
DoorDash workers in San Francisco will receive restitution from a $5.3-million-dollar settlement over the food delivery company’s violations of local labor laws. The settlement, which benefits at least 4,000 delivery workers, stems from an investigation initiated by the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, which employs government workers represented by International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21.
Local 21 Vice President Bianca Polovina, responsible for the local’s membership recruitment and organizing, commented, “As a union member and public sector worker, I can’t be more proud that this settlement will compensate these gig workers, who unfortunately do not enjoy the same worker protections as most of us. Our local applauds this decision.”
ATU: Wage Shortage to Blame for Lack of Transit Workers
Expanding public transportation is vital to ensure a fair economic recovery. But some transit bosses are complaining of a lack of workers. In New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is offering $35,000 in bonuses for retired subway workers to come back and work for three months. Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President John Costa (pictured above) told The New York Times that these bonuses are “a knee-jerk reaction,” instead of a serious attempt to attract qualified workers with better wages and benefits.
In Washington, D.C., transit agencies also say they are struggling to find experienced workers. “We are having a problem, but I really don’t think the problem is the driver shortage. I think that the problem is the wage shortage,” Raymond Jackson (not pictured), president of ATU Local 689, told The Washington Post. Local 689 represents transit workers in the greater Washington, D.C., region. “Blue-collar workers in this country have had enough and that’s what we are seeing. We just want fair wages and fair benefits. That’s all we’re asking for,” Jackson said.
IUPAT Secures Back Pay and Immigration Relief in Lawsuit Against Tito Contractors
A group of largely immigrant workers recently prevailed on their claims that their employer, Tito Contractors, unlawfully retaliated against them when they filed suit to force Tito Contractors to comply with federal wage-hour laws and to form a union. After the workers acted to stand up for themselves, Tito Contractors retaliated by firing some of them, denying others overtime, and threatening others with discharge or calling immigration authorities on them or their family members. With the help of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 51, the workers filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB, affirmed by the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, found merit in those charges and ordered Tito Contractors to make the workers whole.
“This case shows that federal law will protect all workers who stand up for themselves. Hopefully, it will serve as a model for protecting immigrant workers from abuse and restoring their faith that the system can and does work,” said IUPAT General President Jimmy Williams Jr. (not pictured). “This brave group of men and women understood the risks they took, but they believed that they needed to fight to protect themselves and their families. I applaud their courage.” He also thanked Jobs With Justice and the AFL-CIO, “who both provided significant support to the workers throughout this fight for simple workplace justice.”
ALPA Launches Public Awareness Campaign Ahead of Holiday Travel Season
As many people return to air travel this holiday season, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has launched a campaign to inform the public that pilots are more than ready to get them to their destinations safely. ALPA touts the skill of North American pilots, including the 3.2 million hours ALPA pilots spent training in 2020 to prepare to return passengers to the skies. As part of the campaign, ALPA also advocates the need to have at least two trained, experienced professional pilots on every flight deck. While there are some who think the industry could save money by having only one pilot on a flight without jeopardizing safety, ALPA maintains that safety would indeed be compromised. The union’s “More Than Ready” campaign makes clear to decision-makers, passengers and cargo shippers that reducing the number of pilots on the flight deck is a safety risk nobody should want to take.
ALPA said: “As we continue to face many threats to our jobs—and to the safety and security of the skies—we stand More Than Ready to respond, adjusting our advocacy efforts in the United States and Canada to advance our pilot-partisan agenda and protect the hard-fought gains ALPA pilots have made over nine decades.”
NFLPA Visits AFL-CIO in Show of Solidarity
National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and NFLPA President JC Tretter stopped by the AFL-CIO today to meet with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond to discuss solidarity among all workers.
“It was a great pleasure to visit the AFL-CIO offices and meet with our leadership, including President Shuler,” said Tretter (pictured above at far right). “Their commitment to our player membership, as well as our fellow union brothers and sisters, is clear, and I’m honored to be able to serve alongside them.”
AFSCME Shows How Child Care Providers Are Finding Their Union Voice
Child care providers play an indispensable role in our children’s lives. By being there for our children and allowing us to focus on our own jobs, they help support our country’s entire economy. But for far too long, child care providers haven’t been treated as the essential workers they are. Predominantly women of color, they are among the lowest-paid workers in our society. But now, AFSCME says child care providers are having their moment: In states across the country, they are organizing together to form strong unions and raising their voices like never before.
For Charlotte Neal—a member of Child Care Providers United-AFSCME/SEIU (CCPU-AFSCME/SEIU) and owner of a family day care in Sacramento, California—coming together with other providers to form their own union was a struggle 17 years in the making. She spoke about what it was like to form a union with other child care providers.
“People have misconceptions when they think of a union,” Neal said. “Their conception of a union is: ‘Oh, it’s some people that I don’t know, and they’re making decisions for me.’ We had to change that thinking to: ‘We are a union; I am the union; you are the union.’ It’s us working together.”
U.S Senator Sherrod Brown: Working For Working People!
Be Kind to Retail Workers This Holiday Season
With holiday shopping fully underway, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union-UFCW (RWDSU-UFCW) released a statement (link) on enjoying the season and to remember to be kind to workers. RWDSU-UFCW President Stuart Appelbaum is urging holiday shoppers to treat workers with dignity and respect as they return to shopping in stores, especially amid supply chain issues.
As consumer demand is strong and shoppers are ready to purchase goods and services, retail workers are eager and ready to do their part this holiday season. President Appelbaum did call for patience and respect knowing how tense things can get this time of year, stating, “Retail workers bear the brunt of shoppers’ frustration and experience heightened stress and pressure this time of year, even in normal times. Shoppers need to remember what this season is supposed to be all about – kindness.”
Message from United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Thousands of local working families struggle with income stability. Systemic inequities and other barriers beyond their control leave them with shaky foundations, one car repair, high utility bill or illness away from economic turmoil.

Andreah McAdams has been there. Through hard work and perseverance, the single mother of three was hitting her stride prior to 2020, when three separate illnesses caused her to miss substantial time at work and threatened her ability to pay rent.

She turned to Project Lift, a United Way initiative that partners with organizations Greater Cincinnati residents know and trust to help families with emergency needs and long-term economic well-being.

Today, she’s back on track, has her associate degree and is on the path to a bachelor’s degree.

For many hardworking families, complex barriers prevent them from building a solid financial foundation. They know exactly what will make their lives better, they just need someone they trust to guide them.

Project Lift supports families on their journey to financial stability. Project Lift sponsors listen to families’ challenges, find ways to leverage resources to assist them with short-term needs – rent, food, child care, utilities, transportation, etc. – and provide an ongoing support system as they work to increase their incomes and build long-term economic well-being. 

For Andreah, it was not just about the rent. It was about enabling her to stay on track for her associate degree in early childhood education and stopping the cycle of financial instability. 

Andreah is just one of 1,100 families helped by Project Lift over the past two years. The learnings from those interactions fuel systemic changes that help all families facing similar challenges. Your support makes this possible. 

Project Lift is a winning formula making a true difference. With your future support, we will expand this program to many more families, spurring economic well-being throughout the region.
With gratitude,

Moira Weir
United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Message from Freestore Foodbank
Thank you for making Giving Tuesday a HUGE success for children, families and all the individuals we serve in the tri-state region. Your support is inspiring — it has a meaningful and lasting impact. Because of you, our biggest fundraising day of the year exceeded all of our expectations!

The Freestore Foodbank is one of Ohio’s largest food banks, distributing over 41 million meals annually through a network of 574 community partners serving 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. This includes food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, community centers, program sites, senior centers and daycare facilities.
Know that the generosity you shared with us over Giving Tuesday filled warm bellies and fueled empowering and vital programs and services for our friends and neighbors right here in the community.

I am so grateful for all you have done to make our mission to end hunger reach this important milestone!

Kurt L. Reiber
President & CEO
Freestore Foodbank

P.S. For those of you interested in our annual Fall Classic, today marks the first day. You are cordially invited to participate in the event, of course. You can check out the event details.
Message from RetireMediQ
Open enrollment may have ended for your employees, but it is not too late to help your eligible employees save on their health care costs in 2022.
Here are two simple ways to help your employees working past age 65 as they consider switching to Medicare.

  1. Curated by our expert advisors, our free newsletter covers the basics of Medicare, retirement, wellness, and more. Your employees can sign up with their email address
  2. Read this short blog that discusses comparing employer coverage to Medicare.
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 3 from daily data reporting to the Ohio Department of Health. These metrics are updated daily.
Below are the current reporting trends from Friday, December 3 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: