Labor Council
Friday, October 16, 2020
The labor movement continues to lead the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to fight for economic opportunity and social justice for America’s workers.
"So much is on the ballot this year."
A Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
So much is on the ballot this year. The future of the PRO Act is on the ballot. Worker safety is on the ballot. The HEROES Act is on the ballot. Last week, Trump told his administration to stand down and to stop negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. To focus instead on confirming yet another anti-worker Supreme Court nominee. To forget about our lives and livelihoods. It is another historic dereliction of duty.
The question is what are we—as a labor movement—going to do about it? We know the answer. Make these final few days count. We can deliver a win for America and win a better day for working people. And we can start to build the better country we know is possible. As one united labor movement, we must be all in and all together. Just as we have been all year.
Burga, Sellers, and McLinden Attend Biden Rally in Cincinnati
Monday evening, October 12, Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga (USW), Cincinnati AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Treasurer Pete McLinden (AFSCME), and Cincinnati Federation of Teachers Julie Sellers (AFT) took part in a socially distanced rally with Vice President Joe Biden in Cincinnati. Biden was in Toledo and Cincinnati on Monday to showcase his Build Back Betteragenda for economic recovery and growth. “Joe Biden was as clear as a bell about whose side he is on during his stops in Ohio. Biden’s plans to restart the struggling economy and raise wages is centered on investing in workers, not the rich and powerful,” Burga said.
“After four years, the record is clear: Donald Trump has broken his promises and betrayed working people. Unlike Trump, Joe Biden knows how to lead. He has a plan to move us forward, and as he made clear while in Cincinnati and Toledo, we are stronger together.” Burga is pictured above (Right) at the rally with Julie Sellers, President of Cincinnati Federation of Teachers (Center) and Pete McLinden, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer (Left).
Postal Service Agrees to Reverse Service Changes By Iris Samuels, Associated Press, 10/14/2020

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock during a pandemic that is expected to force many more people to vote by mail.

The lawsuit filed against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service on Sept. 9 argued changes implemented in June harmed access to mail services in Montana, resulting in delayed delivery of medical prescriptions, payments, and job applications, and impeding the ability of Montana residents to vote by mail.

The postal service agreed to reverse all changes, which included reduced retail hours, removal of collection boxes and mail sorting machines, closure or consolidation of mail processing facilities, restriction of late or extra trips for timely mail delivery, and banning or restricting overtime.

The agreement also requires the Postal Service to prioritize election mail. The settlement agreement was reached a day ahead of a hearing in the U.S. District Court in Great Falls. It applies to all states.

“Montanans never gave up this fight and as a result, we are ensuring stability through and beyond the election by immediately restoring the mail services folks rely on, whether it’s receiving vital medication or ensuring they can pay their bills on time,” Bullock said in a statement. A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Many more voters are expected to vote by mail this November to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of Montana counties are holding elections by mail, after a directive by Bullock permitted them to do so to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Bullock is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

The agreement comes after a federal judge temporarily blocked the controversial Postal Service changes on Sept. 17, calling the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, issued the nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that brought forward a separate suit against the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service. The 14 states, led by Democratic attorneys general, expressed concern that delays might result in voters not receiving ballots or registration forms in time.

Full Coverage: Postal service

Following a national uproar last month, DeJoy, a major donor to President Donald Trump and the GOP, announced he was suspending some of the changes, including the removal of mail collection boxes, but other changes remained in place

Samuels is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
SPECIAL NOTE: This news is still evolving. "We’re working on getting a statement up soon. I’ll share that when it’s ready. Here’s my unofficial quick take on the Montana case: It is good news! It isn’t, however, a more expansive commitment from USPS than what the previous district court decisions required. Basically, USPS has agreed to halt any of DeJoy’s cuts until after the election, they will prioritize election mail in the system and they have, since Oct 1, increased resources to ensure election mail gets First Class treatment, regardless of postage paid. If folks are interested in additional detail, I’ll help where I can. To Porter’s point, vigilance is critical. For our part, the four unions have stood up labor-management task forces at every level of USPS to ensure this works smoothly and flag issues quickly. In the meantime, a few final thoughts:
  •  Settlement is a welcome development to a country relying on unprecedented levels of VBM
  • Legal challenges are leading to same conclusion the people demonstrated this summer: we need trusted, reliable and accessible postal services for this election, and beyond
  • Postal workers will move heaven and earth to get your ballot where it needs to go
  • Let’s be prepared to keep up the fight after the election – no new cuts
Steven DiMetteo
Executive Assistant to the President at American Postal Workers Union
PROJECT ON GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT (POGO) released this video, the newest episode of The Breakdown this morning titled, How the Mail Got Political. The episode is about 10 minutes and gives a good overview of recent politicization of the Postal Service and other operational changes made around the election. Please watch and share on social media. 
AFL-CIO, Our Affiliates and Allies File Lawsuit Against Federal Government’s Failure to Protect Front-Line Workers
Labor unions representing health care workers, teachers, transit operators and millions of other front-line workers joined with environmental groups on Thursday to sue the federal government over its failure to provide adequate reusable respirators, N95 masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to these essential workers. The lawsuit came as COVID-19 has engulfed the White House, with more than a dozen high-level aides, additional White House staff and front-line workers on Capitol Hill testing positive for the virus. Click here to access the social media toolkit demanding high-quality PPE for all front-line workers.
“The AFL-CIO is joining this lawsuit to force the Trump administration to do what it should have done months ago—protect American workers by dramatically increasing the supply of the PPE they need to work safely during this pandemic,” Trumka said. “The failure to do so is immoral and inexcusable, and we demand action now.” The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, says Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf should act immediately to ensure the manufacture and distribution of PPE. The agencies failed to respond to an August petition from the groups that demanded emergency action, violating federal law. The agencies have refused to properly manage PPE production and distribution, leaving states and industry to compete and front-line workers short of supplies.
Machinists Union Begins Video Series Highlighting Trump’s Broken Promises to Stop U.S. Plant Closings
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2020 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today began a video series exposing the human cost of President Trump’s broken promises that U.S. workers “won’t lose one plant” and declarations that “[plants] are all coming back.”
The first video highlights workers at Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM) Local 6016 in Roanoke, Va. FreightCar America announced in July 2019 that it would be closing and laying off 198 TCU/IAM members. The work moved to Mexico and Alabama. 
In September 2020, FreightCar America announced that its Alabama facility would also be closing and shifted production to Mexico.
Watch the video on the IAM’s YouTubeFacebook and Twitter.
“President Trump told our members and the nation that he would not only stop our jobs from going overseas, but that he would bring jobs back that we’ve lost,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “These promises have been broken time and time again over the past three years. This administration has turned their backs on tens of thousands of our members and their communities. We need a White House that walks the walk and will defend critical U.S. manufacturing jobs.”
“Trump’s broken promises are on full display at FreightCar America,” said TCU/IAM National President Artie Maratea. “It’s a damn shame that our government continues to let these greedy corporations ship our jobs to Mexico. For some corporations, simply being profitable is never enough – especially when they can ship jobs overseas and pay workers pennies on the dollar. With these kind of broken promises from the Oval Office, I fear the days may be numbered for all the hard-working people in this country.”
“That was one of the things that Trump was really big on, about not letting companies go across the border or overseas,” said TCU/IAM Local 6016 member John Peake. “So, I mean, what’s the deal? Step up and do your job. Stop letting these companies run all over the American people.”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.
Jonathan Battaglia
Assistant Communications Director
Machinists Union (IAM)
Office: 301-967-4520
Cell: 202-579-3212
News From a Friend of Working Families: Senator Sherrod Brown
EDITOR'S NOTE: At a time when far too few of our political leaders are listening to the rising voices of working families, it is all too easy to overlook the very good work that is being done by some on our behalf every day. So, this space provides a view into some of the very good work Senator Sherrod Brown is doing with us and for us. The following represent just some of what's been accomplished just this week:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call to discuss what’s at stake if President Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Senate Republicans are successful in their illegitimate Supreme Court power grab and able to overturn the Affordable Care Act. President Trump has been working through the lower courts to... [READ MORE]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has awarded a $600,000 grant to the State of Ohio through its Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative. This project supports mentoring services for at-risk youth who have... [READ MORE]

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with U.S. Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9), Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11), Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Elections, penned a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose demanding answers about his office’s contacts with Hans Von... [READ MORE]

CLEVELAND, OH – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today released a statement following the news that Youngstown State University’s (YSU) faculty union, YSU-OEA, voted to begin a strike on Monday: “I stand in solidarity with the YSU staff, and urge the administration to negotiate in good faith, quickly to ensure these educators are able to continue... [READ MORE]

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined 27 Senate colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to the Trump Administration urging them to quickly release $900 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding that Congress included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. As the economic... [READ MORE]
EPI Study Shows Young Workers Hit Hard by the COVID-19 Economy
Workers ages 16–24 face high unemployment and an uncertain future - Report - By Elise Gould and Melat Kassa • October 14, 2020

Across the United States, millions of workers of all ages suffered job losses in the coronavirus-driven recession, but the economic impact on young workers has been even more intense. Not only have many young people in this country faced the harsh reality of returning to school without in-person classes at their colleges and high schools, the job prospects for those seeking employment have been particularly bleak. Historically, young people are disproportionately disadvantaged in many ways during economic downturns, but this recession has been particularly acute given the sectors of the economy that were hit the hardest. Furthermore, many have been all but blocked from receiving jobless benefits even with meaningful expansions to the unemployment insurance system.

This paper investigates several important questions regarding young workers, defined as workers ages 16 to 24 years old. Our main findings of the experience of these workers in the labor market are summarized below.

  • Young workers’ already-high unemployment rates have jumped much higher. The overall unemployment rate for young workers ages 16–24 jumped from 8.4% to 24.4% from spring 2019 to spring 2020, while unemployment for their counterparts ages 25 and older rose from 2.8% to 11.3%. Spring 2020 unemployment rates were even higher for young Black, Hispanic, and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers (29.6%, 27.5%, and 29.7%, respectively).

  • Young workers are more likely to be in jobs impacted by COVID-19. Younger workers have had disproportionate job loss, in part, because of their concentration in the industries and occupations that were hardest hit. About a quarter of young workers are employed in leisure and hospitality, where employment declined by 41% between February and May 2020.

  • The economic effects of the COVID-19 economy on young workers may persist for years. Absent a much more effective policy response than was undertaken following the Great Recession, today’s young workers may experience serious and long-term labor market repercussions.

  • Young workers have been excluded from certain COVID-19 assistance. The CARES Act provided a vital safety net for many young workers, but others were left out. For example, those who were seeking but had not yet secured employment were not able to take advantage of the unemployment insurance expansions.

  • A return to a strong economy would disproportionately help young workers. In particular, young workers would see faster wage growth than other workers.

Upside-down policy rips off lower-income taxpayers
While the Householder scandal makes headlines, the biggest political rip-off of Ohio taxpayers continues unabated. Ohio taxpayers with the highest incomes pay an incredibly low percentage of their income in state and local taxes compared to other Ohioans. Ohio’s upside-down tax policy is clearly unfair – especially when the income of the wealthy has risen much faster than other segments of the population.

Most Ohio families pay 10% or more of their income for state and local taxes. But the taxpayers in the top one percent (making over $500,000 a year) pay an average of 6.5%. Most families pay 60% or more of their income for state and local taxes than a family earning $1 million. Ohio is essentially subsidizing its wealthiest with tax breaks totaling billions of dollars a year.

Ohio’s upside-down tax system is the result of policy decisions, mainly at the state level. The only taxes in Ohio that are truly based on ability to pay are income taxes, primarily the state income tax. Other taxes such as sales taxes and property taxes are regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes pay more as a percentage of income than the wealthy. Over the past 15 years, Ohio greatly reduced what the wealthy pay in state income taxes, often doing so by underfunding public schools and local governments which rely primarily on regressive taxes.

The pandemic will greatly exacerbate the inequity. COVID-19 has had little impact on the super-rich who do not have to leave home to work and hold much of their wealth in stock investments which have skyrocketed. The poor and middle class, in contrast, are facing widespread financial hardship, losing jobs or businesses while still having to feed their families and pay rent or mortgages.

State and local governments will almost certainly have to increase taxes and reduce services in order to balance their budgets since tax revenue has fallen while expenses increased due to the pandemic. Unless our legislature requires the ultra-rich to begin paying a fairer share of state and local taxes, the wealth and income gaps between the top 1% of Ohioans and the rest of us will only increase.

Tax breaks for the wealthy were supposed to spur economic growth. In fact, Ohio has lagged behind most other states in terms of economic growth and job creation. We need to reverse Ohio’s upside-down tax system so that it is based on income, the ability to pay. Investment in public education, health care and infrastructure is what will drive economic growth for decades, not huge tax breaks for the top 1%.

If the state took back the income tax breaks that it has given to the top 1% since 2005, it would have some $4 billion more in tax revenue annually. That probably would be more than enough revenue to balance the budget this year. It would assure more funding in the future for public schools, health care and capital improvements at the local level. It might even be enough to reduce sales and property taxes During a pandemic, Ohio doesn’t need more taxes on hardworking families. It needs a fair tax system.

Erin Rosiello is the Democratic candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives from District 62 in Warren County.
Defend Democracy, Become a Poll Worker Before Time Runs Out
If you already have cast your early or absentee ballot, there is something else you can do to ensure our democracy runs smoothly. Sign up to become a poll worker on Election Day.

Due to the pandemic, this year we’re facing an unprecedented shortage of poll workers, which could mean closed polling places and long lines. That is why the AFL-CIO is partnering with Power the Polls to help make sure all voters have a chance to make their voices heard. But we need your help.
Personal protective equipment is provided and, in most cases, poll work is paid. In some locations, there is also a need for early vote workers.

Maybe you can’t serve as a poll worker, but you may know of a friend or family member who can. In some areas, you can serve starting at age 16. Share the sign-up link with those you know or through your social media network.

When you or someone you know signs up, Power the Polls will follow up with more information on how to apply to become an election worker. The process is different from state to state and even county to county. But Power the Polls will walk you through it.

Time to apply is running out. Hiring decisions for poll workers are made by municipal election officials, and you will need to participate in local training. For the best chance of placement, please sign up to Power the Polls by Friday, Oct. 16.

Our democracy depends on hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who make sure elections run smoothly and everyone’s vote is counted. Sign up today for more information on becoming a poll worker.

In Solidarity,
Election Day
Is 17
Days Away! 
Come and join the Cincinnati AFL-CIO as we lit drop, text and, phonebank our communities and union households for Labor endorsed candidates!

Help us bring change on Nov 3, 2020!
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Day of Action 
OCT 17 - 11am-1pm 

We will be lit drop dropping for Labor Endorsed candidates In our local communities, Some races are really closes and we need everyone's help to win big for working families! 
The Biden Vote van will be joining us to pass out Campaign swag! 

Daily Actions available: 

Lit Drops and Phone-banking 
3210 Jefferson Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220
@ 9 am- 5pm 
Contact Katie Hofmann for more info: 
Saturday Actions: 
Lit Drops Every Saturday!
200 Kovach Dr. Cincinnati Oh, 45215 

Educators for Legislators
Join our Teachers across the State for Ohio Federation of Teachers Day of action! 
We will have guests such as: OFT President Melissa Cropper, Rep. Jessica Miranda and a few of our Endorsed candidates! 
@ 11am-1pm 
200 Kovach Dr. Cincinnati Oh, 45215 

Next Cincinnati AFL-CIO Day of Action 
Oct 31st - @ 11am-1pm
200 Kovach drive, Cincinnati, OH, 45215

Yard Signs Are almost gone! However we have Huge 4ftX8Ft Signs available! Please Come to our Cincinnati AFL-CIO office, 1385 Tennessee Ave, Cincinnati OH, 45229, and pick up signs to share with your family, friends and Community! 
Contact Ohio AFL-CIO SW state rep Julien Johnson for Yard Signs 

If you have any questions about Labor2020, contact Ohio AFL-CIO Southwest State Representative:
 Julien Johnson, 614-312-4507 or

Labor 2020: Get Ready to Vote
Workers are essential voters—and our votes are needed this fall more than ever. As we rise to meet the challenges COVID-19 presents to our nation, we know that registering and making sure we can vote—by mail or in person—will be critical to making sure working people’s voices are heard and that our values win on Election Day. The AFL-CIO is releasing our latest “Get Out the Word” toolkit, complete with graphics and sample social media posts. 

Click here to view the toolkit and be sure to visit for more resources and information about our Labor 2020 campaign.
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council
2020 Endorsed Candidates and Issues
Labor Invitation to Premiere Stand! Dec. 1st
"Stand! tells the important story of the power of collective action. Workers should see this film to learn not only about labor history but the important value of fighting for our rights and greater justice."
-Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
Hello. It's Danny Schur, composer/producer/co-writer of the new Hollywood, labor movie musical Stand! - premiering at a special one-night-only screening across the United States on December 1st, 2020.  AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumka, was instrumental in the movie's production.
Union Made for a Union Audience!
Stand! is a union production, made in partnership with unions across North America. It tells a riveting labor story (the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike) with a diverse cast of working-class heroes and an inspiring ode to solidarity. In its Canadian debut, the movie was #1 at the Canadian box office.
Union Movement Theater Take-Overs Dec 1st

December 1, unions across America will take over theaters for the premiere of Stand! in a national show of solidarity. Check out this personal invitation from director Robert Adetuyi and me:
Book Your Union Group Now!
My colleagues and I will follow up this e-mail with a list of participating theaters in your area. We would be pleased to book your union group into the theater of your choice. Call 204-227-1167 or e-mail to arrange for your group tickets.

In solidarity,

Danny Schur
CAA's 56th Annual Luncheon
Featuring Dr. Bernice King
Help us Build a Bridge!

This year, we have had to come together in ways that we never envisioned to remain strong as a community. We are building bridges for those seeking help during this pandemic, who have never had to seek help before. We’ve built a bridge to ensure that our children are not left behind as well as a bridge to support parents, providing them with the tools they need to succeed. 
Your support helps us build this bridge for our community. 

COVID - 19 By The Numbers

Global Confirmed: 38,620,496

Global Deaths: 1,093,921

U.S. Confirmed: 7,927,975

U.S. Deaths: 217,155

(As of 2:00 PM, Thursday, October 15, 2020)

Ohio COVID-19 Dashboard
Current Trends
Below are the current reporting trends for key indicators calculated from data reported to the Ohio Department of Health. These trends are updated daily and are presented by report date.
Hamilton County


Clermont County


Brown County


Butler County


Warren County


Other Important Headlines and Information:
Take Action!