Don’t miss a minute! Read this week’s edition of “Working for a Living” from Friday January 22, 2021 with all the News & Updates from Cincinnati Labor Council
Don’t miss a minute! Read this week’s edition of “Working for a Living” from Friday January 22, 2021 with all the News & Updates from Cincinnati Labor Council
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Charles Dickens from A Tale of Two Cities
Most of us know this quote as the opening paragraph from A Tale of Two Cities by the remarkable Charles Dickens. And you likely also know that in A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens was offering us a close-up view into 18th century England, and across the Channel, in France. If you know about the disruptive state of affairs in England and France during this time, perhaps you’ll appreciate the allegorical reference of these phrases for us here today, more than two and a half centuries later.
With these remarks, Dickens described an age of radical opposites taking place just a few miles apart, separated only by the English Channel. It speaks of contrasts and comparisons between two cities in the midst of a revolution. And while it kept its storyline focused on London and Paris, it was certainly representative of far more. He was pointing to a major conflict between family and love, hatred, and oppression, good and evil, light and darkness, wisdom, and folly. Now if that doesn’t sound frighteningly familiar, you may want to just cease reading this now…
On Wednesday of this week, the absolute best and worst of our Nation were on full display simultaneously. While an armed rabble of seditionists breached and occupied our Nation’s capital in what is arguably the greatest threat to our democracy this nation has ever known, in Georgia – yes, I said Georgia – the very spark of that same democracy was being rekindled and casting light on what we must all now pray is a new era of American greatness. I would truly never have believed either of these stories if I hadn’t been witness to them as played out right in front of me on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
The first of our two stories is how, after four years of his lies, deceit, greed, and indifference, an immoral, would-be tyrant lead a small, but dangerous band of misinformed followers to our nation’s capital building – “The Peoples’ House” – to try to take and keep what he had lost in a safe, fair and solemn election. There, they breached the doors of that sacred shrine to freedom, occupied, vandalized, and desecrated its hallowed rooms and halls. Even after the people had spoken and said no…not you…and not this anymore. Nature will write the remainder of that story, but It was, hopefully, the final act of a maniacal autocrat and his last trampling of the long-respected principles, practices, traditions, and laws that set our nation apart.
The second of our two stories is one of triumph. Of longshots paying off. Of the mighty being brought down by the lowly. A story where two champions of democracy, against all odds, are triumphant in their pursuit of victory in their races for the US Senate, becoming two crucial stones in the great wall defending our republic. It is the story of how sanity, stability, reason, and safety are restored to a nation savagely abused and neglected for four long years, but ultimately unbowed.
Yes, Wednesday, January 6, 2021 may well be the second date on the awful, but thankfully very short list of days that will “live in infamy,” but I cannot help but wonder if in the longer arc of history, we won’t look back and recognize it as a day that may well have ended in the tragic death of the greatest experiment in representative democracy the world has ever known but was instead given a rebirth. I wonder if the tragedy of that day will be the near-death experience that was needed to shock this nation into recognizing the weakened and ignoble state in which we now find ourselves because of our own corrosive, petty, spoiled, child-like actions.
It has been said that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.” And like so many things of late, this quote is most often used badly out of context and far from its initial meaning. It comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Stephens Smith on Nov. 13, 1787 regarding Shay’s Rebellion in Massachusetts. While Jefferson was sympathetic to that cause, he did go on in his letter to note that such seditious acts were all too often fomented by treasonable actors to enrage ill-informed factions, and that the remedy to these uprisings, was to “set them right as to facts…” In short, truth!
As did Jefferson, I too believe that democracy must be vigilantly protected, and truth be the sword it wields against the mischaracterization and falsehoods of those who would have us ultimately lose our freedoms by telling us that they alone are the only means by which they can be protected and defended. History is replete with tyrants who subdued and subjugated a people in the name of protecting and defending them. Our only hope against such evil is the cold, glaring light of truth, so that we may never fall prey to the darkness and fallacy of specious promises ever again… Vagaries and platitudes such as those we have heard, over and over, these past four years.
Okay, I’ve given you Dickens and Jefferson, but I also promised some Dylan, so I will finish with this: “Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call. Don’t stand in the doorway. Don’t block up the hall. For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled. The battle outside ragin’ will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls. For the times they are a-changin’. Wow! Could he have been more prophetic?
Less than a month after Dylan recorded that song, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. The next night, Dylan opened a concert with “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” He later told biographer Anthony Scaduto, “I thought, ‘Wow, how can I open with that song? I’ll get rocks thrown at me.’ But I had to sing it, my whole concert takes off from there.” What Dylan didn’t yet fully understand is how truth is democracy’s only real defense.
Democracy requires “the truth,” however good or bad it may be. And it must be repeated with more volume and greater frequency than the corrosive falsehoods of the would-be tyrants and depots who are always circling democracy, looking for a chink in its armor. Because the greatest truth is that democracy is fragile, and beautiful, like a glimmering piece of crystal or a small, delicate bird. If we learn nothing else from these past four years, we must come to understand that democracy is tenuous at best, and always, always under threat. Then, when the vigilance of true patriots becomes the very sunlight, air, and water that feeds that same “tree of liberty, precious democracy may be kept from crashing down around us. Because, as Bob Dylan told us, “The Times They Are a-Changin’.”
On January 5th and 6th, our nation witnessed the best and worst of American democracy and values. On Tuesday, Georgia voters went to the polls, elected officials and Board of Election workers did their jobs with fairness and full transparency, all votes were counted; American democracy worked! With the help of Union leaders and members from across the country, Georgia voters were brave and courageous enough to break the Labor unfriendly, anti-working families, partisan political blockage which has hurt working people and harmed our country’s battle with and recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic and consequential economic depression. Looking forward into 2021, we joyously celebrate the upcoming President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ new administration, to work for and represent all Americans, in one common and united front.
On Wednesday, we watched the national disgrace and indignities as an armed, pro-Trump militia/mob attacked our Capital building, threatened the lives of our elected leaders and Capital Police, carried and waved Confederate flags in Capital building hallways, and ransacking the Ohio Senate floor and government office. As angry and upset as I and many others are at these seditious, traitorous and un-American terrorists, we must focus our attention on those elected officials who encouraged, incited and literally called-to-arms this terrorist militia/mob: President Donald Trump and his Senate/Congressional Republican leaders/followers.
We must hold these un-American, un-patriotic leaders fully accountable and responsible for their words, actions and misdeeds. Laws must be upheld and Justice should prevail: investigations should be made, charges issued and criminal trial proceedings held in our courts of law.
Sadly, the world watched the worst of American hypocrisy on Wednesday.
In 2020, we saw, countless, unarmed and innocent African-Americans being killed by police officers; peaceful protesters and Black Lives Matter advocates threatened, gassed and forcefully attacked by riot-geared police and angry, racist and armed white mobs, while exercising their First Amendment rights. Now, we watched hundreds of armed insurgents attack Capital police (over fifty injured, some with life threatening injuries); occupy, steal and destroy government property in our Capital building; and causing such chaos/unrest to lead to the deaths of at least four individuals. However, at this time, only 40-45 of these terrorists have been arrested for attacking/invading the Capital building. The racial and justice hypocrisy between these two police/law enforcement actions is both obvious and clear. So, we must ask ourselves: If the mostly white, armed and pro-Trump militia/mob who attack the Capital building and police had been African-Americans, how would the outcome have differed and why is that so?
Such questions hard to ask, even harder to contemplate and answer in the United States of America in 2021.
In the late hours of Wednesday and early hours of Thursday, American democracy and constitutional principles worked once again; certified election results from the fifty states were counted and affirmed, electing President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. On Thursday morning, the sun rose once again in the United States of America, and everyday people went to work, kids went to school (some online) and our lives continue on.
So, sisters and brothers, in the year 2021, let us now come together and be united, celebrating our strengths as a nation, recognizing our weakness and failures, reconciling our committed injustices and past grievances, and healing as one country and people, on a greater path of hope and justice. Thank you, and May God’s Blessing be with us all!
In Solidarity, U and I . . .
(Peter M. McLinden is Executive Secretary – Treasurer of Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor COuncil)
Dear Sisters, Brothers, Community Partners and Friends,
Thanks to the dedication of postal workers, 65 million Americans successfully cast their mail ballots this election.
Postal workers put in long hours, did special sweeps of facilities and made extra deliveries to make sure our votes were delivered.
On November 17, we’re coming to deliver our demands for a thriving, public Postal Service. Find an event to join or host one in your community!
The dedication of postal workers kept mail ballots moving, but now that the election is over Postmaster General Louis DeJoy plans to resume his disastrous policies that created delays and chaos this summer and fall.
At the same time, the Postal Service’s finances are still devastated by COVID. The House has passed $25 billion in COVID relief twice, but this administration refused to deliver that aid before the election.
Join us November 17 to demand funding and reverse DeJoy’s delays.
The unprecedented success of vote by mail this election is more evidence that we should be expanding and strengthening the Postal Service—not undermining it.
I hope we’ll see you Nov. 17 to #SaveThePostOffice,
Senator Sherrod Brown is speaking directly to Ohio Ohio’s working families this week, speaking directly to them about why Joe Biden is the most pro-worker, pro-labor nominee in a generation. Here’s the first video of a series we’ll be featuring this week. Please feel free to share this and all of our posts with anyone you feel could benefit from the message. Thank you!
IBEW LU 212 held elections for officers for the next term and delegates to the International convention July 6th. Thank you to all who ran and the members who did their part including the tellers and election judge. New officers were sworn in August 4th. Your satisfaction with your Union is directly proportionate to your level of involvement! Our local is currently very busy. If you have family members or friends who may be working non union, reach out to them. Right now would be a perfect opportunity for them to better themselves and their future. Have them contact our office 513-559-0200. IBEW L.U.212 Newofficers sworn in. Joe Bulach (left) administered the oath to BM Rick Fischer (right) and other officers 8/4/20. Photo credit Courtney Groeschen.
Brothers & Sisters in the Building Trades,
We had not planned on addressing racial issues in the upcoming issue of Union Builder however with the recent incident that took place at the high profile FC Cincinnati job site as well as the opportunity for all of us to learn from it and grow as one human race; we feel it is absolutely mandatory that we do.
For those of you who have not heard, there were multiple incidents at the jobsite that included at the very least defacing property in one instance as well as the use of racist language in another incident that is unacceptable anywhere and especially on any jobsite. We could argue all day long whether the intent of these incidents were racially motivated or if the incidents were just insensitive in their intent but the fact of the matter is that we need to understand that if our words or actions cause another person to feel belittled, threatened or uncomfortable then we need to check ourselves.
The FC Cincinnati job site is one of the few jobs in recent memory that we were successful in securing a community benefits agreement on. The community benefit agreement allowed for an almost entirely union built project, over 70% so far as well as an opportunity for the labor community to show why working union is the best avenue to the middle class for all working men and women and their families. Incidents such as those that took place do nothing but cast a negative light on the entire unionized construction industry regardless of which trade was at fault. Racism in any form, whether it is overt, covert, implied or otherwise will never be acceptable and we as the building trades need to be the conduit for its eradication once and for all.
Several Building Trades leaders including Bill Froehle (392), Rick Fischer (212), Larry Thompson (265), Dave Baker (44), Brian Wear (18) and Jeff King (18) met with Turner Construction Vice President Dave Spaulding to discuss the FC Cincinnati jobsite and Turners policies moving forward on their jobsites nationwide.
Turner Construction has made it crystal clear that any defacing of property on their jobsites will result in craft workers being banned from all Turner jobsites up to and including possible lifetime bans depending on the infraction. For those of you who enjoy being porta-let poets we want you to understand that it will not be tolerated as well. In many areas of the country workers are required to sign in prior to using the “facilities” and there is a monitor who disinfects the area after each use (Covid-19). If there is graffiti found the worker who caused the damage is removed from the jobsite. Turner does not want to implement monitors here locally however they do not want to deal with childish behavior and criminal damaging either. We would venture to say that every construction manager and contractor we work for would echo this sentiment as well.
As leaders in the Building Trades we are asking each and every member to take an active part in creating an environment on every job site that allows for every worker to be free from harassment of any kind. Our forefathers and foremothers gave us all of the tools and the intellect to be able to do this and just like the physical tools of the trade that we use every day the proper care and respect of those tools will determine our success. We are all proud construction workers in our respective trades and the examples we set today will be emulated by the men and women who pick up the “tools of the trades “tomorrow.
If not us, who? If not now, when?
As leaders of the Building Trades we are asking all of our members, including us to do their part.
The Greater Cincinnati Building Trades
Frederick E. Lampe
More than six months after President Donald Trump promised that the COVID-19 pandemic was “totally under control,” cases are still rising across the country, Ohioans are still losing their lives, and working families are still struggling to survive the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression.
But this week, far from doing everything he can to get help to those who need it, Trump is parachuting into Ohio to stage a photo op and raise money from a handful of rich friends. Once again, Trump is focused on the wealthy and big corporations; while he rubs shoulders and pockets cash, working families are paying the price for his disastrous pandemic response.
Even as the situation has grown more desperate, Trump has repeatedly allowed his own incompetence and selfishness to stand in the way of delivering the basic necessities that working Ohioans need to survive.
We don’t need to play host to a high-dollar fundraiser. We need a national testing strategy, we need a domestic supply chain that provides widespread access to personal protective equipment, and we need a president in the White House with the capacity to lead us through this crisis.
Working people know that our greatest strength is found in solidarity. We can overcome immense challenges if we work together, support each other, and put our urgent collective needs first. But instead of rallying us together — rather than carry out the most basic responsibilities of his job — Trump has put himself first at every turn.
From the first days of the outbreak, Trump ignored public health experts, downplayed the virus, and failed to take meaningful action, causing the United States to lead the world with more than 4.6 million cases. As a result, thousands of Ohioans have lost their lives to COVID-19, tens of thousands have been infected, and hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
Just last week, we learned the economy suffered through its worst quarter on record, contracting by nearly a third. And asked about the growing death toll, Trump said: “It is what it is.”
Even now, rather than keeping Ohio families from falling further into this economic nightmare, Trump and his congressional allies have allowed emergency unemployment benefits to expire. And instead of securing Ohioans’ health coverage in the midst of historic job loss, they have continued to wage a twisted campaign to overturn the Affordable Care Act, endangering health coverage for more than 740,000 Ohioans and threatening protections for millions more with pre-existing conditions.
Ohioans want to go back to work. But this virus doesn’t care about convenience. It doesn’t care about what’s easy, and it certainly doesn’t care about Donald Trump’s political interests.
In order to begin returning to any kind of functioning economy — as so much of the world has already done — the United States needs to work together and rally behind a common cause. The labor movement knows a thing or two about that.
If the last three and a half years have made anything clear, it’s that Donald Trump is incapable of living up to this moment. Joe Biden has spent a career engaging and mobilizing communities to do great things in the face of enormous hardship. While Trump continues to ignore the reality of this pandemic, Biden is showing us the path forward — a plan to build back better.
Now more than ever, we need that kind of leadership in the Oval Office. Working Ohioans have suffered tremendously over the last several months. We can’t afford four more years of Donald Trump’s chaos, incompetence, and broken promises. We deserve better, and on Nov. 3, we’re going to win it.
America faces a crisis on three critical fronts: a public health pandemic, an economic free fall and long-standing structural racism. Working people need safe jobs, economic security and freedom from systemic racism. Delivering on economic essentials included in the HEROES Act is an absolute minimum requirement for stopping the free fall into even deeper and deadly racial inequality.
Watch the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Video Call To Action!
|H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, includes an emergency workplace infectious disease standard; gives aid for state and local governments, public schools, the U.S. Postal Service, and pension funding relief; keeps workers on payrolls to avoid mass layoffs; extends unemployment insurance; provides more direct payments to working people; extends health care coverage; provides housing and food benefits; and much more.
Of course, as is the case with any legislation, the HEROES Act is not perfect. We would urge Congress to protect mine workers by requiring not only the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) but also the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease.
In addition, since there is no consensus in the labor movement about the GROW Act (which authorizes composite multiemployer retirement plans), we would suggest further review and debate on it as the HEROES Act moves toward enactment.
Working people are desperate for our leaders to put partisanship aside and do what is right for our health, our economy and our country. The HEROES Act is a major step forward.
|La Ley de Soluciones de Emergencia Omnibus de Salud y Recuperación Económica, H.R. 6800, incluye un estándar de emergencia de enfermedades infecciosas en el lugar de trabajo; brinda ayuda a gobiernos estatales y locales, escuelas públicas, el Servicio Postal de EE. UU. y alivio de fondos de pensiones; mantiene a los trabajadores en nóminas para evitar despidos masivos; extiende el seguro de desempleo; proporciona pagos más directos a personas que trabajan; extiende la cobertura de atención médica; proporciona vivienda y beneficios alimenticios; y mucho más.
Por supuesto, como es el caso con cualquier legislación, la Ley HEROES no es perfecta. Instamos al Congreso a proteger a los trabajadores mineros al exigir no solo a la Administración de Seguridad y Salud Ocupacional (OSHA) sino también a la Administración de Seguridad y Salud Minera (MSHA) que emita un estándar temporal de emergencia sobre enfermedades infecciosas.
Además, dado que no hay consenso en el movimiento laboral sobre la Ley GROW (que autoriza los planes compuestos de jubilación para empleadores múltiples), sugeriríamos una revisión y debate adicionales a medida que la Ley HEROES avance hacia su promulgación.
Los trabajadores están desesperados por que nuestros líderes dejen de lado el partidismo y hagan lo correcto para nuestra salud, nuestra economía y nuestro país. La Ley HEROES es un gran paso adelante.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020 — Cincinnati, OH — As I write this, I feel the very real pain that most of America feels as we look back at the events of this last week. No feeling human being can avoid the sense of disillusionment and loss, watching now too often repeated images of a person of color dying at the hands of those who are sworn to “protect and serve.” The image of George Floyd pinned neck down to the road by a sworn police officer; who like us is a son, a brother, a father, an American citizen and human being with full rights, freedoms and fair protections provided by the U.S. Constitution and our democratic government; crying out in anguish and desperation as his last few dying breaths are crushed out of him, as he cries out in pain for his mother. Another tragic day in what we call the United States of America, so-called land of the free, home of the brave.
More unfortunately, this heartbreaking incident is not the first time we as Americans are hearing the tortured cries of “I can’t breathe”, watching the senseless killing and murders of unarmed American Africans. In July 2014, a cellphone video captured the final words of Eric Garner as New York City police officers sat on his head and pinned him to the ground on a sidewalk. We watched the recent videos showing: Ahmaud Arbery, murdered while simply jogging in broad daylight; Freddie Gray, while being transported in a police van; Tamir Rice, a 12-year kid while playing on a playground; John Crawford, while shopping in a Walmart store; Sam Dubose, for missing a front license plate; Philando Castile, for driving with a legally permitted firearm; not to mention what happened to Terence Crutcher, Alton Sterling, Jamar Clark, Jeremy McDole, William Chapman II, Walter Scott, Eric Harris, Akai Gurley, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and on and on, a systematic continuation of what has been happening in our country for more than 400 years. When you see the same circumstances and tragic outcomes play out over and over again, simple denials and excuses are no longer possible … This is RACISM, plain, simple and truly evil. And this cancer – the original sin our nation – permeates our lives and stains our nation as it consumes the lives and livelihoods of the working people of America, especially those of color.
Why do I say, “working people?” Because as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said last week:
“… this is a labor issue because it is a workplace issue. It is a community issue, and unions are the community. We must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality.”
Essentially, as working people in America, we must never stop fighting for economic, social and racial justice for all. Racial privilege and prejudice must have no place our American society.
At the same time, this statement of solidarity in no way condones the actions of a few who are taking advantage of this tragedy by laying waste and inflicting destruction upon our community. Their violence and reckless disregard for life detracts from the sincere intentions and tireless efforts of those who peacefully protest in an honest effort to right this terrible wrong and bring about change that is so sorely needed and long overdue. However, as a good friend recently reminded me, let’s not confuse our most important priorities: Instead of thinking “It’s horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop”, we should be reinforcing “It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men HAS TO STOP.” If you cannot sincerely say this statement, if you cannot meaningfully live/act upon this statement, then you do not mean it.
Just know this though…no amount of violence and destruction will deter the efforts of working people of all colors to bring about the end to America’s historic and systemic inequities of economic, social, and racial justice. We stand in steadfast solidarity with our Sisters and Brothers of all colors against hate, greed, and those who seek to keep the good, honest, hard-working people of America divided. No number of burned building, or panes of broken glass will stop us. As stated by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, “If one suffers, we all suffer. Togetherness is strength”; and the great Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The work of the AFL-CIO goes on unabated. I proudly deliver this Labor message on behalf of our President Bill Froehle, twenty-one Executive Board members (who unanimously approved this message at a meeting held earlier today), one hundred and four union affiliates and over 30,000 union members covering our greater Cincinnati jurisdiction.
Peter M. McLinden, Esq.
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council
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 democratically elected bodies 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2010, Barack Obama walked into the well of the House to deliver his annual State of the Union address and declared: “A new decade stretches before us.” He spoke to us of our frustrations and anger, many of which were fresh, open wounds inflicted upon us by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But then he quickly pivoted to a more optimistic note and said, “In this new decade, it’s time the American people get a government that matches their decency, that embodies their strength.” Well, from where I sit at the close of that decade, that optimism has yet to be born out.
In the decade since Barrack Obama first sounded that now remote note of optimism, political, cultural, and economic gaps have widened, hearts have hardened, and anxiety born of a prolonged financial crisis, has come to define so many of our behaviors, relationships, and conversations. Divergent ideologies now determine even the sources by which we gather our news and harvest our information, resulting in alternative and irreconcilable truths. And then, just when you think the world cannot become more divided, a thing called COVID-19 comes along and adds a literal twist to what had been only a metaphor as we spoke loosely of “a nation divided.”
Well, if you are still reading this after that rather stark assessment, let me tell you that I say all that to better illustrate this… Amid all this, let’s try for a moment to take a slightly different perspective … a more horizontal view of this darker interpretation of our culture. We may even find some silver lining. To the extent that this world of ours has continued to function in these terrible times of political division and COVID 19, we have been given a unique and inspiring look at the true face of our nation. As unsolvable as it all may seem, to the extent that America continues to galumph its way along in spite of the ineptitude and false hopes of it so-called leaders, it does so riding squarely on the solid, reliable, steadfast backs of its hard-working middle class.
Yes. The hard-working people of America’s Labor Movement have once more proven to be the “not-so-little engine that could.” It’s you… it’s us… it’s our Sisters and Brothers in Healthcare, Public Safety, Building Trades/Construction, Food Workers/Retail, Transportation, Public Sector, Education and US Postal Service putting your lives on the line every hour of every day. To the extent this nation is functioning, you can thank a Union Worker. Bravo Sisters and Brothers! Its us!
So yes, live humbly, but take pride in each other… and in the very noble work we do…work too often performed in silence and out of the view of the more strident minority. However, know that today, you are heard! You are seen! Your voice rings out in the sound of our hammers and in the squeaking of our brakes…in the roar of our engines, the quenching of fires and the easing of pain… in our hands — the hands that do God’s noble work… the hands of America’s Unions! You are America at its best!
You my Sisters and Brothers are why this nation will persevere. You are why we will continue and pull out of this…Because we persist, we will see more and brighter days ahead. And here, as we stand once again… on the edge of yet another new decade, it may yet prove out yet that in this new decade, the American people will get “…a government that matches their decency, that embodies their strength.” We have the opportunity to get it right this time.
So, thank you, Sisters and Brothers, for all you do… and for all that you are. A sometimes seemingly ungrateful nation sees you now and is indeed grateful. And what they see is the absolute best of this nation’s character and its hope. You have shown them what is truly meant by “Solidarity forever!”
God bless you and God bless America!
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 email@example.com and include the phrase “Reopening America” in the subject line.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
National, State, Regional, County and City Labor and Elected Leaders to Discuss
“Reopening America” – On Online Event
|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|
|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|
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’re here for you and all of our families.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of millions of working people and our families, and the labor movement has been working tirelessly to limit the impact of this crisis on our health and livelihoods. We worked to make sure the relief packages Congress recently passed put the needs of working families and our communities first.
To help navigate these new and expanded federal and state benefits and assistance programs, we put together an online resource that has information about unemployment benefits, paid leave, health insurance and community assistance resources.
This resource contains the most relevant services and programs in your state to help you find the relief you and your family need. Simply select your state and the category of resources you’re looking for, and we’ll point you to the organizations and agencies that can help.
These are trying and uncertain times. But the labor movement is here for you. We are your resource to help you and your family through this crisis.
We will continue to improve this online resource to help you find the critical programs and benefits for you and your family.
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.
Tune in at 9 am Thursdays to Equal Rights and Justice hosted by Mimi Rosenberg
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:
Dirty Chai Radio
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
Seattle Radical Radio
Radio for Peace International
Grateful Dread Public Radio
Detour Network, Knoxville, TN
KDX Radio, Homeland, North American
Radio Ear Network, Sarasota, FL
Channel One Radio
For archived Building Bridges Programs go to
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.
———- Forwarded message ———
From: Lavita Payton, CWA <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 10:11 AM
Subject: Our lives are on the line.
To: Team AFL-CIO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
“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.
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.
RN and CWA Local 1104 member
PROTECT FRONT-LINE WORKERS
MITIGATE THE BROADER PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
SUSTAIN PEOPLE THROUGH THE CRISIS
SUSTAIN WORKERS IN SEVERELY AFFECTED SECTORS
SUSTAIN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
REBUILD THE ECONOMY AND PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK
Actors’ Equity Curtain Up Fund
Help everyone in performing arts and entertainment in need, in particular seniors, immunocompromised individuals and those in financial distress.
The Actors Fund
Help our nation’s performing arts and entertainment community in times of need.
AFA-CWA Distaster Relief Fund
Assistance for flight attendants or their partners or surviving families in the aftermath of disasters.
Help provide crucial support to Canada’s arts and entertainment professionals and their families.
AFM Emergency Relief Fund
Help support American Federation of Musicians members in need.
AGMA Relief Fund
Help provide critical aid to American Guild of Musical Artists members in times of crisis.
Motion Picture and Television Fund
Help provide essential programs and services for the entertainment industry community.
National Domestic Workers Alliance Coronavirus Care Fund
Help provide immediate financial support for domestic workers.
SAG-AFTRA Foundation COVID-19 Disaster Fund
Help provide relief to SAG-AFTRA members impacted by the pandemic.
UNITE HERE Education and Support Fund
Donate to help hospitality workers impacted by COVID-19.
The Information on the pandemic and virus is constantly evolving, and this site is updated frequently.
COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, and the disease is spreading rapidly across the United States. Federal, state and local governments are taking steps to slow the spread of the disease by limiting crowds in public settings, such as schools, workplaces, public transportation, and cultural and sporting events. These necessary measures not only disrupt everyday life but cause economic uncertainty for millions of working people.
The labor movement is working nonstop to protect the health and safety of all workers, including workers on the front lines of this public health emergency. We have trained, educated and equipped our members with the tools they need to be safe on the job, but we are demanding additional urgent action to ensure employers implement comprehensive plans to protect front-line workers and reduce the risk of exposure to the general public.
This crisis has exposed the shortcomings of our worker protection and health care systems. We cannot afford to allow cost considerations to discourage workers from taking the necessary action to protect public health. Workers should not incur additional costs for doing what is recommended or required, including staying home from work or getting the tests and treatments they need.
The pandemic also is beginning to inflict a heavy toll on the economy. We are doing everything we can to limit the negative impact on the livelihoods of working people, and we continue to demand dramatic action from local, state, and federal governments on a scale every bit as large as the threat.
Below are resources and guidance from leading experts, government agencies and America’s unions about the COVID-19 pandemic, and recommendations to limit its impact on working families.
GENERAL GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE AND RELIEF FUNDS
Participants in the Union Plus Mortgage, Credit Card, Personal Loan, or supplemental insurance programs may be eligible for additional hardship assistance. Visit Union Plus Hardship Help for eligibility requirements
I voted by mail or in person before March 17, 2020, do I need to vote again?
No, all ballots already submitted by mail or in-person will count, so long as they were otherwise valid. If you voted prior to March 17th your ballot is secured behind double locks at your county board of elections and will be counted on April 28th. Please encourage friends and family who haven’t already voted to request an absentee ballot from your local board of elections.
Will there be in-person voting on April 28, 2020?
Yes, but since most Ohioans are being advised to stay home right now, the new law only allows for limited in-person voting on April 28th. In-person voting will only occur on April 28 and only at boards of elections early vote centers, not at precinct polling locations. And in-person voting will only be available for individuals with disabilities who require in-person voting and those who do not have a home mailing address.
What is the deadline to register to vote in the 2020 primary?
The deadline to register for the 2020 primary election was February 18, 2020. Anyone who is eligible to vote, but has not yet registered, can do so for the November 3, 2020 General Election, at VoteOhio.gov(opens in a new window).
What should disabled or visually impaired voters do if they rely on accessible voting machines?
A remote ballot marking system is available through each county board of elections for use by an absentee voter with a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The remote ballot marking system allows a qualifying voter to mark their ballot privately and independently. You can contact your county board of elections or fill out the Form 11-G online form.
Disabled and visually impaired voters may also vote at the board of elections early vote center on April 28, 2020.
I have since moved. Do I need to update my registration before requesting my ballot?
A voter must be properly registered by February 18, 2020. If a voter has moved but did not update their address, the voter may apply for a ballot and will receive a provisional ballot by mail from the board of elections. State law requires registration and address changes for the 2020 primary to be completed by February 18th 2020, so no new address changes or registrations are being accepted for the 2020 primary.
When will the results of the election be announced?
Tabulation of votes will begin on April 28, 2020 after 7:30 p.m. It’s important to note that ballots postmarked by April 27, 2020 will all be counted, so final unofficial results won’t be available until May 8, 2020. (This is standard for every election.)
I don’t have a printer. Can I request an absentee ballot?
Yes. You can call your county board of elections and a request can be sent to you. A directory of all boards can be found here: OhioSoS.gov/boards.
Voters who can’t print their own form may also simply write the following information on a blank sheet of paper and mail it to their board of elections;
When does my ballot need to be postmarked?
Unless you are a member of the U.S. military currently deployed overseas or an American living abroad, ballots must be postmarked by April 27, 2020 and received by the board of elections by May 8, 2020 to be counted in the primary election if the proper information was provided on the identification envelope.
I’m registered to vote but have changed my name. Can i still vote?
Yes. If you are able to provide a signed Form 10-L and a proof of the name change(opens in a new window), a regular ballot may be provided. However, if you request a ballot under a former name and request to receive an absentee ballot by mail, a provisional ballot will be provided to you by your local board of elections.
What date do I put on the absentee ballot application under “date of election?”
Please write March 17, 2020 (or 03/17/2020) as the election date has not changed, only extended for mail-in voting. However, anyone who writes another date will still have their absentee application processed if the remainder of the required information is included on the request.
Can corona virus be spread over the handling of paper?
The experts at the Ohio Department of Health have said that COVID-19 doesn’t spread by penetrating the skin on your hands, but only leads to infection when it is transferred from your hand to places like your mouth, nose, or eyes. Given that, the best measure you can take to prevent the spread of germs is washing your hands after handling mail and even cash.
Is voting by mail secure?
Yes. From the moment you request your ballot to the moment it is received at the board of election to be counted, the ballot may be tracked at VoteOhio.gov. Ballots are stored securely in rooms requiring both a Democrat and Republican staff member to gain access.
POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS AND CANDIDATES
Has the deadline for independent candidates been changed? (the deadline says “day before the day of the primary election” in the orc)
No. As the election has not been rescheduled, only extended, all of the deadlines stay in place except for absentee mail-in ballot submissions.
My ballot issue committee, for a school levy, wants to file for the august special election if it fails in the primary. Can i still do that?
Yes, as this extended election ends on April 28, 2020, the deadline to file for the August special election is May 6, 2020. A question or issue that is approved by the voters in the Primary may be withdrawn before the August special election.
I’m a candidate, campaign or committee. Can i send absentee ballot requests to my supporters?
Yes, you can send the absentee ballot request form to any Ohio voter who hasn’t already voted. You can find and print that form here(opens in a new window). Make sure to let them know the address of their county board of elections which can be found here. You may also include a pre-addressed envelope with the board of elections address on it but state law says that you may not provide them postage.