Tell Your Senator: Support H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act / Aprobemos la Ley Heroes (H.R. 6800)

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.

CLICK HERE AND use the form to be connected to your U.S. Senator.

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.

Utilice el formulario para ser conectado con su senador de los EE. UU

Solidarity In The Midst Of Separation

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!

 

“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!

“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