Labor Council
News & Updates
Friday, July 3, 2020
A Statement from President Trumka
With new infections spiking across America, the labor movement reaffirms the need to protect front-line workers from COVID-19. Now more than ever, our health and safety depends on a robust government response to this pandemic, but we need to do our part, too. Please wear a face covering when you’re out in public. Do it not just for yourself and your family. Do it because, when you wear a face covering, you’re helping to protect the front-line workers who are keeping our nation going during this public health crisis. This is one simple step we all can take to show that we care and we want to save lives.
Ohio Labor Gears Up for Decision 2020
Sisters, Brothers and Friends,

As we head into the Fourth of July weekend and celebrations, I wanted to say thank you to the local union leaders that joined myself, Secretary-Treasurer Melissa Cropper and Executive Secretary Pete McLinden for the Labor 2020 Regional Zoom meeting.

Over the past two weeks, hundreds of local union leaders joined 11 of these regional meetings to help kick off the Labor 2020 political program to help elect Joe Biden the next president of the United States and change the philosophical majority of the Ohio Supreme Court which will help end gerrymandering and protect working people.

Over these past few months, the Ohio AFL-CIO and your unions have been working hard to protect our members' safety and economic security during this pandemic and we will continue to carry the message to the statehouse in Columbus and the Capitol in Washington, DC that working people are essential, not expendable. However, now is the time to start talking to our Union Sisters and Brothers about electing Joe Biden the next President. Donald Trump has broken too many promises to Ohioans and we need you to talk with your co-workers about voting for Joe Biden.

Flyers are available on the Working Families Toolkit and we will start phone banking our membership next week. Please reach out to Executive Secretary McLinden or Ohio AFL-CIO Area Campaign Coordinator Julien Johnson to find our how to get engaged in our Labor 2020 program. 

Have a safe holiday weekend and I look forward to working in Solidarity through November to elect union-friendly candidates up and down the ticket.
In Solidarity,

Tim Burga,
President, Ohio AFL-CIO
Labor Day Picnic Tradition
Canceled Due to Corona Virus
First Time First Time in 35 Years
Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends,

Every year at this time starting back around 1985, the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council sends out its annual Labor Day Picnic/Coney Island invitation to our union affiliates, their members and working families, and to our Friends of Labor. We would all be preparing for one of the largest, most recognized Labor-sponsored Labor Day picnics in the country, hosting speakers including Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.  
Unfortunately, as you know, 2020 isn’t a normal year and we are not living in ordinary times. As a Labor movement, and as a nation, we are facing difficult challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, a national economic collapse, and a game-changing racial/social justice activism movement unlike anything we’ve experienced in decades. We are also preparing for one of the biggest, most important elections in our lifetimes, with opportunities to elect pro-Union, pro-working family candidates to our courts, to county and state government offices, and to the U.S. Congress and Presidency of the United States.
For the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and our union affiliates, our highest priority is the health, well-being and safety of our union members and their families. After full consideration of all options, we have decided not to hold our annual Labor Day picnic at Coney Island this year. 
This decision is not an easy one. Our Labor Day Picnic is the biggest annual fundraising event for the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council. However, we believe it serves the health and best interests of our local affiliates, union families and friends of Labor. 
So, what can we do now? The funds that are generated each year from this historic event help run our daily operations and Labor programs, maintain our office and communication tools, fairly compensate our dedicated staff, and helps to 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 consider making a one-time Labor Day donation to the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council to make certain that we are able to continue doing the good work for you, the 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 member’s rights, and social/racial/economic justice for all working families, in Cincinnati and throughout our great nation!

Solidarity Forever, in U and I . . .
Bill Froehle, President
Peter McLinden, Executive Secretary-Treasurer
OFT President Melissa Cropper recently wrote to Governor DeWine, thanking him for his leadership on COVID-19 and listing a number of concerns and questions OFT would need to see addressed before we are comfortable returning to schools. Ohio can not rush to open the schools before it is safe for our students, for teachers and staff, and for our family members who risk exposure if we bring the virus home from our schools. 

Here is an excerpt from our letter to Governor DeWine listing our primary areas of concern:

Meeting the needs of students

Though we have worked tirelessly to quickly transition our system in order to remotely educate children during this crisis, this experience has reinforced that the best learning takes place when children are in a classroom interacting with the teacher and with other students. Nothing can replace the relationship-building, social skills building, and interactive learning that happens in that context.

While our goal is to return to that type of setting, we recognize that until it is safe to do so, we must continue to find ways to support students in their learning. We are currently in the process of forming work groups to examine different aspects of this, and we will keep you updated on the results of those work groups.

We know that for any work to be successful, it needs to have the following components both at a state and local level:


  • Assessment of students
  • Physical needs (food, shelter, safety, etc.)
  • Mental Health needs (grief, stress, anxiety, etc.)
  • Learning needs (How far have they progressed in their learning? What learning supports do they need? How can we address inequities caused by disparate access to technology? etc.)
  • Assessment of staff
  • Physical needs (Are they high-risk? Do they have people in their household who are high risk? etc.)
  • Mental health needs (grief, stress, anxiety, etc.)
  • Professional development needs (using different learning platforms, trauma-informed instruction, and SEL for both educators and administrators, etc.)
  • Assessment of resources
  • Teaching staff (students will be coming with increased needs - see above)
  • Custodial staff (keeping learning environments germ-free will be critical)
  • Technology
  • Personal Protection Equipment
  • Learning spaces (how can we maintain safe social distancing)


  • Unions and administrators need to be jointly meeting to assess their situation and to plan work moving forward. Since many decisions have the potential to impact collective bargaining agreements, re-opening and transition plans need to be jointly negotiated and agreed upon with the goal being how to provide continuity of education to our students throughout the changing learning environments.
  • Parents and community members also need to be included in conversations so that we have a complete understanding of all the existing challenges.
  • When looking at how to meet the non-education needs of children, agencies and organizations that serve children and families need to be involved in discussions with the union and administrators. With limited resources, it is even more imperative that we have a shared vision and strategy for how to expand accessibility to services that children often need to help them overcome barriers to learning. This is a prime time to be looking at community learning center models, such as we have in Cincinnati, to build community partnerships that bring existing resources (such as mental health services, physical health services, food, etc) into the schools where they are accessible to students, families, and community members without supplanting existing personnel or draining resources that are needed for student achievement.


  • Resources are mentioned in the bullets above but it cannot be emphasized enough that we need to take the time to deeply assess needs and to determine how to maximize every dollar so that it benefits students and families.
  • Above all, we need to address the inequities that exist in our education system. We have already seen that the COVID-19 crisis has had a disproportionate health impact on communities of color. We cannot allow it to have that same disproportionate impact on their education.
  • Investments in education will be necessary for overcoming the challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis. Teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff will be critical in helping students deal with both the academic issues and mental stress issues involved with either returning to school or learning remotely. These are the people who have built relationships with the students throughout their academic careers and have been with them throughout the crisis. In order to provide continuity of instruction, funds need to be dedicated to preserving those positions before being spent on outside vendors and providers who have not previously been involved in our students’ education.

As we build out our work groups, we will be addressing tough questions head-on, and finding solutions that are workable under each possible scenario. Though we will be thinking about all students, as well as the teachers and staff who support those students, we will have a primary focus on specific groups of students, namely:

  • Students on Individualized Educational Plans or have otherwise been identified as needing special attention.
  • Students with medical needs.
  • Students in career tech programs and/or lab settings who need hours for credentialing and/or hands-on experiences.
  • Students who do not have the ability to consistently access remote learning.
  • Students who have the highest needs.

Safe return to school buildings

We know that the best education happens when students are in our buildings connecting with both teachers and other students; however, we also know that the health and safety of students, staff and community have to be at the forefront when deciding when a return to buildings can happen.

With that in mind, we recommend that the following be considered when making that decision:
  • The likelihood that a school community has reached the peak in disease transmission.
  • The likelihood that a school community has reached herd immunity as indicated by widespread testing.
  • The capacity of a school community to prevent COVID-19 transmission, such as increased custodial staffing, increased stock and accessibility of cleaning supplies, and a robust publicly-reviewed emergency preparedness plan.
  • The capacity of a school community to address signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including widespread availability of testing and appropriate personal protective equipment, especially for specialized instructional support staff who regularly interface with students who pose elevated risk of exposure, i.e. those requiring daily toileting, intubation, and/or catheterization.

Maintaining healthy learning environments

A safe return to school will require putting protocols and practices in place to ensure that students and staff remain healthy. Questions that will need to be addressed include:
  • How will we safely transport students to school?
  • How do we maintain safe social distancing on buses?
  • How do we determine whether students are healthy when they get on the bus?
  • How do we do hand-washing or germ-avoidance measures on a bus?
  • What attendance protocols do we need in place?
  • How do we accommodate students who do not feel physically or emotionally safe returning to school?
  • How do we accommodate staff who are high-risk or have family members who are high risk?
  • What type and what amounts of personal protective equipment should each building have?
  • How will we keep surfaces clean throughout the day, particularly high traffic but hard to clean areas? How often will these surfaces need to be cleaned?
  • Surfaces of concern include: Computer labs, technology, desks, bathrooms, handrails, buses, playground equipment, learning manipulatives, etc.
  • How will we maintain safe physical distancing during the following times?
  • Class time and moving between classes
  • Meal times - breakfast and lunch
  • Transportation to and from school
  • Sports and other extracurriculars
  • Recess
  • What will be the protocols for maintaining a healthy environment?
  • Will there be places and times for students to regularly wash hands
  • Will students and staff be tested prior to entering the building?
  • What will be the referral process for illness?
  • Will we have areas to isolate students and staff who may become ill while at school?
  • Will we need additional school nurses and other health-focused staff?
  • What special accommodations will we need to make for medically-fragile students and students with underlying health issues?
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.
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 multi-employer 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.

Dayton Mask Ordinance
Last night, I was proud that the Dayton City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance to require face covering in public spaces in our city. 
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Southwest Ohio, we are taking action to save lives. I hope Montgomery County and other municipalities in our region will join us in this effort. 
The ordinance, which will go into effect on Friday morning at 8am, will require people to cover their nose and mouth when inside public spaces or outside when social distancing is not possible. Locations include grocery stores, retail stores, libraries, bars and restaurants, and public transportation.
I know that no one is excited about wearing a mask. I know that wearing a mask is uncomfortable. I know that, unfortunately, wearing a mask has become a political flash point. But I also know that masks save lives. Masks are incredibly effective in reducing the spread of this virus. 
Masks are a small sacrifice that we can all make to take care of one another AND to keep our businesses open as we continue to weather this storm
I have been so proud of how our community has stepped up to face this crisis. This ordinance is one more step in that effort. Together, we can each do our part to keep one another safe.
Nan Whaley
Mayor of Dayton, Ohio
Sterling Research Group, a research center with offices in Mt. Auburn and Springdale will soon be enrolling adult participants in a number of Covid-19 vaccine studies. These studies are expected to begin enrolling in July.  “We are excited to be contributing to what everyone hopes will be a life-saving vaccine against this devastating virus” said Donna Percy, President of Sterling.

Sterling plans to enroll several hundred participants in these studies at both centers. The vaccines under development include mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine candidates; these work by inserting mRNA into the cells, where they produce an antigen, which is a protein from the virus.  The antigen stimulates the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. The most common method of developing vaccines in the past was to culture the virus in eggs or other cells.  These vaccines should be less expensive and faster to produce, which would be very beneficial in the case of a pandemic such as Covid-19.

Participants in these randomized, double-blind studies will each receive two injections of either the Covid-19 vaccine or a Placebo injection.

The Principal Investigators leading these studies at Sterling Research are Drs. Bain Butcher, a Family Practice physician and Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati, and Rajesh Davit, a Family Practice physician with Mercy Health.

If you would like to be considered for these studies, visit Sterling’s website at , or call 513-621-5112.

Sterling Research is a multi-therapeutic research center, with two locations in the Greater Cincinnati area.  Sterling has been providing clinical research opportunities to Cincinnati communities for over 20 years, including many vaccine studies. Other upcoming vaccine studies include vaccines for diseases such as Influenza, Pneumonia, Meningitis , and a vaccine to prevent Chikungunya , a mosquito-borne illness which has been identified in the United States.

Sterling has collaborated with most major pharmaceuticals and smaller Biotech companies towards the development of many new medications, devices, biologics and vaccines.  

For more information, please visit
COVID-19 by the Numbers
From  Johns Hopkins University  (as of publication time):
  • More than 10.4 million global cases and more than 500,000 deaths have been confirmed.
  • The coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries/regions.
  • There have been at least 129,000 deaths in the United States.
  • More than 2.6 million cases in all 50 states, U.S. territories and Washington, D.C., have been reported.

Most Up To Date Numbers from CDC HERE
Wednesday, July 1, 2020 Current Statistics

  • 52,865 reported cases.
  • 2,876 deaths.
  • 7,911 hospitalizations and 2,008 ICU admissions.

Gov. Mike DeWine re: Mandatory Masks in Dayton

“I support Mayor Whaley's and Dayton's decision to require the use of masks in public places. It’s an appropriate and welcome response to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in their area. Masks are recommended by the CDC and medical professionals to help protect other people. Wearing a mask will allow us to help keep businesses open and help prevent further spikes. I encourage other communities to consider following Dayton's lead."
Hamilton County by the Numbers

On Wednesday, July 1, Hamilton County Commission President Denise Driehaus and Interim Health Director Greg Kestermann addressed the county's increase in positive cases during this morning's press conference. A chart visualizing the increase is attached.
Hamilton County Commission President Denise Driehaus

  • Seeing significant surge in Hamilton County (see attached chart):
o 5,010 positive COVID cases.
o 703 hospitalizations had been dropping, but now are up.
o 198 deaths.
  • THC dashboard said hospitalizations and ICU are under 80% occupancy. 37.4% of those hospitalizations are under age 40. This is an increase and troublesome because younger patients with COVID can develop long-term respiratory issues.
  • To remain open, we must redouble our effort. Wear a mask, keep social distance, wash hands. Please celebrate July 4th safely.
  • Anecdotally, I have heard from contact tracers that one spread occurred after a baby shower, another after a birthday party. The guests at the parties did not social distance or mask. Even for private gatherings, you must continue to practice safe distancing and wear a mask.
  • We have pop up testing sites, staffed by the Ohio National Guard, in hot spots in the county: 45231, 45240 zip codes. Go to for a map of all testing sites.

Greg Kesterman, Interim Director, Hamilton County Public Health

  • Now is not time to get your guard down. If you get together with others, please do so safely.
  • Reproductive number is at 1.12 (last week was at 1.45). When the number is above 1.0, the virus spread is growing. When the number is below 1.0, the virus spread is shrinking. 

Judge Kubicki, Presiding Judge, Common Pleas Court

  • Restarting Jury trials. Using Plexiglas to separate jury participants.
  • If called to serve as a juror, please serve so we can administer justice.
  • Anyone entering courthouse will be temperature checked, must wear a mask, keep 6’ distance and use hand sanitizer • No COVID outbreaks at courthouse or jail.

(Thanks to Government Strategies Group, LLC for much of this information)
Broadway to Remain Closed for the Rest of 2020
On Monday, it was announced that the Broadway League will be keeping  theaters closed for the rest of the year , with the hope that it will be safe to reopen early in 2021. Actors’ Equity (AEA), led by President Kate Shindle, released a  statement  reaffirming the need for a  nationwide relief plan for the arts . “Countless regional theaters have made the exact same decision as Broadway, and are voluntarily postponing their seasons and putting the safety and health of their audiences and workers first. These responsible decisions mean that the industry will need support so that when it is safe to reopen, the arts can go back to work and help the entire economy recover,” said Brandon Lorenz, Actors' Equity's national director of communications and public policy.

Actors’ Equity is calling for an emergency $4 billion in supplemental funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities and Corporation for Public Broadcasting, low-interest loans for theaters that do not qualify for NEA funding and restoring the business tax deduction for the purchase of live entertainment tickets. The Broadway industry directly  contributed $14.7 billion to the economy  and supported nearly 100,000 jobs in New York City in 2018–19.
COVID-19 Demanded Change
Dear United Way friends,

For more than 100 years, United Way of Greater Cincinnati funded programs and agencies that changed this region for the better. We convened diverse groups to tackle the community’s most deep-rooted problems, achieving results no one entity could achieve on its own. We’ve shown United is truly  the way  to help. 

Rarely do we step into the area of direct relief. COVID-19 demanded it. 

Partnering with old friends, we delivered $160,000 in gift cards to nearly 4,000 local residents.

As former director of Hamilton County Job and Family Services, I knew the wait for food assistance might be long given the large number of people losing jobs and entering the public assistance system. I also knew those waiting families would have immediate needs. 

We connected with JFS and formed a public-private partnership, supplying families with $94,000 in grocery gift cards to help while they waited for paperwork to be processed and cards to be mailed. 

We also distributed 951 Visa cards, totaling more than $66,000, through partner agencies and United Way 211, a resource and referral line.

The families expressed gratitude:
  • “It helped… I am a single mom of 4, so losing my job has been really hard. This money helps a lot with household things I'm struggling to afford. Thank you.”
  • “I can buy diapers for my baby. I can buy detergent for my family to use.”
  • “Allowing me to buy food, toilet paper, and educational toys for my son.”
I am so proud of our partnership with Job and Family Services and our staff for quickly collaborating to get direct support to individuals and families in their time of great need. I hope you are, too.

Moira Weir
United Way of Greater Cincinnati
Help Stamp Out Hunger in Your Community
The need for food relief has never been greater and neither is our determination to help. Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the labor movement has stepped up to help union members and struggling families keep food on our tables. We’re doing what the labor movement does best: joining together in solidarity, lifting each other up and serving our communities.

The AFL-CIO is proud to partner again with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) for the “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive campaign. Because of safety concerns, this year’s food drive was unable to happen as it usually does in May. This year’s campaign may be different because of the pandemic, but  it is more important than ever.
NALC is asking members of the community to participate by donating food directly to food banks in their area.

Please go to , select your state and find the food banks in your area.
In Solidarity
LCLAA Stands in Solidarity with the Machinist Union As Workers Continue to Join Picket Lines Demanding Fair Contracts
Washington D.C.- For over a week Machinist Union Local S6 members who work at the Bath Iron Works’ shipyard have been demanding a fair and dignified contract. The Machinists Union Local S6, represents 4,300 of the company’s 6,700 employees at the yard. Among the pending issues in the negotiations are the company’s continued hiring of subcontractors as well as its intention to make changes to seniority privileges. 

Shipyard operations and the construction of destroyers for the U.S. Navy had already been subject to disruptions due to COVID-19. Now workers are fighting for their rights to a contract capable of reflecting their value to our nation.

LCLAA stands in solidarity with the Machinist Union Local 6, whose fight for a fair contract should encourage BIW to go back to the negotiating table and to do what is right for their employees, their communities, and for working families.


The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is the leading national organization for Latino(a) workers and their families. LCLAA was born in 1972 out of the need to educate, organize and mobilize Latinos in the labor movement and has expanded its influence to organize Latinos in an effort to impact workers' rights and their influence in the political process. LCLAA represents the interest of more than 2 million Latino workers in the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), The Change to Win Federation, Independent Unions and all its membership. Visit LCLAA on the web at , on  Facebook Twitter  and  Instagram
Apply Now! 2020-2021 S. Louise Akers Fellowship
Will you be the first 
IJPC S. Louise Akers Fellow?
We are thrilled to announce and open applications for the inaugural  IJPC S. Louise Akers Fellowship  through Mercy Volunteer Corps as an opportunity to spend a year in service through education and advocacy for social justice!  The fellow will inspire and engage communities to create change through analysis and action. Over 11 months, beginning August 2020, the fellow will advance their expertise in peace and nonviolence practices practices through hands-on training, utilizing the knowledge they gain to create and lead a program to offer a Certificate in Peace Promotion for residents of Greater Cincinnati.  This position was created to honor the legacy of S. Louise Akers, SC, co-founder and first director of IJPC, tireless advocate for social justice and integrity of creation.  
To apply, visit the  Mercy Volunteer Corps website.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis so  apply as soon as possible.
If you know a recent college graduate who you think would be interested in this opportunity, please share with them. 

Take Action!
Other Important Headlines:
Special Note From the CLC Communications:
There will be no Weekly News Update next Friday, July 10, 2020. We will see you again Friday, July 17. Have a wonderful Holiday weekend!
In an effort to better serve you, we've adopted a new approach to information dissemination. We've included in this single email the best information we have received recently on issues of importance to all of us. If you have information you would like included in future distributions, please send it to:

Brian D. Griffin | Director of Communication & Technology
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council | 513.421.1846 Office | 513.608.0033 Cell |