Labor Council

"Working for a Living" | Special Thanksgiving Edition
Thursday, November 25, 2021
"Every day, I am inspired"
Message from President Liz Shuler
"Every day, I am inspired by the grit and determination I’m seeing from working people. In spite of all the challenges, we’re overcoming obstacles and breaking new ground for the labor movement.

We are showing the entire country what can be accomplished when workers stand together and fight for fairness. And we won’t stop now.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful to all of you for making the labor movement strong. I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving."
"I am thankful and blessed to be a small part of a wonderful organization..."
Brothers and Sisters,
Thank You. I am thankful and blessed to be a small part of a wonderful organization that we call our second family, Local 392. I am thankful that we as an organization are working for the younger members and even those who are not yet members to ensure they will have a chance at a decent retirement just as those who came before us have. I am thankful that I can get up every day with the possibility of accomplishing something that will possibly make a difference in the lives of someone other than my own because I believe we were all put on this earth for this calling. I am thankful to the families of all full-time officers, elected officers working in the field and especially to the families of our brothers and sisters who dedicate countless hours teaching at our apprenticeship. These jobs all take precious time away from our families, time that can never be recovered yet time well spent educating and advocating on behalf of all Local 392 members.
I am thankful to our members themselves who take time out of their own schedules away from their families to attend union meetings whenever possible. We understand that not every member can attend every meeting, but we also know there are a vast number of ways that you can contact the officers and trustees either through email, phone messages, job site discussions, text message etc. and we are thankful to all of you who are active in any way possible working for the advancement of Local 392 for all its members.
I am thankful to live in a country that still gives you and I the choice to vote for who is going to represent us on everything from Local Union offices all the way up to the President of the United States. I am thankful to those who served and are still serving but I am especially thankful to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect that right, may they never ever be forgotten.
I urge you to step back from the hectic day to day running that we all experience to think about the many blessings we all must be thankful for this holiday season.
“Thank a union member by buying Union-Made in America products!” 
Thanksgiving is a holiday that reminds us of our history as a country. Of our best moments, and the hopes they embodied. We are a nation that fought fascism. Our military cemeteries are filled with men and women who gave their all in that fight. Our National Mall honors Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. — heroes in the fight against racism. Working people expect that those entrusted with leading our nation are worthy of this inheritance, an inheritance for which we are truly thankful.

With the November elections behind us Local 392 would like to say “Thank you” to every member who volunteered countless hours over the past 3 months working on behalf of candidates who were worthy of our time and resources. We at Local 392 take the job of vetting candidates for every office very seriously. We once again only concern ourselves with the stances that each candidate takes towards the myriad of issues that directly affect us as working families. Our hard earned voluntary contributions to the Local 392 PAC fund help us to get our issues front and center with candidates from Local school boards all the way to the State Houses in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Without an active, educated and informed membership we would never have the chance to advocate on behalf of our members. The United Association and Local 392 play a key role in helping to elect Pro worker candidates regardless of party affiliation.

Our democracy is far from perfect, and our respective candidates might be flawed but our voice and our vote are the 2 most important parts of the entire process. In politics and in life losing is a state of mind. You only truly lose when you quit standing up and fighting for what you believe in.
William E. Froehle

President of Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and
Business Manager,  Local Union 392 Plumbers, Pipefitters & Mechanical Equipment Service 
The Holiday Season is Near
By the time you read this Thanksgiving will be upon us. Nowadays the Holiday Season stretches from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Unfortunately, many of our members face difficult circumstances during this time due to unemployment, family tensions, loneliness and a myriad of other problems life can throw at us.

Thankfully, I never dealt with loneliness, but I have had to tip toe around or plow through a few of the other ones. My issues over the years pale in comparison to what some people must navigate. I think you would all be surprised to know how many selfless Union Brothers and Sisters we have giving their time, talent, or treasure to those less fortunate.

Of course, they don’t do it for fanfare or recognition. My guess is they do it to give something back for the blessings they have received over time. I know a few personally and it is an honor to call them friends. Most of us are not involved in such noble work. However, nearly all of us can give some small amount to the Charity of our choice.

Here is something we can do for free. Give thanks for our entire Signatory Construction Industry. Our Unions, our Craftsmen and Craftswomen, yes, even our contractors. We could not survive without them. Regardless of the craft our contractors usually take on some significant risk when securing work for our members. Just covering the payroll would have a normal person lying awake at night.

Years ago, I asked a friend who was the first person to shake my hand and welcome me to the trade what it was like to be a contractor, was it any fun? Fun! He scoffed. You have a little bigger house and drive a little better car but there is nothing fun about it. I have heard this brother put in very long hours and worked very hard to keep electricians employed. His story is the rule not the exception. I don’t mean to downplay the contributions every union member makes to the industry. Your hard work and sacrifices are what makes the contractors money.

Like it or not money is the driving force in nearly everything we do. Many of you reading this may find it hard to be thankful for your unions. Please reconsider. I don’t pretend to ignore some members have been treated unfairly or slighted in some way by their union but look at the upside. Countless families have benefitted by the wages and benefits fought for by our unions.

Thousands of our members are living better right now because they belong to the Heat & Frost Insulators Local 8, BAC Local 18, Roofers Local 42 or any one of our 17 affiliates. It is not fair to accuse the union of taking your dues money and wasting it. Your union representatives work hard every day for the trade they represent. We are positioned to capitalize on the recently passed Infrastructure Bill. It really could mean work for years to come.

Before I close, I have a question for you. Am I too old to go see Alice Cooper at the ICON Music Center in January? My son and I saw him at Riverbend years ago. I went to see Deep Purple, but Edgar Winter and Alice Cooper were also on the bill. What a show! Just the people watching was worth whatever we paid for the tickets. I was 15 years old when I saw Deep Purple, Electric Light Orchestra and ELF in the Cincinnati Gardens. A lifetime ago. Alice Cooper has a rock anthem titled “School’s Out”. I just recently read the term “School’s Out” refers to doing something dumb. Man, I wish I had known that when I was working with the tools, we could have had fun with that. If I think hard enough, I could remember a few times when school was out all day.
Enjoy Thanksgiving and try not to let “school’s out” apply to your workday.
Fred Lampe
Executive Secretary/Cincinnati Building Trades
"I like to think of it as a verb..."
thanksgiving (noun)
thanks·​giv·​ing | \ thaŋ(k)s-ˈgi-viŋ  also ˈthaŋ(k)s-ˌgi- \

1) A public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness
2) The act of giving thanks
3) A prayer expressing gratitude

That is how Merriam Webster defines Thanksgiving... An acknowledgment, an act, and an expression... All wonderful things in their own right. And yet, there is so much more to Thanksgiving. There has to be.

According to The History Channel, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday that commemorates how in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.

In September 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

During that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. Then, in November 1621, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit, and celebrated American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. 

So those are the basics of what we celebrate today… that simple act of inclusion and faith that brought disparate people together to share a meal. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states, but it wasn’t until 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

I find it interesting that at arguably the most divided time in our Nation’s history, President Abraham Lincoln chose that occasion — that upheaval as exactly the right time to set aside a day where the nation would pause, pray, and commemorate an event where people of different cultures, different colors, different faiths, and different traditions overcame those differences and shared what little they had with one another in celebration and thanksgiving.

I also find it interesting how in these current times, when our nation remains divided in so many ways we had long believed, or more likely hoped, were behind us, that we still choose to take the time —this one day each year — and go through the motions of preparing and sharing a meal.

We share this meal with our families and our friends… Some even do so for people that are not their family or even close friends, but rather with charitable organizations that provide food, clothing, and shelter to those less fortunate. We choose to be thankful and to share our bounty with each other and with those who may not have such bounty. It’s a choice. And a choice is a verb…an action. A thing we do.

So, if this thing is a choice – a thing we do – what limits us to do so only this one day each year. Why don’t we choose to be thankful and share the things we are thankful for with each other and with others more regularly. Or perhaps even a little every day? Waking up thankful – in “Thanksgiving” – is a choice. And that’s a verb. An action we can take.

So, what’s stopping us? Can’t we do a little better than this one day each year? I will choose to be thankful. And I will endeavor to make that choice every day. And maybe… just maybe… we can have a little “Thanksgiving” every day of the year. And by the way…I am thankful for all of you.

In unity and solidarity,

Brian D. Griffin

Executive Secretary - Treasurer
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council
​ ~ and
​Program Director
Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center​ (GCOHC)
Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Its The Most Wonderful Delegate Meeting Of The Year!
Calling all Delegates of Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council:

Please join us for our annual celebration of the Holiday Season and the comradery and solidarity that is the Labor Movement.

Laborer’s Local 265 Union Hall, Wednesday, December 1-- 7:00 pm abbreviated business meeting followed by dinner and fellowship.

We hope you will be part of the festivities as we celebrate each other and the many blessings we share.

And don’t forget to bring a small, gift-wrapped item to share so you can be a part of our after-dinner gift exchange.
Union-Made in America Thanksgiving
When you buy union, you're supporting good jobs in American communities, jobs that provide living wages and benefits, safe working conditions, and dignity and respect for work. Look for these quality products, produced by union members, when preparing for your Thanksgiving feast.

The following list comes to us from Union Label and the products are made by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM); the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers-USW (GMP-USW); the Machinists (IAM); UNITE HERE; the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW); the United Steelworkers (USW); the United Farm Workers (UFW); and the Teamsters (IBT).
Union-Made In America Holiday Gift Ideas
And it's never too late yet to find that perfect holiday gift that carries a union label and is made in America. Below is a wide range of gift possibilities, from clothes to games to sports equipment and more, made by members of UNITE HERE, Boilermakers (IBB), Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Machinists (IAM), United Steelworkers (USW), Teamsters (IBT), UAW, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW (RWDSU/UFCW) and United Farm Workers (UFW).

This list is compiled from Union Plus, the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department (UL&STD) and the BCTGM website. Check them out for even more gift ideas.
"Organizing is a human right and moral imperative"
Dear Labor Leaders, Delegates and Members,

The mission of the American Labor Studies Center (ALSC) is to promote the teaching and learning about the American labor movement and its history. Basic among that is the fundamental right to organize a union. Our website includes classroom simulations on organizing and collective bargaining among other resources. 

My recent commentary in the Albany Times Union, Union organizing is a human right and moral imperative, is an excellent resource for both teachers and union leaders to share the rationale for the right of all workers to organize and bargain collectively. The ALSC works with the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association to inform their members about ways to integrate the study of labor into their classes. Please feel free to share with your members and teachers who may be interested.

Paul F. Cole

Paul Cole is Executive Director of the American Labor Studies Center, Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the New York State AFL-CIO, and a former vice president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
Labor History of the 19th Century
Struggles of Workers From the Luddites to the Rise of American Labor Unions
Here is a little something that gives us a bit of our own history... a view of the 19th century formation and rise of the American Labor Movement: McNamara, Robert. "Labor History of the 19th Century." Thought Co, Sep. 2, 2021,
History Expert

As industry developed throughout the 19th century, the struggles of workers became a central societal issue. Workers first rebelled against new industries before learning to work within them.

As mechanized industry became the new standard of work, laborers began to organize. Notable strikes, and action against them became historic milestones in the late 19th century.

COVID-19 in Numbers
(as of publication time)

  • There have been at least 770,000 deaths in the United States.
  • More than 47 million cases in all 50 states, U.S. territories and Washington, D.C., have been reported.
  • Globally, there have been more than 258 million cases and more than 5.16 million deaths confirmed.
  • More than 7.74 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

City of Cincinnati Variant Information
Alpha - B.1.1.7 -125 cases
Beta - B.1.351- cases
Epsilon - B.1.427- 3 cases 
Epsilon 2 - B.1.427 - cases
Gamma - P1- 18 cases
Delta - B.1.617.2 - 446 cases  
  • University of Cincinnati- As of 11.12.2021 there are 2 students in quarantine, and 21 students in isolation.

  • Xavier University - As of 11.15. 2021 there are 4 students isolated.  
  • Cincinnati Public Schools- As of 11. 17.2021 there are 1,600 students Positive and 375 staff positive.

  • Non-Public/Charter/Parochial Schools- As of 11.17.2021 there are 422 Students Positive and 93 staff positive.

  • There are 72 newly confirmed cases. Total positive cases of COVID-19 cases is 38,841.
Other News For and About Working People: