Labor Council
News & Updates
Friday, May 1, 2020 - A Special Workers Memorial Day and May Day Issue
"Join Me in Honoring Workers"
A Message From AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Workers Memorial Day is personal for us. Too many of us know someone who sacrificed everything on the job. My father and grandfather both died from black lung disease. They spent their careers working in the same mine I did. It was dangerous, but they were driven by the idea of providing a better life for their family.
Putting food on the table or earning a paycheck should never cost anyone their life.
Workers Memorial Day brings us together to remember the ultimate sacrifices working people make to achieve the American dream. Every single one of the working people who die every day from injury or occupational disease is a constant reminder of the dangers we face at the workplace.
But worker safety is not a priority for this administration. These past three and a half years, we have seen how this administration suspended important rules and reduced funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
And during this pandemic, working people are dying of preventable deaths. From nurses and doctors to transportation and grocery workers, we have seen how this virus is taking the lives of hardworking people. But the administration is prioritizing corporate giveaways, instead of protecting these critical workers who are out there to ensure that our country continues to move forward.
This Workers Memorial Day, we remembered those who sacrificed their lives doing the job they loved. In the midst of this global pandemic, we are being seen.
But appreciation is nothing without action. Until every worker is guaranteed the protection we need and the peace of mind we deserve, our job will endure.
That’s why I just sent this letter to Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia because we need urgent action to protect workers from COVID-19 exposures and infections.

Thank you for everything you do, every day.
In Solidarity,

Richard Trumka
President, AFL-CIO
A Workers Memorial Message From Ohio AFL-CIO President, Tim Burga
Tuesday was Workers Memorial Day, and we are reminded now more than possibly any other in our lifetime, the importance of workers having a voice on the job to protect our communities and ourselves.

Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and more than 40 years ago, Congress passed the Mine Safety and Health Act, promising every worker the right to a safe job. Unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality—winning protections that have made jobs safer and saved lives. But our work is not done. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more suffer injury or illness because of their jobs.

Corporate interests have taken over safety agencies under the Trump administration. Not only has progress stalled, but the administration has weakened or repealed key protections that keep us safe at work and slashed safety agency budgets and staff. Now, there has been no action to protect workers from infectious diseases like COVID-19, heat illness, silica in mining and exposure to toxic chemicals. The number of workplace safety inspectors has never been lower.

The labor movement and allies have fought back to block some of these attacks. We won permanent compensation for those made ill by the 9/11 attacks, and we are fighting for laws that would protect workers from preventable workplace violence, heat illness, asbestos exposures and the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping through our workplaces.

Every April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO will observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, and to renew the fight for safe jobs. This year we will come together to call for action on hazards that cause unnecessary injury, illness and death. We stand united against the ongoing attacks on workers’ rights and protections, and demand that elected officials put working people’s well-being above corporate interests. We fight for the right of every worker to a safe job until that promise is fulfilled.

In Solidarity!
Tim Burga, President
A Message From Cincinnati AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Pete McLinden

May 1 st is an important labor date for all of us, observed as May Day and/or International Workers Day in the United States and by over eighty countries around the world. It is a day to celebrate for many reasons as a day of unity, togetherness and rebirth, to honor the working class and laborers across the world, and stand up for improved wages and working conditions. In the United State, on May 1 st we commemorate the notorious 1886 Chicago Haymarket Square riot/massacre, where a peaceful rally in support of organized labor and workers (many of whom were Irish, German and eastern European immigrants working in industrial factories) protesting for an eight-hour work day turned deadly as eleven police officers and civilians lost their lives. 

On May 1, 2020, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, workers in the United State face many difficult challenges: loss of employment, wages and healthcare benefits; keeping workplaces clean and safe; maintaining vitally important frontline services; increased needs of unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation rights; and dealing at home with heightened anxieties, mental anguish and growing fears of what’s to come. We, as Labor leaders, cannot successfully face and overcome these challenges alone; in the spirit of solidarity and unity, we must continue to stand together and fight for the basic respect, dignity and rights of ALL workers in United States, including immigrant workers. As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka recently said: “None of us are safe, until ALL of us are safe because the CV-19 pandemic impacts all workers, especially with its disproportionate impact on minority communities.” 
So, this May Day, we must all remember the historic sacrifices and struggles of our Labor movement, and step up to face the challenges that now confront us. To keep our workers and workplaces safe, please access/use the Labor Movement’s Coronavirus resources provided at and strongly encourage your members to engage in safe, responsible workplace practices to stop any further spread of the pandemic. Union leaders and members are standing strong in their response to this outbreak, working on the frontlines, serving people in need and supporting their communities. When you have an opportunity this week, please say thank you to any/all frontline workers you come in contact with. I promise you such welcoming and hopeful gestures are very much appreciated and show the Labor movement’s solidarity for all workers in the United States.

In Solidarity, U and I
Peter M. McLinden, Esq.
Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council

*none of us are safe, until all of us are safe, including immigrant workers
*CV-19 pandemic affects all of us, with a disproportional impact on minority communities
Union Members Lost to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the United States, our sisters, brothers and friends in the labor movement are among the first casualties. It is important for us to work together during this crisis to prevent further deaths. It is important to thank those who are doing the work to keep us safe and fed. It is important to remember those who we lost because of the coronavirus.

This list includes those deaths we have currently learned of. If you aware of additional union members we should include on this list,  please fill out this form  and they will be added to the Memorial Page.
Action Needed: Protect Ohio's Community & Technical Colleges
We know that Ohio, along with the rest of the country, is facing an economic downturn. Historically, these are times when Ohioans turn to community and technical colleges for affordable tuition and job training. Community and technical colleges offer students the opportunity to prepare for in-demand careers and often serve as the starting point for four-year degrees.

However, community and technical colleges are facing steep budget shortfalls and are considering layoffs to remain viable. Low summer enrollment will compound the problem. Without immediate action, jobs will be lost and colleges and universities may close permanently.

While the CARES Act provided some higher education funding, it went to all colleges and universities – even those with large endowments – and required colleges and universities to justify the use of funds on faculty salaries. This has been insufficient for many struggling colleges. Future CARES Act funds must help two-year institutions of higher education maintain the faculty and staff needed to reduce class size (for social distancing) and provide on-line learning.

We can not afford to let Ohio's Community and Technical Colleges close, especially at a time when we need to the ability to educate, train, and certify employees in critical fields like healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology.

Show your support for OFT members at Owens Community College, Central Ohio Technical College, Terra State Community College and Belmont College, along with all the faculty and staff at Community and Technical Colleges across Ohio. And show your support for the students they educate and the communities they serve.

In Solidarity
Melissa Cropper, President
Ohio Federation of Teachers
Lunch With Legislators - Week 3 - TODAY!
Join your State Legislators again this morning, Friday, May 1st, at 11:00 am  on Facebook Live and Zoom. This week, Representative Miranda, Representative Kelly and Representative Denson will be joined by three special guests to delve into education during a public health crisis . Please  sign up here  or by clicking the invitation graphic.

Come, enjoy lunch with your legislators, while they answer your questions and discuss what the future holds for all of us. Or maybe just stop by the stream to say hello and let them know how you are doing. So, please  sign up here  to enjoy another conversation with your legislators.
A Special Online Event
"Reopening America!"
Save the Date and Time: Friday, May 8, 11:00 AM
Labor Leaders from around the state, county, region, and city will discuss "Safety First: Working People's Plan For Reopening America ."

This not-to-miss event being produced by the Cincinnati AFL-CIO and hosted by Doug Bolton from , features a panel of Representatives from the US Senate, Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate, Hamilton County, City of Cincinnati, and Labor Leaders from Healthcare, Public Safety, Building Trades, Food Workers, Transportation, Public Sector, Education and US Postal Services.

At the heart of this discussion is "Safety First: Working People's Plan for Reopening Our Economy. " Every day, health care workers, transit workers, meatpacking workers, first responders, grocery workers, utility workers, letter carriers, construction workers, doormen, retail workers, child protective service workers, factory workers, solid waste workers, corrections officers, janitors and other workers are being exposed to the coronavirus in U.S. workplaces. Hundreds of thousands of workers have been infected and thousands have died. The failure of federal and state governments to meet stated urgent needs before lifting or relaxing preventive measures that are currently reducing the number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 will result in more working people falling sick and dying and more economic damage. Nothing would be worse for the economy than a premature reopening followed by an explosion of the disease and a second shutdown. Putting worker safety first is the first step in any viable plan to save lives, defeat the coronavirus and revive the economy, as the AFL-CIO has further laid out in  America’s Five Economic Essentials . These important points will drive our discussion.

We are grateful to our dear friends, Representatives Jessica Miranda, Brigid Kelly, Catherine Ingram and Sedrick Denson for their support and willingness to help promote this event in lieu of their "Lunch With Your Legislators" weekly online event. Watch your Inbox and the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Facebook Page for further information. Details on registering to attend this panel discussion will be available starting early next week. If you have questions, or to make sure you receive this information, please email us at and include the phrase "Reopening America" in the subject line. And be sure to download and read the full document "Safety First: Working People's Plan for Reopening The Economy The Right Way" by following the download link below.
Relief For Workers Affected By The Corona-virus
Public service workers are essential to fighting #coronavirus and re-opening our economy.

We can do neither if we lay them off. Tell Congress to #fundthefrontlines NOW.

#FundtheFrontLines #COVIDfrontlines #publicservice #protectALLworkers
FMCS To Provide Virtual Mediation Information
FMCS is now offering Virtual Conferencing - a process that takes the place of a face to face meeting, when that option is either not available or not practical. FMCS’s Virtual Meeting space allows for all parties to be present in a meeting with their Mediator using their computer, tablet, cell phone, feature phone or smartphone. The Virtual meeting allows for private caucus rooms, sidebars and even subcommittee meetings. In addition, the technology allows parties to share documents in real time.

FMCS mediators are now conducting collective bargaining, grievance mediations, labor-management committees, facilitations and even trainings using this cutting-edge video teleconferencing technology. This technology provides the ability for parties to collaborate virtually via:

  • Joint Labor / Management meeting rooms
  • Fully private, separate caucus rooms for the parties
  • Sharing online documents in joint and separate caucuses.
  • Additional technology for idea generation and evaluation as part of comprehensive joint problem-solving.

A more detailed document that provides a cursory overview of what the online process is like with this technology can be downloaded HERE . It is not intended to constitute a comprehensive manual, or to take the place of the guidance your Mediator will give you during a virtual meeting. If desirable, your FMCS Mediator will hold a practice session with you in advance of your meeting date. We are available to schedule a private demonstration for you and your team; call me to schedule.

Thank you and stay well.

Joe D. Wilson
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
4600 Montgomery Rd., Suite 100
Cincinnati, Ohio 45212
Office: (513) 684-2952
Cell: (513) 256-1445
We can’t beat this pandemic by cutting public services and giving a pink slip to our public service workers.

This is not a winning strategy.

Help Give Freestore Foodbank A Good Head-start
Dear Community Friends and Partners,

We’re one week away from #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5, a global day of giving and unity as an emergency response to COVID-19.

Here at Freestore Foodbank, we’ll dedicate this day to support those who face hunger AND to celebrate everyone who has done so much to help during this critical time.
Starting today, your #GivingTuesdayNow gift will be matched $1 for $1—up to $150K—thanks to Rettig Foundation Trust and other Second Helping donors.

If you’re able, please donate now and give us a strong start toward our goal.  Your gift will DOUBLE and help us take full advantage of this amazing match opportunity for our neighbors in need.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve distributed 50% more food than this same time last year, the equivalent of almost 4 million meals. And we’ve seen an 51% increase in people who are calling us for assistance with SNAP benefits.

The need has never been greater, but neither has the dedication of amazing volunteers like you.  With your support, we’ll continue to be there for the people facing hunger in our community—as long as it takes.

Please join us for #GivingTuesdayNow and show your support for the children, families and seniors who face hunger in our community.

Many thanks,
Kurt L. Reiber
President & CEO
Freestore Foodbank
Front-line public service workers put their lives on the line to save us.

Don’t let Congress thank them with a pink slip.

Pass state & local aid NOW!

UWGC Virtual Community Telethon to
Benefit COVID-19 Relief Efforts - TODAY!
Today, Friday, May 1, please join us for a three-hour, fun-filled community telethon to benefit our ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts.

The event, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. features artists and national artists with Cincinnati ties, including Jewel, Train, Carly Pearce, Jerry Springer, Zachary Gabbard of The Buffalo Killers/Gabbard Bros, Naked Karate Girls, Bronson Arroyo, Jim Scott, Curtis Sittenfeld, Erika Wennerstrom, The Newbees and others.

Join our  Facebook event  to save the date. A complete list and more information on the event is available at
We are excited and grateful to NuVoodoo Media Services for pulling it together. It promises to be incredible and it will help us be responsive to the increasing needs of our community during this pandemic. Please join in!
Moira Weir
United Way of Greater Cincinnati

United Way of Greater Cincinnati
2400 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH | (c) 513-309-2920  | Engage with us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Unite communities to change lives. It’s what we do. Who we are. What we believe.
That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED®
Public service workers on the #COVIDfrontlines have sacrificed so much to keep our communities running.

We’re seriously going to thank them with a pink slip? 

Call 1-888-981-9704 to demand Congress provide more aid to state and local governments ASAP.
Worker Protections and Defense Production Act
"Quick-hit" Information From
Government Strategies Group
The following helpful information comes to us from our friends at Government Strategies Group, A Full Service Government Relations Firm.


Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans to complete the 2020 Census. Right now, Ohio’s response rate of 52.2% is higher than the national average and higher than all neighboring states, except Michigan which has a response rate of 55%. For more information, visit or call 844-330-2020.


If you are at home helping your children while they are away from school or simply want an escape from the news of the day, check out some of the resources available in our community:
  • ArtsWave: View a directory of virtual or streaming art activities from dozens of local organizations.
  • Cincinnati Art Museum: Join the CAM Connect Facebook Group for blogs and videos about the collection.
  • Cincinnati Museum Center: New content is available on demand and released daily at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Join CMC for at-home science, art, & history activities, virtual chats & interviews with curators & other experts, virtual storytimes, & more.
  • Playhouse in the Park: Join Playhouse for art at home resources at
  • Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra: The CSO is offering daily learning activities for at-home music lovers of all ages. Click here. You can also follow the CSO Educator Network on Facebook for Learning at Home resources.
  • Contemporary Arts Center: Experience the CAC from the comfort of your home. Take an audio tour of selected exhibits with local artist Britini Bicknaver; Participate in the 6 Questions Series for dispatches from the artists themselves. Vimeo channel for video highlights from recent exhibits. Follow the CAC on Instagram and Facebook for more updates.
  • Great Parks of Hamilton County: Don't forget to join us every Monday-Friday at 10 a.m. on Facebook and Instagram Live. We're hosting story time, taking nature walks, meeting animal ambassadors, making crafts and much more! We want you to share your favorite park activities with us on social media. Not on social media? No problem! Every live video will be posted to the Great Parks blog afterward.


Did someone say taco night? Order taco kits from Pata Roja Taqueria for home delivery of fresh ingredients. Visit and place an online order. They will also be selling from a takeout window this weekend at Main and Wodward in Over the Rhine.

Download the Findlay Market app on your smart phone to place a mobile order for pick up or delivery of fresh food from local farmers and restaurants. Help support local businesses stay afloat in this time of uncertainty.