If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

If not us, who? If not now, when? That’s the Theme we chose for this, our gathering here tonight… It comes out of a conversation I was having with none other than AFL-CIO President, Liz Shuler. I posed it to her in a conversation we had this past summer, then she used it again in her comments that very day…

If not us, who? If not now, when? So, what do we mean by that? What are we asking?

We are purposefully gathered here this evening … aware of the cross winds that we all navigate currently. It’s been over two years since we were last able to gather like this, break bread, and celebrate. During that time, much has happened… And that may just be the understatement of the night…

2020 was a tumultuous year that saw the onset of a deadly global pandemic… a deeply contentious election… bitter political divisions… and racial unrest explode into violence.

By Crowds of protesters took to the streets in a widespread outcry over systemic racism and injustice, and tens of millions of Americans cast their votes in a hotly contested presidential election, mailing in ballots or heading to the polls in larger numbers than ever before in our nation’s history.

It was a year where The Senate acquitted a President of impeachment charges, The United States began the protracted process of leaving Afghanistan, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won a historic election.

Americans reckoned with the nation’s racist history as Women’s Track and Field athlete Sheree Barbour joined others in protesting the grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case, George Floyd’s death sparked global protests, and Civil rights icon John Lewis left us in July.

Harvey Weinstein was convicted marking the end of a decades’-long tide of allegations of sexual misconduct against him by dozens of women, sparking the “Me Too” movement that has transformed our views on sexual harassment in the workplace.

Wildfires burned more than 8.2 million acres in the American West, Brushfires devastated Australia, Antarctica saw its highest temperature on record, and The United States officially left the Paris Climate Agreement…Go figure.

In January of 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that a cluster of mysterious pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 might have been caused by a previously unidentified coronavirus.

By the end of that month, cases of this new virus were confirmed in Thailand, Japan and the United States, among other countries, totaling 9,800 cases and more than 200 deaths. By year’s end we would reach more than 300,000 lost souls. Worldwide, more than 1.6 million people died from COVID-19 in 2020, with total confirmed cases topping 70 million.

In 2021, the United States—and the world—continued to confront the consequences of 2020, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic.

In what became a record for the fastest vaccine development in history, by year’s end, more than 200 million Americans would be fully vaccinated. However, vaccine hesitancy was a factor in the steady growth of the COVID-19 death toll with over 800,000 by mid-December, and global deaths topping 5 million.

On January 6, a mob of pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop lawmakers from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Five people died in the chaos either shortly before, during or following the event, including a Capitol police officer. Accused of inciting his supporters to riot, Trump became the first president to be impeached (and acquitted) a second time.

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on January 20. Kamala Harris became the nation’s first female, Black and South Asian vice president.

In their first hours in office, Biden signed a letter returning the United States to the Paris accord, which we had officially withdrawn from in late 2020.

Then, in April, President Biden announced the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Amid the false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, numerous states passed laws in 2021 that introduced new limits on voting unfairly targeting people of color, and Democrats in Congress fought for passage of a comprehensive voting rights legislation named after the late Georgia congressman John Lewis.

In February, winter storms bringing snow, sleet and freezing rain combined with frigid temperatures wreaked havoc in Texas, causing road closures, widespread power outages and loss of heat, electricity and water for millions of people. The death toll from the winter storms exceeded 200 people.

In March, two mass shootings within a week of each other proved a devastating reminder of the ongoing scourge of gun violence in the United States. Of the eight people killed in Atlanta, six were Asian women, fueling outrage and fear over the increase in anti-Asian violence during the pandemic.

The summer of 2021 brought us an historic Heatwave in the West, with temperatures reaching 116 degrees in Portland, Oregon and 108 in Seattle, Washington.

On August 29, making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds, Hurricane Ida claimed the lives of more than 30 people in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

After weakening, Ida continued to wreak havoc in the Northeast, killing at least 60 people in six states, and causing widespread flooding of streets, neighborhoods, houses and even the New York City subway.

Police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the death of George Floyd, and a jury in Georgia convicted three defendants of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a young Black man they confronted while he was simply jogging through their neighborhood…

Folks, its been a tough-ass couple years.

So now, here in the fourth quarter of 2022, what do you know…After everything I just told you, and all that happened since the last time we sat and broke bread, the trauma and turmoil of these past two years has altered the balance of power between employers and employees. Amid a burst of 2022 union victories across the country, with successes at major American corporations such as Amazon and Starbucks, 71% percent of Americans look favorably on labor unions — the highest point in over 60 years.

Not in any of our lifetimes has there been a political and social environment this favorable to working people! And more importantly, the face of Labor is changing across the nation. This past June, at the AFL-CIO Convention, I raised my hand proudly voting to elect Liz Shuler as the first ever female President of the AFL-CIO along with the most diverse leadership team in AFL-CIO history.

Now is the time – Now is our time. It is time to embrace the changing nature of the workplace, and fight the fight for what is rightfully ours… rights such as

  • protections for collective bargaining agreements
  • the right to health and safety protections
  • the right to a livable wage
  • universal paid sick leave and family and medical leave
  • protections for whistleblowers
  • an end to worker misclassification
  • health care security
  • support for childcare
  • and the ability to hold corporations accountable for meeting their responsibilities.

And in this time when we find our nation tossed about and torn by all these competing head winds, three out of four Americans see Unions as the greatest hope for the collective good. We are the river that raises all boats!

So, Sisters and Brothers… Let me ask you again… If not us, who… And if not now, when?

We must strike while the fire is hot.

Thank you.

Thank you Paul, Carl, Paige, Ted and Jeremy… You’ve Set The Stage!

Thank you Paul, Carl, Paige, Ted and Jeremy… You’ve Set The Stage!

Wow, it worked! And a big shout out and thank you to Sisters and Brothers that made it happen: Paul Frankenfeld (AFM Local 1), Carl Vineyard (USW Local 14734), Paige Stephens (UFCW Local 75), Ted Thompson (NALC Branch 43), and Jeremy Tyler (Workers United Local 12). Thank you for being the very finest version of us – the best that we can be! To you five, thank you!

Frankly, I wasn’t sure it would work, and I’m sure it will likely still have fits and starts, but the Delegate Meeting Wednesday evening was about, by, and for Delegates. Instead of a valiant effort by the Executive Secretary-Treasurer alone to make the meeting worthwhile, over half of Wednesday’s meeting was dedicated to voices of Sisters and Brothers in the struggle, sharing their view of that struggle with one another. We heard about victories, we heard of losses, and we heard stories of battles yet undecided. We heard about The Labor Movement we all love and share, and it was, by my estimation, the most informative and uplifting delegate meeting I’ve attended in my near-five years with the CLC.

It has long been my vision that we would be better…we would be stronger…we would be in greater solidarity if we were more connected. We all live busy lives, and we are all stretched to our maximum putting it all in and on the line for the Labor movement each and every day. It’s an indisputable fact! Having said that, it can be a difficult, frustrating, and often lonely slog, fighting the good fight every minute of every day… and when you lay your head down at night, sometimes you aren’t entirely sure if it was a good day or not…if you made headway or not…if you won more than you lost. I know… The work is hard and often the love for the movement can seem unrequited.

However, fear not! Wednesday evening, we got a glimpse into the movement all around us. Those good and noble persons named above stepped out and stepped up to share some moments with us from their corner of the movement. Bits and pieces of the battles they have lost, and won, and are yet to be determined… They, for those few moments, were speaking not just with all of us, but for all of us. And I could not have been prouder of them, and you, and the movement.

We speak often of Unity and Solidarity – and we should! We easily toss it about and place it in our closing on the written page – all good. But we must be more intentional…more purposeful in living it. And where better to make that happen than during the one time each month when we come together as Sisters and Brothers, joined in common cause, to tell the stories of our struggles, victories, hopes, dreams, disappointments and more?

“After all, it’s called a “Delegate” meeting, not an “Executive Secretary-Treasurer” Meeting!” So, it is my intention to do my work and dedicate myself 110% to the stewardship and advancement of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, and to each of you… but going forward, this is about you — not me. The stage is set. I am asking you to take it. So, until next month, I will see out there!

In unity and Solidarity Forever!
Brian

(Brian Griffin, Executive Secretary-Treasure, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council)

Our Sisters and Brothers at the USPS Remember the Creed. Its the Bureaucrats that Don’t!

Our Sisters and Brothers at the USPS Remember the Creed. Its the Bureaucrats that Don’t!

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” These words have long been associated with the American Postal Worker. Though not an official creed or motto of the United States Postal Service, the Postal Service acknowledges it as an informal motto.

In the very earliest of day, before the United States was its own nation, long before the internet or telephones and multitudes of methods for instantaneous communication over vast distances, the connective of the American colonies was the mail which was transported by horseback riders on the rough-hewn roads between cities and towns. The safe, efficient delivery of the mail was critical to the colonies’ survival, which is why three months after the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Continental Congress turned to Benjamin Franklin to establish a national post service as the first Postmaster General.

The postal service was a mess when Philadelphia’s 47-year-old Benjamin Franklin took the helm. At that time, it was run under the crown as a moneymaking venture for Britain. For years, it ran a deficit, and Franklin realized the best way to turn a profit was to improve services instead of gutting them. Ironic isn’t it that the future Founding Father — a statesman, scientist, and shrewd businessman — believed in efficiency and innovation. Historians by and large believe he would have been alarmed at the more recent attempts to slash operations of one of the nation’s founding institutions.

So, let’s fast forward to January 18 this year, when a federal crisis-response service launched and anyone with a fixed address in the United States or its territories could go to CovidTests.gov and order four tests sent for free to their home. The initiative may have come weeks too late to help contain the omicron surge, but at last, free rapid testing by mail is finally available in the U.S.

As it turns out, that inviting website is really just a splash page for the United States Postal Service (USPS), one of our nation’s first public institutions, founded for the sake of public good, and yet, in recent times, one that has been systematically dismantled. And now, in the third year of this pandemic, the Covid-19 response is being foisted upon critical public institutions that have been underfunded or tampered with for decades.

It’s counterintuitive that some of our most essential institutions that might have remained stable during a crisis have been stripped to where they can barely function, and yet still leaned on as if whole and robust. Even before the prior administration admittedly was starving the agency to make it harder to vote by mail, USPS has been besieged by challenges. To no small extent, the problem is that the office is made to operate differently from any other public institutions.

Trying to provide world-class service like the USPS by making its money off the sale of postage and services instead of relying on taxpayer funds, as do all other public services we enjoy, is insane.

One can point to 2006, when Congress passed a law requiring the post office to prefund health care benefits for retiring employees, as that moment, and the financial burden that created, for the financial situation the USPS is in now.

With the advent of a new administration in 2021, attention on the USPS crisis slowed, but the office continues to struggle under the strain of the remnants of so many destructive policies, compounded by this pandemic. Just a few months ago, the postal service announced it was slowing down its mail delivery for some letters and packages; staffing shortages that have roiled other industries have overburdened postal employees, who work as many as 80 hours a week, have caused additional delays.

It might be less frustrating if it weren’t all so predictable. Rural Americans have reported delays and losses, significantly impacting their livelihoods. Essential government communications such as stimulus checks and advanced child tax credits, delayed and lost, and all because an essential public utility all of us and the government rely on to fulfill basic functions has been willfully neglected.

Let me conclude by asking this: If I had a letter, and I gave it to you, then demanded that you take it to the most remote corner of the planet, find a specific location, no matter how difficult the terrain, or harsh the weather, and safely deliver that letter to a specific individual, all for $.58, would you be able to do it? Yet that is what we ask the USPS to do millions of time each and every day.

So, as we all sit in our nice warm homes on this brutally cold winter morning, let’s remember the Sisters and Brothers who are out there now…doing it…getting it done…even while their good work is kneecapped and handcuffed. The USPS is a mission-critical system, a necessary government service, and the good, noble, dedicated women and men who carry out that service each and every day, are doing their level best, under willfully burdensome and unnecessarily onerous circumstances. Remember that if your package is a little late, or your mail doesn’t arrive as you wish. It isn’t becasue of the hard-working women and men of the USPS. Stand strong with our Sisters and Brothers and support the USPS!

“This is where we go from here.” – Cincinnati Labor Council EST Griffin Opening Remarks from COPE 2021

“Fast forward to today… Organized Labor is in an exceptional period of both transition and opportunity right now. Not in any of our lifetimes has there been a political and social environment this favorable to working people and our right to organize! We have the most pro-union administration in the white house in over 75 years. Recently, the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO elected the most diverse leadership team in the history of the AFL-CIO. And more broadly, the face of the rank and file of Labor is changing across the country. Labor Unions are more broadly popular now than they’ve been in over 60 years and our youngest workers are our biggest backers. Now is the time – Now is our time. It is time to embrace the pace and the changing nature of the workplace, workers, workers’ rights and to fight for what is rightfully ours.

  • Protections for collective bargaining agreements,
  • The right to health and safety protections,
  • The right to a livable wage,
  • Universal paid sick leave and family and medical leave,
  • Protections for whistleblowers,
  • An end to worker misclassification,
  • Health care security,
  • Support for childcare,
  • And the ability to hold corporations accountable for meeting their responsibilities.

This is where we go from here. This is where we must focus our fire. And it starts right here… this very evening.” 

(Brian Griffin, Executive Secretary – Treasurer, Cincinnati AFL-CIL Labor Council)

Cincinnati Labor Council “Meet The Endorsed Candidates Night,” Wednesday, October 6

It is indeed a privilege and an honor to invite our endorsed candidates to be a part of our Meet The Candidate Night, Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

At 7:00 PM sharp, we will hold an abbreviated version of our regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Labor Council Delegates at the LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) Local 265 Union Hall.

Immediately following that meeting, at approximately 7:30, we will open the floor so that our endorsed candidates for Mayor, City Council, Cincinnati Public School Board and Hamilton County Municipal Court may address the Delegate Body.

Each Candidate will be given 3-4 minutes to introduce themselves and make brief remarks as their candidacy and most compelling reason for running.

We hope you will join us for this very important evening so we can celebrate our endorsed candidates and their candidacy while having the opportunity to get more familiar with them and them with us.

The LiUNA Union Hall is located at the LiUNA Local 265 Union Hall, 3457 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45207.

Thanks to all our endorsed candidates for their willingness to serve and for all you do and mean to our community. We look forward to having you join us for this informative and celebratory event.

In Unity and Solidarity…

Brian

Brian D. Griffin
Executive Secretary – Treasurer
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council

Labor Day Canceled, but Labor Council Still Needs Us!

Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends of working families,

Every year at this time starting back around 1985, the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council has held its annual Labor Day Picnic/Coney Island invitation for our union affiliates, their members and working families, and to our Friends of Labor.  We would go about preparing for one of the largest, most recognized Labor-sponsored Labor Day picnics in the country.

Unfortunately, once again this year, out of an abundance of caution and to maintain Labor’s Leadership position placing health and safety above all else, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Annual Labor Day Celebration at Coney Island for a second year. This decision is not an easy one. Quite frankly, our Labor Day Picnic is the biggest annual fundraising event for the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council.

And while we know that it serves the health and best interests of our local affiliates, union families and friends of Labor, we are once more preparing for an important election with opportunities to elect pro-Union, pro-working family candidates to our courts, and to our municipal, county, state, and federal offices. In short, the work we do is incredibly important.

So, what can we do now? The funds that are generated each year from our historic annual Labor Day Picnic/Coney Island help run our daily operations and Labor programs, maintain our office and communication tools, fairly compensate our dedicated staff, and progressively move forward our Labor movement/agenda in the greater Cincinnati area.

As our labor affiliates/partners and Friends of Labor, we respectfully request that your organization once again consider making a Labor Day donation to the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council to make certain that we are able to continue doing the good work that we do for you, and all the hard-working women and men of Greater Cincinnati.

We thank you for your leadership, your activism/dedication to the Labor movement, and your consideration of the above request.  We will continue to stand with you, fight for your union and members rights, and social/racial/economic justice for all working families, in Cincinnati and throughout our great nation! Please help us continue to serve you and this community where we all live, love, learn, work, play and pray.

In unity and solidarity,

Bill Froehle, President

51st Annual COPE Dinner: Date Change and Going On Line!

Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council

51st Annual COPE Dinner

Thursday, October 21, 2021

VIP Virtual Reception(s) — 6:00 PM

51st Annual COPE Dinner Broadcast Program — 7:00 PM

 

Never before has Labor had an opportunity like we have today. Not in any of our lifetimes has there been a political environment this favorable to working people and our right to organize! New Leadership and new opportunity…

It’s time to seize the day!

 

Because we stood up and stood strong, Unions are on the rise, and to the extent that this world has continued to function in these times of political division and COVID 19, we have been given a unique and inspiring look at the true face of our nation.  It’s you… it’s us… it’s your Sisters and Brothers in Healthcare, Public Safety, Building Trades and Construction, Food Workers/Retail, Transportation, Public Sector, Education and US Postal Service making it happen for America, every hour of every day. To the extent this nation is functioning, thank a Union Worker. Bravo Sisters and Brothers! So, where do we go from here! Cope 2021 will celebrate new leadership, new direction, new inspiration!

Unfortunately, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the new threat posed by the Delta Variant, we are once again unable to hold our traditional, in-person dinner gathering.  Instead, the Cincinnati AFL-CIO will be holding a private COPE broadcast/online event. So, once more from the comfort of your own living room, join us and the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council family and friends to celebrate Unity, Solidarity, and the greater Cincinnati Labor movement.

Details of our exciting program and dinner are coming together nicely and will be released soon! Reserve your passes now!

Please complete and return the following to Request your passes for this unforgettable, unprecedented event!

LOCAL UNION OR ORGANIZATION:

Primary Contact:                                                              Phone:                                                 Email:                                                                   

Street:                                                                                  City:                                                       State:                    Zip:                                        

  • Enclosed is my check/reservation for $1,500 for a premium VIP group of 8.
  • Enclosed is my check/reservation for $1,200 for a standard group of 8.
  • Enclosed is my check/reservation in the amount of                           for                          Standard Passes at $150 each.
  • I/we are not able to attend. Please accept this contribution of  to support the good work COPE provides (Please check on of the following:  My check is enclosed -or-  Please invoice me for our contribution).

The COPE Dinner is an important fundraiser for the Committee on Political Education. COPE sponsors voter registration, voter education, candidate screenings and endorsements, Meet-the Candidates Night, sample ballots, Chronicler, and Get-Out-the-Vote activities. Contributions to the Cincinnati AFL-CIO COPE are not deductible for income tax purposes. Tickets may be purchased individually, out of general funds or out of political action accounts.

To reserve your access pass(es) make your check payable to Cincinnati AFL-CIO COPE and send along with this registration form to Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, 1385 Tennessee Avenue – 2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45229. Please respond by Friday, October 15.

For further information contact the CLC Communication Office at 513-421-1846 ext. 5 or email us at info@cincinnatiaflcio.org.

IUOE LOCAL 20 REACHES AGREEMENT WITH HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS — Strike Averted

Picture1.pngContact: Richard Gerrein,

Business Manager

IUOE Local 20

1150 W. Eighth Street

Suite 205

Cincinnati, Ohio 45203

(513) 751-1671

iuoe20@iuoe20.org

For Immediate Release:  August 20, 2021

IUOE LOCAL 20 REACHES AGREEMENT WITH HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS — Strike Averted

Local 20 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO, is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement upon a new labor agreement with the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.  As a result, the strike, which was to commence this Sunday, August 21, 2021 has been averted.

IUOE Local 20 had served notice upon the County Commissioners of its intent to strike following the parties’ inability to reach agreement upon the key issue of wages after more than 1 ½ years.  Following notice of its intent to strike, the County Commissioners increased their wage offer which was accepted by IUOE Local 20.

IUOE Local 20 Business Manager Rick Gerrein stated: “We are pleased that the strike was averted, and that our members received a wage increase taking them one step closer to full parity with employees of other comparable Cincinnati employers.  More importantly, we are pleased that the public will continue to receive, without interruption, professional maintenance of County Buildings, including the HVAC systems so critical to ensuring safe air quality during the ongoing pandemic.”

IUOE Local 20 represents 23 separate bargaining units in the Greater Cincinnati area with a total membership of approximately 500.  Employers include the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati, the Cities of Fairfield and Hamilton, and the Southwest Regional Water District. Visit us on the web at iuoe20.org.

Shuler Elected AFL-CIO President and Redmond Tapped as Secretary-Treasurer, Forming Historic Leadership Team

(Washington, D.C., Aug. 20, 2021)—The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

The election of Shuler and Redmond comes after the unexpected and untimely passing of Richard Trumka, who served as AFL-CIO president from 2009 until his death on Aug. 5, capping a more than 50-year career of dedication to America’s unions and working people.

“I am humbled, honored and ready to guide this federation forward,” Shuler said after her election. “I believe in my bones the labor movement is the single greatest organized force for progress. This is a moment for us to lead societal transformations—to leverage our power to bring women and people of color from the margins to the center—at work, in our unions and in our economy, and to be the center of gravity for incubating new ideas that will unleash unprecedented union growth.”

“I could not be more excited to get to work with President Shuler so we can build on the labor movement’s legacy of change, writing a new chapter that brings the promise of union membership to workers across this country,” Redmond said. “This is the right team at the right time to help bring about the economic and social justice America is hungry for.”

“Our country is at a crossroads. Now more than ever, the labor movement is the best vehicle to fight inequality, systemic racism, and attacks on our basic rights and freedoms,” said Gebre. “I am honored to work with our historic team led by President Shuler and look forward to fighting every day for working families.”

Shuler grew up in a union household—her father, Lance, was a power lineman and longtime member of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125 at Portland General Electric and her late mother, Joyce, worked as an estimator in the company’s service and design department. In 1993, Shuler was hired as an organizer at Local 125. When energy giant Enron Corp. tried to muscle electricity deregulation through the Oregon Legislature, Shuler worked with a broad-based coalition of labor, community and environmental activists to challenge and ultimately overcome Enron’s powerhouse lobbying campaign, a victory that sparked her passion for mobilizing workers to make change even when faced with overwhelming odds.

In 1998, Ed Hill, then-secretary-treasurer of the IBEW, assigned Shuler to California where she mobilized IBEW members to help defeat Prop. 226, the so-called paycheck protection initiative that threatened to silence union members in the political process. That victory prompted John J. Barry, then president of the IBEW at that time, to hire her as an international representative in the union’s Political/Legislative Affairs Department in Washington, D.C. In that role, Shuler ran grassroots political mobilization efforts and lobbied Congress on a range of issues important to working families. In 2004, she was promoted to assistant to the international president, where she served President Hill, who had succeeded to that position, in driving the agenda of the nearly 1-million member union.

In 2009, she joined forces with Trumka, becoming the first woman elected to the position of secretary-treasurer at an AFL-CIO convention and the youngest woman ever on the federation’s Executive Council. As secretary-treasurer, she also served as the chief financial officer, turning deficits into surpluses and steering the federation through multiple fiscal crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to her stewardship of the federation’s finances, Shuler led the AFL-CIO’s initiatives on the future of work, retirement security, the clean energy economy, public safety reform, workforce development, and empowering women and young workers. She is committed to busting myths about labor, leveraging the labor movement’s diversity for innovative approaches to social justice and making the benefits of a union voice on the job available to working people everywhere.

Redmond has been a USW member since 1973, when he went to work at Reynolds Metals Co. in Chicago. He became active in his local union almost immediately, serving as shop steward and eventually vice president. He served three terms as local president.

For decades, Redmond served the USW in various staff and leadership roles, assisting local unions, developing and conducting training programs, and bargaining contracts.

As international vice president for human affairs, Redmond oversaw the Civil and Human Rights Department, as well as the union’s shipbuilding, health care and public sector bargaining, and worked with USW allies across the country in responding to attacks on voting rights and in combating economic inequality. Redmond has a long history of leadership on various boards, including the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. In 2021, Redmond was elected president of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, a prestigious international post.

The terms of the three executive officers run through June 2022, when delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia will elect leaders for new four-year terms.

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For the latest, follow @LizShuler and @AFLCIO on Twitter and check out our blog.

Press Release online here: https://aflcio.org/press/releases/shuler-elected-afl-cio-president

AFL-CIO
Office of the President
815 Black Lives Matter Plaza, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, Parents and Community to Rally and Demand Mayor Cranley, City Council and Hamilton County Commissioners Compel SORTA Appointees to Restore CPS School Routes

Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, Parents and Community to Rally and Demand Mayor Cranley, City Council and Hamilton County Commissioners Compel SORTA Appointees to Restore CPS School Routes

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Dillingham, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers

Email: mdillingham@cft-aft.org

Phone: (513) 602-4260

Cincinnati – Cincinnati Public Schools will be open for the new school year on Thursday.  But last month’s decision by the Southwest Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) to eliminate the XTRA bus routes relied on by thousands of 7-12 students has spun CPS parents and high schools into a tailspin. The dedicated “XTRA” bus routes have been used by students in grades 7-12 to safely get to and from CPS high schools for decades.  Students will now be expected to wait and get off at regular SORTA bus stops, mingle with non-student bus passengers and endure extra travel time, confusing bus transfers and potential safety hazards. We fear these inconveniences and hazards will increase drop outs and absences in a year when its critical for students to make up for lost instruction time.

In Cincinnati, there is already an unacceptable level of pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Too many students have been hit by cars in recent years. The city does not have adequate crossing guards to protect students at intersections. This reduction in services to CPS families and students is a betrayal to those of us who supported a recent transit tax increase for SORTA based on the promise higher taxes would actually improve and expand service! Moreover, the travel time for some of these students will be up to two hours just to get to school, making the new “Healthy Start” times at some CPS high schools meaningless.

SORTA is governed by a 16-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Five trustees are appointed by the Mayor of Cincinnati and eleven are appointed by Hamilton County Commissioners.

The Ohio Revised Code states that the “appointing authority” may remove its SORTA appointees “for misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance”.  If the SORTA Board fails to move promptly to restore the XTRA routes that thousands of CPS families have relied on for decades, Mayor Cranley and the Hamilton County Commissioners should remove their appointees for failing to take into account the health and safety of these students – a clear example of misfeasance and nonfeasance.

The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, concerned parents, teachers and community members will protest these cuts in front of City Hall at 4pm on Tuesday, August 17, and demand Mayor Cranley, City Council and the Hamilton County Commissioners call on their appointed board members restore the XTRA student routes, and replace them if they do not. This failure of leadership threatens the health and safety of students, and only widen the equity in education gap.

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The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals who champions the social and economic well-being of our members, Cincinnati’s children, families, working people and communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism and especially through our members’ work.

IUOE LOCAL 20 NOTIFIES HAMILTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF INTENT TO STRIKE BEGINNING AUGUST 22, 2021 — Wages are at issue

Local 20 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO, has served notice upon the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners of its intent to go on strike Sunday, August 22, 2021 beginning at 12:01 a.m.  Picketing will occur both at the Hamilton County Courthouse located at 1000 Main Street, and the Todd B. Portune Center for County Government located at 138 East Court Street.

The bargaining unit is composed of 18 members working as Facilities Maintenance Workers and HVAC Technicians at several County facilities, including the Courthouse, the County Administration Building, the Justice Center, the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, the Juvenile Detention Center, and the Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services Building.  Their work is critical to the operation and maintenance of those facilities, including maintaining air quality which is particularly important during the ongoing pandemic.

The parties have failed to reach agreement upon the key issues of wages.  IUOE Local 20 Business Manager Rick Gerrein explains:  “Although delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, negotiations for this labor agreement began as long ago as December of 2019, but we have yet to reach an agreement.  Local 20 is simply attempting to bring our wages into parity with comparable Cincinnati employers including the University of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Public Schools.  We regret that the County Commissioners’ unreasonable position has forced us to prepare to take this action, but we feel we have no other alternative.  Regardless, IUOE Local 20 stands ready, willing, and able to continue good faith negotiations with the County Commissioners with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable labor agreement providing fair wages for our members.

IUOE Local 20 represents 23 separate bargaining units in the Greater Cincinnati area and a total membership of approximately 500.  Employers include the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati, the Cities of Fairfield and Hamilton, and the Southwest Regional Water District. Visit us on the web at iuoe20.org.

Labor Day 2021 Picnic at Coney Island CANCELED!

Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends,

Over the past year and a half, we have all made enormous adjustments, immense sacrifices, and difficult decisions. And while we had hoped and believed that we would be beyond most of this by now, unfortunately, reversals over the past month or so in vaccination rates accompanied by a steep rise in new cases of COVID-19 spawned the Delta variant, a much more virulent and insidious form of this virus which is dangerous in its own right, but proving to be even more contagious for children, the very group for whom a vaccination is not even choice.

Given this recent turn of events and the likelihood, that circumstances surrounding this Delta variant, cases will continue to rise, and overall circumstances of safety will continue to degenerate, we once again find ourselves facing some uncomfortable truths and difficult decisions. So, it is with a truly unhappy and heavy heart that I now inform you that the Executive Board of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council decided today, Thursday August 12 to cancel the upcoming Annual Labor Day Picnic.

Throughout this pandemic Labor has led the way as a beacon of hope and voice of reason, maintaining that above all, worker health and safe workplaces remain our primary consideration, and must never be compromised. We will continue to take a leadership position in doing the right thing and taking every precaution to ensure that all of you, our Sisters, Brothers, and your families remain healthy and well. For those of you who are disappointed, or even angered by this decision, it is essential to remember that worker health and safety are the primary driving principle of the Labor movement, and that is precisely why this decision could go no other way.

Over the next few days, we will be reaching out to each affiliate that has already made the investment to support this event and work out the return of that investment to you. Thank you for your understanding.

In unity and solidarity…

William E. Froehle,

President, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council

Brother Jon Skirvin Needs A Kidney!

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends:

As some of you are aware, one of our Brothers here in Cincinnati, Jon Skirvin (Plumbers, Pipefitters and MES, Local 392) suffers from Polycystic kidney disease (PKD). PKD is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. Jon’s kidneys were at 7% functionality at the time of the taping of the video we’re presenting to you here today.

As you will learn from the story, Jon has a girl friend, a family and much to live for. So, now we are asking that you use the bully pulpit of the AFL-CIO to spread this important information to the 12.5 million Sisters and Brothers in the movement. One of them may just be the solution to Jon’s challenge, but certainly many of them can and will learn what it means to be a kidney or other organ and tissue donor and how that very important, life-giving act works.

Below are two links that take you to a short, intro or teaser video that sets the stage for the longer interview that provides the story as well as a wealth of information on the who, what, when, where and why of organ and tissue donation. It is a massive issue that faces tens of thousands of American each and every day. What’s more, the answer to every single case is readily available and could be solved in any single day.

Please take the time to watch this video and more importantly, use your vast network to share this video with all our Sisters and Brothers. Without meaning to be melodramatic, a man’s life depends on it, as do the lives of tens of thousands more that are in the very same life-threatening situation in which our Brother Jon Skirvin now finds himself. So, take a moment — or maybe a little longer — and listen to our story and how you can help…

The intro (teaser) video: http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZVxVxB8CFo

The entire interview/discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcJAJCz0qgc

Thank you in advance for helping with this very, very important work. If we Sisters and Brothers in Labor are not perfectly suited to rise to this challenge, no one is. If there is a truer illustration of “Unity and Solidarity,” I have not seen it. So please, spread the word. And please, share!

Unity and Solidarity forever!

Brian

 

Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga on Infrastructure and PRO Act!

Wednesday of this week [July 29,, 2021] on a vote of 67-32 the U.S. Senate moved to begin consideration of the bipartisan infrastructure deal. This is a significant step in realizing a major plank of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.  A summary of where the major funding would be directed includes:
  • $110 billion for roads and bridges. The $40 billion for bridges is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the Interstate highway system
  • $39 billion for public transit. The money would be used to modernize bus and subway fleets and bring new service to communities. That’s about $10 billion less than senators negotiating the agreement had originally designated.
  • $66 billion for passenger and freight rail. The money would be used to reduce Amtrak’s maintenance backlog, improve Amtrak’s 457-mile-long Northeast Corridor as well as other routes and make safety improvements to rail grade crossings.
  • $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, which the administration says is critical to accelerating the use of electric vehicles to curb climate change.
  • $5 billion for the purchase of electric school buses and hybrids, reducing reliance on school buses that run on diesel fuel.
  • $17 billion for ports and $25 billion for airports to reduce congestion and address maintenance backlogs.
  • $55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure, including funding to replace all of the nation’s service lines using lead pipe.
  • $65 billion to expand broadband access, a particular problem for rural areas and tribal communities. Most of the money would be made available through grants to states.
  • $21 billion for cleaning up superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap obsolete gas wells.
  • $73 billion for modernizing the nation’s electric grid and expanding the use of renewable energy.
Momentum is building to usher in a new era, one that puts working people first. To level the playing field for workers from decades of corporate and CEO excesses we must continue to advocate for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown Joined Us On VO Studio to Speaks with Cincinnati Labor

This past Tuesday, July 27, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown shared a part of his busy morning speaking with a number of Cincinnati Labor Leaders. The discussion included Passing the PRO Act, Child Tax Credits and Infrastructure and include the following individuals: US Senator Sherrod Brown, Bill Froehle – President, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and Business Manager, Plumbers, Pipefitters & MES Local 392, Fred Lampe – Executive Secretary, Greater Cincinnati Building & Construction Trades Council, Paige Stephens – Representative, UFCW Local 75, Matt Alter – President, Cincinnati Fire Fighters Union Local 48, Rick Fischer – Business Manager, IBEW Local 212, and Michelle Thoman – President, RNA of UCMC.

Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council Endorses Aftab Pureval for Mayor of Cincinnati

Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council Endorses Aftab Pureval for Mayor of Cincinnati

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 ― Cincinnati, OH: At the July meeting of the executive board of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council Tuesday, July 6, the executive board voted to recommend the endorsement of Aftab Pureval in the 2021 Mayoral race for The City of Cincinnati. The following evening, at the July 7 meeting of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council Delegate Body, that recommendation was unanimously affirmed by the Delegates.

When notified of his endorsement by Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, Mr. Pureval commented, “Our friends at the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council are champions in the struggle for fair compensation and protections for working families. It’s an honor to have their support in my campaign for Mayor. I look forward to our partnership as my administration works to improve the opportunities for organized labor and all working families across the city.”

Mr. Pureval, currently the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, is the first Democrat elected to this office in more than 100 years. During his tenure he brought modern and professional reforms to the Clerk’s office. He invested in the people who serve this city by paying a living wage to all employees and becoming the first county officeholder in Ohio to offer comprehensive paid family leave.

About the endorsement, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council President, Bill Froehle said, “The decision by the Labor Council to endorse Aftab Pureval for Mayor Cincinnati is a statement by the Labor Community recognizing the respect shone by Mr. Pureval for working people when he ensured a Living wage for his entire clerk staff. It is our expectation that Mr. Pureval will continue to be an advocate for working families and to help bring about economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our city.”

For further information, contact Brian Griffin, Director of Communication & Technology, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council – 513.421.1846 or bgriffin@cincinnatiaflcio.org.

Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council’s 34th Annual Golf Tournament Friday, August 6, 2021

Brothers, Sisters, and Friends of Cincinnati working families:

The Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council’s 34th Annual Golf Tournament is Friday, August 6, 2021, once again on the Grizzly Course at the City of Mason Golf Center! This nationally renowned course was designed by Jack Nicklaus, 18-time Major Champion and Ohio native, and has been host to several PGA, LPGA, and Senior PGA tournaments.

The entry fee is $150 per individual golfer or $500 for a four-person team. The fees include greens fees, carts, coffee, donuts, lunch, and prizes. Individuals and/or organizations may also purchase hole sponsorship ($150), lunch-only tickets ($35), our VIP Package, which includes a four-person team plus hole sponsorship ($600). We also gratefully accept donated items for door prizes at this fun event!

The reservation flyer lists all relevant details, including directions and a registration form with payment information. Just fill it out and send it along with your check made payable to Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council to Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, 1385 Tennessee Avenue, 2nd Floor, Cincinnati OH 45229 and you are done.

The Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council Annual Golf Tournament helps provide the Council with the resources it needs to strengthen the Labor movement and continue providing valuable resources and services to working families in the greater Cincinnati area. Now, as things begin to find their new normal after a year of social distancing and the inability to gather and celebrate, it is more important ten ever that we take the time to come together to celebrate who we are, what we have achieved, and what more we have to look forward to. So please, come out to play and celebrate. Your support is greatly appreciated!

On behalf of over one-hundred-plus union affiliates, our union members, and all working families, I thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you Friday, August 6!

In Solidarity, U and I…

Peter McLinden, Esq.

Executive Secretary – Treasurer

Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council

513.421.1846 ext. 1 Office

513.417.9500 Cell

pmclinden@cincinnatiaflcio.org