“Reopening America” – An Online Event

National, State, Regional, County and City Labor and Elected Leaders to Discuss

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ― May 5, 2020 — Cincinnati, OH — Friday, May 8, 11:00 am, Labor Leaders and National, State, Regional, County and City Elected Leaders will meet in an online panel discussion covering how best to “Reopen America.” This not-to-miss event being produced by the Cincinnati AFL-CIO and hosted by Doug Bolton from CincinnatiCares.com, features a panel of representatives from the U.S. Senate and House, Ohio House and Senate, Hamilton County, City of Cincinnati, and Labor Leaders representing Healthcare, Public Safety, Building Trades/Construction, Food Workers/Retail, Transportation, Public Sector, Education and US Postal Service sectors. (A list of the Elected and Labor Leaders for this panel is located on page 2 of this release.)

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. 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.

Registration for this event is HERE. Further information and details on registering to attend this panel discussion are available on the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Facebook Page, and Website. Prior to this panel meeting, please review the AFL-CIO’s “Safety First: Working People’s Plan for Reopening the Economy The Right Way” plan by clicking on the title and following the embedded link.  If you have other questions, or if you wish to receive the registration information directly, please email us at info@cincinnatiaflcio.org and include the phrase “Reopening America” in the subject line.

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About the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council – As one of over 500 state and local labor councils of the AFL-CIO, the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council is at the heart of the labor movement in southwest Ohio. We are a democratically elected body dedicated to representing the interests of all working people at the state and local level.  We mobilize our members and community partners to advocate for social and economic justice, striving every day to vanquish oppression and make our communities better for all people—regardless of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or ethnic or national origin. For information of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, call (513) 421-1846 or email info@cincinnatiaflcio.org.

National, State, Regional, County and City Labor and Elected Leaders to Discuss

“Reopening America” – On Online Event

Panelists

Elected Officials

P.G. Sittenfeld Councilmember, City of Cincinnati
Denise Driehaus Chair/Commissioner, Hamilton County
Jessica Miranda Ohio House 28th District Rep.
Brigid Kelly Ohio House 31st District Rep.
Catherine Ingram Ohio House 32nd District Rep.
Sedrick Denson Ohio House 33rd District Rep.
Cecil Thomas Ohio Senate 9th District Senator
Tim Ryan Congressman, U.S. Representative 13th Congressional District
John Ryan Chief of Staff, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s office

Labor Leaders

Organized Labor Tim Burga ― President, Ohio AFL-CIO
Construction Bill Froehle ― President, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, Business Manager, UA Plumbers-Pipefitters, Local 392
Education Melissa Cropper ― President, Ohio Federation of Teachers Secretary-Treasurer, Ohio AFL-CIO
Healthcare Michelle Thoman ― President, RNA-Nurses-UC Health
Postal Service Ted Thompson ― President, NALC-Letter Carriers, Branch 43
Public Safety Matt Alter ― President, Intl. Assn. of Fire Fighters, Local 48
Public Sector Sean Grayson ― President, Ohio Council 8-AFSCME
Retail Kevin Garvey ― President, UFCW, Local 75
Transit Troy Miller ― President, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 627
   

 

Important NALC Legislative Update

Ted Thompson, President of NALC Branch 43, sent us the most recent NALC Legislative Update. We’ve probably all read something about the USPS recently… Much is on the news with President Trump threatening a veto if any stimulus includes appropriations for the USPS. While NALC leadership along with the leadership of the UPWU continues dealing with the everyday issues the COVID-19 pandemic, our Sisters and Brothers at the USPS need our help and our voices. Please give this important document your attention and do what you can to help where you can. Thank you!

We are Your Resource

Building Bridges: Amazon fires worker over coronavirus protest; Pandemic Reveals the Race & Class Divide of our Education System

Building Bridges over WBAI Radio, 99.5FM with Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash — Monday, April 6, 7 – 8 pm EST — streaming @ www.wbai.org/playernew.htmlsmartphone streaming @ https://www.wbai.org/listen.php & to listen, or download archived shows, https://www.wbai.org/archive.php

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Amazon’s plans to smear a warehouse worker who was fired after organizing a protest over the lack of coronavirus protection for 5000 workers was racist and classist, illegal and “immoral” says New York’s Attorney General calling for a federal investigation of Chris Small’s termination. W
ith Chris Smalls, terminated Amazon worker/organizer and Derrick Palmer, protesting Amazon warehouse worker

Chris Smalls a warehouse fulfillment center worker for Amazon, the third richest company in the world with a market cap that is nearing a trillion dollars was forced to organize a walk out, at the 5,000 employees warehouse when faced with the rising tide of COVID-19 there.  Well, what do you think Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, whose personal worth is estimated at $123.9 billion, making him the richest man in the world did in response to its frightened and vulnerable workers walkout, employees who are pay a mere $11 – $19 and hour was?  Bezos, himself and his top brass met with Amazon’s general counsel David Zapolsky to cook up a strategy to smear Chris Smalls, a memo leaked to Building Bridges revealed.With classic racist and classist characterizations Amazon contrived to defame and denigrate Chris Smalls, the courageous worker fighting for the very lives of his fellow workers against COVID-19.  And then, Bezos fired Smalls, who was demanding a temporarily shut down of the huge warehouse facility for cleaning, after reports of multiple employees testing positive for COVID-19, and then fighting for protective gear and hazard pay for the associates working through the pandemic and for the pay and full paid stick leave ALL workers deserve.
How the Pandemic Reveals the Race & Class Divide of the Education System to Assist Students and Families with Eleanor Bader, educator, freelance writer and activist. She is the author of Targets of Hatred: Anti-Abortion Terrorism and a 2015 winner of a Project Censored award for “outstanding investigative journalism” and a recipient of an Independent Press Association award.

The COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding fast, with each day’s missives giving us new, and sometimes contradictory, information about the virus. Schools — public and private, pre-K through university — have been scrambling to figure out how to respond since the virus hit the U.S.  Meanwhile, all the evidence suggests that children—and poor children especially—will bear an incredible burden during the coronavirus pandemic and the attendant economic shocks. But that evidence has trouble breaking into a national conversation dominated by mortality rates and work-from-home strategies. The pandemic is acutely affecting the delivery of K–12 education.As of March 19, 2020, 44 states had closed 104,000 schools, affecting nearly 48 million students, turning millions of families into accidental home-schoolers.  The pandemic arises on the tail the nation’s public school system having been faced with a wave of protests, teacher strikes, and student walkouts exposing the outrageous inequality plaguing the public education system and where the budget numbers reveal how unfair funding programs dictate what our children are worth, depending on where they live, the color of their skin, and their families’ wealth.  School funding levels, according to the analysis of the Education Law Center and the Rutgers Graduate School of Education vary most dramatically along school-district lines, generally dictated by local property taxes, which renders the education of some wealthy children funded at double the rate of a poor kid’s. There are also stark disparities across state lines, with statehouses primarily managing education policy. Fifteen years after “No Child Left Behind” promised to “close the achievement gaps” in race and socioeconomic background, children in more than one-third of the states are not just stagnating, they’re sliding backward with what the ELC calls “regressive” funding.  Poor kids are priced out of educational equity.School budgets are moral documents, revealing not only how much society values education as a public good, but how we value the children of different communities. Today, with a reactionary administration seeking to privatize public education further, children living in extreme deprivation stand to lose the most. About four in 10 students attend schools in districts with poverty rates of upwards of 75 percent, which perpetuates the structural poverty that keeps families trapped in poor communities with impoverished schools. Now says Bader the likely outcome of this pandemic, like most others in history, will again uncover our most basic educational inequities.

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Tune in at 9 am Thursdays to Equal Rights and Justice hosted by Mimi Rosenberg
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In addition to being broadcast over WBAI,  99.5 FM in NYC and the tri-state area 7 – 8 pm EST Mondays, Building Bridges is syndicated to 50  broadcast and internet  radio stations in the US, Canada and the UK                            

Building Bridges National Edition is regularly broadcast over:

WADR, Janesville, WI
WPPM, Philadelphia, PA
KBOG, Bandon, OR
WESU – Middleton, CT
KYAQ. Newport, OR
KGRN Columbus, Ohio
KOPN, Columbia, MO
KWRK, Fairbanks, Alaska
WLSL, Dade City, FL
WMNB, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
WZBC, Boston, Mass.
WDRT, Viroqua, WI
KYRS, Spokane, WA
Liberty and Justice1640, Shirley Mass
KWTF,Sonoma County CA
KNSJ, San Diego, CA
KRFY, Sandpoint, ID
KMUD, Redway, CA
WXOJ-LP, Florence, MA
KPOV, Bend, Oregon
KONR Ankorage, Alaska
WAPJ, Torrington, CT.
WOOL, Great Falls, Vermont and New Hampshire
KKRN Bella Vista, CA
KGHI, Westport, WA
KSVR, Mount Vernon, WA
WAZU, Peoria, Illinois
KMEC, Ukiah, CA
KOWA, Olympia Washington .
WWUH, West Hartford, CT
WMNF HD FM Tampa, Florida
WPVM – MAIN-FM  Asheville, NC
WERU Blue Hill and Bangor, Maine
WGOT –  Gainesville, Florida.
WUOW – Oneonta, N.Y.
WVJW- Benwood, WV
KRFP, Moscow, ID
KSOW,Cottage Grove, Oregon
WKNH ,Keene, NH
CKDU, Halifax, N.S., Canada
WRPI, Troy, New York
WNRB, Wausau, WI
KQRP Salida, California
East Hill Radio, Snoqualmie, WA
KSKQ, Ashland, Oregon
KWMD, Kasiloff-Anchorage, Alaska
WPRR, Grand Rapids, Michigan
KROV, Oroville, CA

as well as internet stations:

                         Celebral Radio
Dirty Chai Radio
Workforce Rising
Chiampa Internet Radio
Global Community Radio 1, Geneva, N.Y.
WTF Radio, Bodega Bay CA
CPR Metro, NYC
Radio Free Radical
Radio Free Kansas
Radio Veronica, West Point, PA
Catalystradio.org,  U.K.
WXXE
Seattle Radical Radio
Radio for Peace International
Labourstart
AmericanFM.org
Grateful Dread Public Radio
Detour Network, Knoxville, TN
KDX Radio, Homeland, North American
Radio Ear Network, Sarasota, FL
TuneIn.com
Channel One Radio
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For  archived Building Bridges Programs go to
        our website:
                    
www.buildingbridgesradio.org                          

“Our Lives Are On The Line!”

We just received this email from Lavita Payton, a registered nurse and Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1104 member, and thought you should read it.

Payton tells us why she is petitioning President Trump to use the Defense Production Act to get all front-line workers the personal protective equipment she and others need to do their jobs now.

Will you add your name to the petition?

In Solidarity,

Team AFL-CIO

———- Forwarded message ———

From: Lavita Payton, CWA <action_alert@cwa-union.org>

Date: Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 10:11 AM

Subject: Our lives are on the line.

To: Team AFL-CIO <peoplepower@aflcio.org>

FIGHTING FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE & DEMOCRACY

“We have done a hell of a job.”

– President Trump, March 27th, 2020 (New York Times, p. A8, March 28, 2020)

“Something’s going on. Where are the masks going—are they going out the back door? Somebody should look into that….”

– President Trump, March 29th, 2020 (New York Times, p. A7, March 30, 2020)

Is President Trump kidding?

Is he really accusing me and my co-workers of hoarding and stealing excess personal protective equipment? Does he have any clue about what’s really happening in my hospital, and hospitals like mine across the country?

My name is Lavita Payton, and I work at a major hospital in New York City. I’m writing today to let you know what’s really going on where I work and to ask you to take action now to tell President Trump to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to get us and all public-facing essential workers the protective equipment that we need NOW.

Never in my 25 years of nursing have my co-workers and I seen anything like what we are seeing with this COVID-19 pandemic.

Ambulances streaming in hour after hour with critically ill patients in respiratory distress. ICU beds totally filled, as we frantically try to create new units for COVID patients around the hospital grounds. Doctors, nurses, respiratory techs, auxiliary personnel, working 14-16 hours a day, totally and completely burnt out, terrified of getting sick and bringing the disease home to our families.

And you know what? We don’t have the protective equipment we need. We are all reusing single-use gear like N95 respirators for a week because there aren’t enough. We don’t have enough surgical masks or surgical gowns to keep ourselves safe.  Estimates are that we will need literally billions of N95s for health care workers and others in this crisis.

And it’s not just health care workers who need proper Personal Protective Equipment.

Hospital workers are on the frontlines, exposed every day on the job to sick and dying patients. But across this country, there are other public-facing “essential workers”—people in grocery and drug stores, my brothers and sisters working for phone companies like Verizon, AT&T, Altice and Frontier, NYC Traffic Agents and Supervisors, my brothers and sisters working for city and state government, transit workers, utility workers, direct care workers—who also need PPE. They are required to go to work every day, they must interact with the public, they are getting sick and dying too.

Click here to sign the petition telling President Trump to use the Defense Production Act to its fullest extent to get all of our CWA members on the front lines the protective equipment we need.

Trump says this is like a war and that he is a wartime president. Then lead like it’s a war. Stop the delays. Stop quarreling with Governors. Invoke the DPA now and get American industry moving forward on producing the protective equipment that health care and other essential workers need NOW!

If you care about health care workers, if you care about all “essential” workers, please sign our petition right now to pressure President Trump to invoke the full force of the National Defense Production Act. Take action right now to tell him to get the federal government behind producing the massive amount of PPE we need.

Please sign now. It’s literally a matter of life and death.

Sincerely,

Lavita Payton
RN and CWA Local 1104 member

 

 

 

 

Priorities of the Labor Movement to Address the Corona Virus Pandemic: Protect Front-line Workers

PROTECT FRONT-LINE WORKERS

  • Streamline approaches for allocating and distributing personal protective equipment to working people in greatest need.
  • Issue a workplace safety standard to protect front-line workers and other at-risk workers from infectious diseases.
  • Provide workplace controls, protocols, training and personal protective equipment.
  • Provide clear, protective federal guidance for different groups of workers with different needs.
  • Increase funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and
  • Health Administration for additional inspectors and health specialists, and for developing and implementing an infectious disease standard.

MITIGATE THE BROADER PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

  • Guarantee 14 days of paid sick leave for all working people.
  • Provide federal resources and guidance to increase capacity of the health care system, including hospital beds.
  • Use emergency federal authority to expand production of medical supplies and equipment.Increase capacity to provide testing for everyone, starting with a priority for front-line workers that includes health care workers, firefighters and paramedics.
  • Provide testing, treatment and vaccination (once approved) at no cost.
  • Emergency federal subsidy of premiums for multi-employer health plans.
  • Remove barriers to testing, treatment and benefits for immigrant workers.

SUSTAIN PEOPLE THROUGH THE CRISIS

  • Re-imagine the unemployment insurance system by dramatically broadening eligibility and increasing both benefit levels and administrative funding.
  • In addition to paid sick days, guarantee 12 weeks of paid leave.
  • A federal COBRA subsidy of 100% for workers who lose jobs or hours.
  • Provide relief for payment on rent, mortgages and student loans.
  • Issue a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and student loan defaults.
  • Increase funding and remove restrictions on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the school lunch program.

SUSTAIN WORKERS IN SEVERELY AFFECTED SECTORS

  • Severely impacted sectors include airlines, other transportation, construction, retail, manufacturing, entertainment and hospitality.
  • The federal government should offer to assume payroll costs of idle or hibernating firms to ensure they stay in business and workers stay employed.
  • Additional targeted assistance to private firms in particular sectors should be conditioned on providing paid sick days, with no layoffs, pay cuts, benefit cuts, outsourcing, reopening of union contracts, abrogating union contracts in bankruptcy or stock buybacks, and including workers on corporate boards.
  • Provide aid to workers’ pension funds comparable to the aid available to business.
  • Provide funding for public transit and Amtrak to keep workers on the job and financial relief and flexibility for the U.S. Postal Service.

SUSTAIN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

  • Provide federal funding for the full cost of Medicaid for one year.
  • Provide federal grants to state and local governments equal to 7% of state and local revenues, totaling more than $175 billion.
  • Pass the Students in Response to Coronavirus Act (H.R. 6275).

REBUILD THE ECONOMY AND PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK

  • Reauthorize the Surface Transportation Act.
  • Pass a $1 trillion infrastructure package.
  • Pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act and guarantee comparable rights and protections for public employees.