The Ohio AFL-CIO Legislative Agenda!

The Ohio AFL-CIO Legislative Agenda!

The Ohio AFL CIO has released its legislative agenda for the 2021-2022 calendar year. The Agenda focuses on the Pandemic, Worker safety, Jobs, Racial justice, Education equity, Tax Fairness and fair districting. Many of these priorities impact a not just our membership but all Ohio citizens. These key issues will be the guide this year as we fight for Labor and working people across the state. With the collaboration with our CLC’s and Local unions, we can be a positive force that can pass effective legislation and give security to all Ohioans.

Infrastructure:

The Ohio AFL-CIO is waiting on an infrastructure Bill to be announced from the Federal Level, Pres. Biden has vowed to push for a revitalization of Americas infrastructure with backing from the House and Senate. There will be a bill in the near future and will be shared with our CLC and members when available.

IUE-CWA Walmart Action:

This past Saturday the Cincinnati AFL-CIO held a 2-location action in support of the GE-Savant light bulb plant in Bucyrus Ohio. The Actions have garner national attention from the National AFL-CIO and even the Wal-Mart Cooperation. Actions containing to go on around the nation every Saturday from 12-1pm. The Next Walmart Action in Cincinnati will be March 6th (details TBD)

COVID Relief:

The COVID relief bill will be introduced on the House floor within the next week, After a passing vote the Bill will be sent to the Senate for a final vote. As we’ve seen in in the recent past the vote may fall by party lines. The COVID relief bill will cover minimum wage, stimulus checks and the PRO Act.

Pro Act Summary:

The pro Act (H.R. 842) has recently been introduced by the 117th congress. The bill currently has 200 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and has been referred to the Education & labor committee for further review. The resolution would still need to pass the Senate without a filibuster or possibly vote by party lines with Vice President Harris as the tiebreaker. President Biden has express support for the PRO Act as a part of his “Build Back better” plan and his support for Labor. The Passage of the Pro Act would strengthen unions, penalize employers for violating labor laws and eliminate ALL Right to Work laws. Pro Act will be introduced to senate around March 8th. Please review and participate in our Pro Act Campaign Actions!

PRO Act Actions

Call In: We are mobilizing and organizing members to participate in the Pro- Act campaign by calling in our Legislators and Urging them to Support the Pro-Act. Please Call your Legislator and urge them to PASS THE PRO ACT.

To Participate, Please Call 866-832-1560 and tell Congress to PASS THE PRO ACT!

Letter to the Editor (LTE): We are mobilizing and organizing members to participate in the Pro- Act campaign by submitting Letters to the Editors to local Newspapers across the State. If interested, please see attached file for Letter templates!

PRO Act Informational meetings: We are mobilizing and organizing members through education. If you would like to organize a PRO Act Informational or want a short Pro Act presentation at your next Local union meeting, Please Contact me to set up the event.

Follow the Bill: If you are interested in following the PRO Act (HR 842) through Congress, Please Click the link!

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/842/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22HR+842%22%5D%7D&r=1&s=2

Ohio Legislature Introduces Resolution To Protect Steel Worker and Building Trades Jobs

Ohio Legislature Introduces Resolution To Protect Steel Worker and Building Trades Jobs

A project critical to protecting the environment and the long-term viability of Enbridge Line 5, a crude oil pipeline that supplies refineries throughout the Midwest, is in jeopardy.

The Enbridge Straits Line 5 Replacement Segment Project would allow for the current pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac to be rerouted through a tunnel in the bedrock beneath the Straits, protecting the waterway and the Great Lakes.

Representative Michael Sheehy (R-46) has introduced a bi-partisan resolution to encourage Michigan to grant Enbridge the Act 16 application to relocate Line 5. The Ohio AFL-CIO Executive Board also voted to support the resolution. Read the resolution here

The Enbridge Line 5 pipeline delivers a majority of the crude oil refined at The Toledo Refining Company (TRC), in Toledo, Ohio. TRC provides over 550 permanent good paying jobs to Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. A vast majority of these jobs belong to the Union members of United Steelworkers Local 912 and several building trades unions. Without the Line 5 Tunnel project these brothers and sisters jobs may be in danger, as well as the supply of transportation and jet fuels in Ohio, Michigan, and the surrounding areas.

To protect good paying jobs and safeguard the environment, it is imperative that the Michigan Public Service Commission grant Enbridge its Act 16 application to relocate Line 5. You can sign the USW petition here.

Celebrating Ronnie (Pup) Wardrup – Servant Leadership at its Very Best!

Celebrating Ronnie (Pup) Wardrup – Servant Leadership at its Very Best!

Ronnie (Pup) Wardrup has run the race, fought the good fight, and has hung up his cap as Staff Representative at USW. Ronnie joined Southwestern Ohio Steel September 7th, 1978 and became dues paying member of the United Steelworkers Local Union 5541. He was Appointed as a Grievance Committeeman in the early 1980’s of USW Local Union 5541.

Ronnie joined the Butler Warren Clinton Counties AFL-CIO serving as an Executive Board Member until merging with the Dayton-Miami Valley Regional Labor Council of the AFL-CIO serving on the Executive Committee and Executive Council and worked collaboratively with the Cincinnati AFL-CIO at every opportunity. He was first appointed and then elected in his own right to serve on the Area Labor Federation (ALF) of the Cincinnati and Dayton/Miami Valley Labor Councils of the AFL-CIO.

Ronnie joined the Butler County Democratic Party serving as 2nd Vice President until serving as Chair of the Executive Committee Butler County Democratic Party. He is currently serving as Central and Executive Board member and Governing Board member in a Labor Position.

Served Vice President of USW Local Union 5541 and moved up according to USW Constitution to President of USW Local Union 5541 when the office was vacated. He worked on the Civil Rights Committee, the Political Committee, Organizing Committee. Ronnie also served on State of Ohio Worker’s Compensation Committee and on USW Safety Committee and was appointed as Butler County United Way as a board member by the Butler Warren Clinton County AFL-CIO.

Ronnie was brought out of the plant and placed on Casual Status by Director Frank Vickers. He was hired by Director Dave McCall for the United Steelworkers as a Staff Representative May 15th, 1998 and served in that capacity as a USW Staff Representative for 21 & 1/2 years. He was appointed to Co-chair of the USW Sports Committee by Director Dave McCall and was elected as Democratic Party Man for Butler County as a member of the Executive Committee to the Ohio Democratic Party then appointed and serving as “At Large” for the Ohio Democratic Party Executive Committee. Finally, Ronnie was appointed and served as a USW Vice President to the Ohio AFL-CIO State Federation by Director Donnie Blatt.

Another of the many, many things Ronnie was not just involved in, but active and dedicated to was Masons. In 1993 he became a Freemason in Columbia Lodge # 44, now known as Nova Caesarea Harmony # 2. Soon thereafter he joined the Cincinnati chapter of Scottish Rite Masons, and then the Cincinnati Chapter Shriners Serving the Shriners Burns hospitals.

Of course, anyone who really knows Pup, knows the greatest source of his energy, focus, and zeal for life comes from the love of his life, his wife Lisa. About them and their relationship, he said “I would never have been able to do any of my activism without the love and support of my beautiful and understanding wife Lisa.”

In speaking with Ronnie about his new-found status, he said “Although my exit from The United Steelworkers as a Staff Representative was hurried along due to health reasons, I will never forget all of those I have met through this journey of Solidarity, from the beginning when I first started paying dues In September of 1978 until my Retirement on February 1st, 2021. I’ve have made lifelong friends I will treasure eternally. Always remember to say a good word about your Union. Solidarity Forever…

Ronnie (Pup) Wardrup, your leadership, your activism, your support, and most of all your kindness will always be remembered and missed. Happy retirement Brother Pup…Well deserved!

It Is Always Darkest Before The Dawn…

It Is Always Darkest Before The Dawn…

As a result of the last election, we currently control the Senate, the House, and the Presidency. We have now been truly given a chance to really make some strides for the working people of America. My hope is they take full opportunity to now pass some long-needed assistance in Unionizing and rebuilding the Middle Class.

The last four years we have watched as the National Labor Relations Board was slowly being decimated by Peter Robb. This anti-union lawyer was hired by the Trump administration and has done everything he could to take away our rights to Organize. Joe Biden fired him on the first day of his Presidency and then fired his second in command Alice Stock on January 21st.

We have also gotten to see the realigning of Buy American. Which will ensure when your taxes are used for government purposes then American products and services will be utilized. There will be a new leader appointed here and the loopholes to the system will be closed. This will do way more than sanctions ever would.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “What about that shutting down of the Keystone pipeline.” To those folks, I say maybe you should look at the photos of the 410,000 gallons of spilled oil which was caused by that pipeline so far. Then ask yourself just how many jobs were lost. By the numbers I have been given it was about 1,000 lost jobs. Some Union and most not. Meanwhile we saved the environment and ensured a lot more work for the Teamsters who will be driving trucks to deliver the oil instead. Those trucking jobs were going to be gone after the pipeline was completed.

These are just a few things we have had happen so far. I believe we will finally get an infrastructure bill soon. We will also see more stimulus granted to help the working class. The Coronavirus is slowly getting better and will continue to lessen now that there is a Federal plan of containment. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

I honestly think we are about to see the rebuilding of the American Labor Unions. Groups like Amazon are already seeing people trying to Organize the facilities and this is going to catch on. The people are tired of not making a decent living and they know the only way to change it is to Unionize.

Many people have lost hope for the future. I have spoken with many young people lately and they are tired of the bullshit which has become the political norm for the last 20 years. They have spent their whole lives watching the government do nothing but fight between the two parties for control. This has inspired them to action.

I anticipate we will begin seeing the old rule leave and a new group of fresh new faces with fresh new ideas take over. The youth believe in this country, but they feel it has lost its way. They are ready for real changes and they believe in Unions. This country has always had a way of fixing its problems and the time has come for some real changes.

While I am excited about what the current office holders will do for us, I am even more excited for were we will be in 10 years. The attitudes and ideas I have heard from people under 25 have restored my faith in the future. We are on the dawn of a new generation. While it has been very dark times for our country lately, remember, “It is always darkest before the dawn”

(Dave Baker is Business Manager / F.S. – T. Iron Workers Local Union #44 and a member of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council Executive Board – davebakeronline@gmail.com)

“We are always stronger when we act collectively together”

“We are always stronger when we act collectively together”

In 1935, Congress passed, and President Franklin Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act (aka Wagner Act), the legal foundation for a new national labor policy, guaranteeing the right of private sector employees to organize into unions, engage in collective bargaining and participate in collective employment actions. Under this Act, the government would act as a neutral intermediary, to promote labor peace, protecting and balancing the rights of employers and workers, while promoting stronger labor-management relationships. In the midst of the Great Depression, massive economic inequalities and expanding Fascist and Communist dictatorships, the United States government decided that it served the best interests of our nation, our democracy, and our people, to have a national labor policy based on cooperation, collaboration, and collective bargaining. Utilizing this policy, we put people back to work, rebuilt our economy and country, won victory in the Second World War, and built the strongest, working/middle class citizenry in the history of the world.

Over the last forty years, anti-union corporations, far-right extremists and their political allies have continued their relentless attacks to weaken and dismantle the NLRA and national labor policy: politicizing the National Labor Relations Board; allowing Federal judges to create countless loopholes, exemptions and exceptions to the law; disproportionately favoring the rights of employers to the detriment of employees under the false claims of economic/individual freedom and so-called “free trade”. The consequential results speak for themselves: a rapidly declining American middle class; corporations closing American factories and moving production overseas; a U.S. trade deficit of more than $679 Billion dollars (2020); parents having to work 2-4 jobs with longer hours, less pay and benefits to support their struggling families; lower jobs/economic opportunities for our children; lower union membership/density; and, finally, a weaker United States of America, trying to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and facing greater challenges/threats from other rising world powers (China, Russia, etc.).

In 2021, our country is ready for change and an economic revitalization; to strengthen our national labor policy and bring it into the 21st century: Congress must pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, and the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act. These federal laws will bring back a new, fairer balance of employer-employee rights; promote strong labor-management relationships and collective bargaining; hold bad employers both responsible and accountable for their unlawful actions against workers; bring renewed hope, jobs and economic opportunities to millions of American working families and future generations; and finally, these laws will help to rebuild America and make our nation stronger and more united.

Sisters and Brothers, if there is one lesson to be learned over the last forty years, it is this simple truth: We are always stronger when we act collectively together.  So please, on behalf of yourself, your family, and your union sisters and brothers throughout the country, join our collective action campaign and contact Congressman Steve Chabot, Congressman Ben Wenstrup, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Senator Rob Portman, and demand that they stand up for all working Americans by co-sponsoring and voting for the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, and the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act.

Thank you, and may God’s Blessings be with all working American families throughout 2021… In Solidarity, U and I…

(Peter M. McLinden Esq. is a proud member of AFSCME Local 2461/Union Township, and Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council – pmclinden@cincinnatiaflcio.org)

Are “WE’’ Willing To “Buy-In”?

Are “WE’’ Willing To “Buy-In”?

Definition of “buy-in.” Acceptance of and willingness to actively support and participate in something (such as a proposed new plan or policy or organization such as a labor union) Without buy-in from his troops, Gruden’s just another tuned-out coach. — Tim Keown

I heard this story about a football coach that was passionate about having his players tuck in their shirts. Of course, the players really questioned him and pushed back on tucking in their shirt. They asked him, “Is tucking in my shirt going to help me score more touchdowns? Will tucking in my shirt help me run faster?” And, of course, the coach responded, “No… it’s for buy in.”

This coach was testing the commitment level of his players. Are they willing to do whatever it takes? Are they willing to show everyone that they trust the team? Are they willing to cut the life raft and go down with the ship? Are they “buying in”? Or will they send the message to their teammates that they are not willing to simply tuck in their shirt.

Brothers and Sisters,

As members of Local 392, or any other organization that we are members of, the story is almost always the same. Those organizations are continually looking for members who “buy in” to whatever the organization advocates for. If you are a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars or Disabled American Veterans you advocate on behalf of veterans of the United States military. If you are a member of a Kiwanis club you advocate on behalf of children and local communities. As a member of several organizations over the past 54 years of my life it is no secret that many of them are struggling to attract new members or to retain existing members. As the Business Manager of Local 392 this is something that concerns me deeply because at times it feels like many of our own members are not “buying in” to what we as a labor union advocate for every day.

It is no secret why teams are successful whether it is at the grade school, high school, college, or professional level. Success of an organization is always tied to the level of “buy in” from its members, Local 392 is no different. Whenever we speak to new apprentices at orientation, whenever we speak to new members who come to us through organizing, whenever we speak to members who have been with local 392 for any length of time our message is always the same, “Local 392 NEEDS our members to “buy in” to the mission of the United Association which has always been to help our members build a better life for themselves and their families. For over 130 years, this has been the cornerstone of who we are and what we stand for. Even as our organization and the world have grown and evolved, we have not changed in our commitment to the following core values, 1. The highest standards in training, 2. The health and safety of our members, 3. Fair wages and benefits, 4. Building industry relationships with our partner contractors and the end users who utilize them.

As your elected leaders of local 392 our ability to advocate for our members and all workers will only be effective if we have “buy in” from you.

The next union meeting will be on March 12th, 2021 @ 7 P.M. at the Local 392 JATC. Please remember that you are responsible for keeping your dues and drug card current.

(Bill Froehle is Business Manager for Plumbers, Pipefitters & Mechanical Equipment Service Local Union No. 392 and President of Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council – bill@local392.com )