Labor Council
News & Updates
Friday, April 24, 2020
Trumka: Working People’s Plan for Reopening the Economy the Right Way

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the new White House coronavirus economic task force–Council to Reopen America–which does not include a single worker advocate:

Working people are being infected at work and dying to save our neighbors from the coronavirus, and the death count has been made exponentially higher by the historic failure of the federal government to protect essential workers on the front lines. Any discussion about a return to work must include the voices of working people. Considering the fact the Trump administration has failed to implement an emergency temporary workplace infectious disease standard to protect America’s heroes or provide enough personal protective equipment to those still working, and we do not currently have the testing capability to determine who is sick and who is not, the country is nowhere close to being ready to reopen. Any return to work must be based on sound science and worker safety, not President Trump’s whims or the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

(Below is a copy of the AFL-CIO letter that went to Congress last Thursday night lifting up the 5 priorities moving forward with the 4th Stimulus (Cares 2) bill. If you participated in President Trumka's call, these are the 5 priorities he outlined.)
"Worker Safety Is Vital To
Opening Our Economy"
Dear Sisters, Brothers, Community Partners, and Friends,

Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced plans for a possible partial re-opening to our economy. While we applaud the Governor in taking quick, decisive and consistent actions, utilizing the advice and analysis of his team of health experts, we also know the voice of working people must be heard.

The last month has revealed the strength and character of our state as Ohioans have come together to take care of our families and our local communities while working essential jobs and delivering needed services. The safety and health orders put in place to protect the workforce must be maintained and in force, including Section 18 of the Stay At Home Order. Without these and other needed measures, we will not have public confidence and risk resurgence of the virus. 

Today, I testified in front of the Ohio House of Representatives Task Force on Economic Recovery. My testimony ( read full testimony here ) centered on worker safety, financial security and the need to revitalize our manufacturing industry, especially when it comes to products for National Security and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

As Ohioans, we have rallied for one another, each doing our part for our families and for the collective good and we ask from our state and local leaders to govern going forward with the same understanding that we are stronger together. We urge lawmakers in their deliberations to draw on the many positives on display and to learn from the flaws and inequities that have been exposed. 

It is apparent, that as a nation, we were not prepared for this pandemic and as a result our national security remains at risk. We must immediately address the lack of sufficient stockpiling of PPE and needed medical supplies and commit to producing these products ourselves. What is happening at our Medical Centers and Corrections Facilities with regard to the lack of PPE underscores this point.

The value of our workforce has never been more evident than at this time, and policies are needed to properly protect workers and recognize their worth. As stated, the issue of available PPE for our essential workforce should be solved now and never again put us in such a defenseless position. The minimum wage needs to be raised significantly, paid sick leave should be afforded to all workers, “hazard” pay should be provided to essential workers, misclassification of employees as independent contractors should be shut down, pensions must be protected, OSHA infectious disease workplace standards should be renewed and enforced with the hiring of additional inspectors, and workers getting sick from this or future pandemics should get workers’ compensation. 

The Ohio AFL-CIO stands ready to assist the General Assembly and the Governor in these important policy deliberations and in ensuring that Ohio is as highly regarded coming out of this crisis as we were entering it. Working people are delivering us through this crisis, and I urge our policymakers to adopt policies and procedures that deliver for them. Providing workers the opportunity to have a say on how to safely reopen our state is critical to our success, Ohio’s future and our economic resurgence.
We will continue to update you as we move forward in restarting our economy.

In solidarity,
Tim Burga, President
Fifty Years of Remembering
Fifty years ago, on April 28, 1970, two things took place. First, my parents celebrated the first new day with their second child and newborn son, Peter Matthew McLinden. Second, and much more importantly, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a government legislative promise ensuring that every American worker had the right to a safe job and work environment. Since then, every year on April 28 th , unions and working families observe Workers Memorial Day for two reasons: (1) To remember and honor those fallen workers who died on the job or due to work-caused injuries and illnesses; and (2) To renew our fight to protect all workers and keep American workplaces safe. 

The 2020 Workers Memorial Day theme is “ Protect Our Rights, Speak up for Safe Jobs .” During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and catastrophic economic consequences, nothing is more important than ensuring healthy and safe working conditions for all American workers, especially our frontline heroes and the self-sacrifices they are making for all of us. As stated by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, no worker is “expendable” in our country, and any reopening of our economy must ensure the safety and protection of all workers. 

Since April 2019, the greater Cincinnati area has lost the following workers/union members:

William Brewer, Clermont County (Ohio)
Alberto Deleon Chun, Hamilton County (Ohio)
Matthew Crozier, Clermont County (Ohio)
Preston Delph, Laborers, Local 265, Hamilton County (Ohio)
Leroy Garrison, AFSCME, Local 250, Hamilton County (Ohio)
Everett G. Hampton, Clermont County (Ohio),
Jared Helton, Laborers, Local 265, Tennessee
J effrey R. Holbrook  , Laborers, Local 265, Clermont County (Ohio)
Rosemary Jones  , Butler County (Ohio)
Aron Jordan*, Bricklayer, Local 7, Ashland County (Kentucky)
Logan Keebler , Butler County (Ohio),
David Parry, Warren County (Ohio)
Loren Shoemaker, Ironworkers, Local 44, Campbell County (Kentucky)
Justin Stafford, Laborers, Local 265, Tennessee
John F. Sunberg, Brown County (Ohio)
Dale J. Woods, Hamilton County (Ohio)
(* COVID-19 victim)
At 12:00 PM on Monday, April 28 th , please respectful pause for a silent prayer/mediation to honor these fellow sisters and brothers, and pray for their families.

Unfortunately, as amplified by failures of President Trump, the U.S. Labor Department and other federal/state elected officials, worker safety rights and protective regulations continue to be weaken and eliminated. This aggressive, all-out assault against workers is financed and supported by greedy special interest business groups, who value higher profits, bottom lines and corporate bailouts, over human lives, health and safety. However, as shown throughout the current pandemic, the Labor movement is fighting back and continues to push forward by demanding all government officials (federal, state and local) be responsible for and accountable to all working families and to always keep workers’ health and safety at their top priority. 
At this time, our most vital needs include:

  1. An OSHA temporary order regarding infectious diseases in the workplace.
  2. More personal protective equipment for current workers and workers who are returning to their jobs.
  3. A massive increase in coronavirus testing for workers and Federal system for reporting, recording and tracking worker infections.
  4. Anti-retaliation protection for workers who speak up about unsafe working conditions.
  5. Expanding workers’ safety net in Ohio, by fully funding the unemployment compensation fund, protecting workers’ health insurance benefits and passing pro-worker family/medical leave legislation. 
  6. Strong, clear and enforceable workplace health and safety standards.
  7. Hiring more federal/state inspectors to conduct more workplace safety investigations.
  8. Meaningful action on other critical safety and health protections, such as chemical exposure assessments, workplace violence and mine safety.

During this national crisis, we must all stay strong, stand together and fight against the continuing attacks on workers’ rights and protections. By continuing to work on behalf of our co-workers and advancing our Labor values/principals, we truly honor our fallen sisters and brothers, including those American workers who have died because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you and may God blessings be with all American working families. 

In solidarity, U and I  . . . 
Peter McLinden, Esq.
Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council
What it Takes To Reopen!
Best Practices Food Relief
As the COVID-19 crisis deepens, AFL-CIO state federations and central labor councils are rising to meet the food needs of union members and working families in our communities. The diversity of our movement and our nation means that no one approach to the task will meet every need, but we can learn from each other. We have put together these best practices as a means to share the experiences of some of the front-line organizations as they sort out how to help meet basic needs.
Helpful COVID 19 Information
from GCOHC and MWC
Thanks to the CLC Sister Company, The Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center (GCOHC) and the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training (MWC) for these useful and interesting links and attachments:

1.) Fact-sheet , "Take Action to Address the Worldwide Shortage of Respirators and Face Protection for COVID-19 Response" (NEW TODAY),  see attachment

2.) NIOSH , "Recommended Guidance for Extended Use and Limited Reuse of N95 Filtering Face-piece Respirators in Healthcare Settings" (NEW TODAY)

  • FDA, "Enforcement Policy for Face Masks and Respirators During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency."

A special shout-out to Carol Rice , PhD, CIH, Professor Emerita, University of Cincinnati, Department of Environmental Health and Peter C. Raynor, PhD, FAIHA, Professor, Director, Industrial Hygiene Program, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Sciences. We appreciate your help, this information and your Leadership.
Lunch with Your Legislators - Week #2
Join us this morning for our second virtual town hall this Friday. Your elected leaders will speak regarding Small Business Resources and provide helpful info & assistance. 

Register HERE

Also, save the date for May 1 for our next Lunch with your Legislators. You must register to receive the link to join the meeting. Otherwise they can just join via Facebook live on my official page HERE .
Tell Congress: During This Pandemic,
Support Our Public Postal Service
As most Americans shelter in place, postal workers are delivering people’s prescriptions, keeping small companies in business and connecting families. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has always been our emergency distribution system when our country is in crisis.
But during this unprecedented time, that work is under threat. The shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic is plummeting postal revenues while increasing costs. The USPS could run out of money as early as June.
The loss of the USPS would shatter our response to the pandemic. The Postal Service needs our congressional leaders—Democrats and Republicans alike—to provide urgent and ongoing financial support from the federal government during this public health and economic crisis.
In Solidarity, 
UPDATE: Jewel, Train, Carly Pearce, OneRepublic, Bronson Arroyo and others sign on to UWGC virtual Telethon
United Way is hosting a community telethon to benefit our COVID-19 relief efforts and Jewel, Train, Carly Pearce, OneRepublic, Bronson Arroyo and others sign on to UWGC virtual Telethon have all joined this effort. We’ve officially rescheduled the event to Friday, May 1, from 7-10 p.m. After seeing the success of the national Saturday event and our event gaining more traction with artists and entertainers, we felt moving it to a weekend night is more appropriate.

We partnered with local and national acts to spotlight Cincinnati’s talented musicians, authors, artists, and chefs. We will share personal stories from local business owners, agencies, clergy, families, teachers, front line workers and more. The list of local acts and attendees is growing by the minute but you can find the full list and more information at

We will have radio advertising to indicate the shift in schedule and we’re creating some video promo clips that we’ll share soon on social media to try to encourage people to attend and give. We’re looking at additional ways to promote this benefit, but we need your help. Please look for and share our Facebook Event (to be posted soon) and point people to the website for more detail

United Way of Greater Cincinnati
2400 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH | (c) 513-309-2920  | Engage with us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Unite communities to change lives. It’s what we do. Who we are. What we believe.
That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED®
VOTE Ohio Primary - Last Chance!
On March 25, both houses of the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Among several things this legislation did, it extended the availability of absentee ballots by mail for the March 17th primary until April 28th, not June 2nd as Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose recommended. 

REPEAT: Ohio’s primary does not end on June 2nd, but April 28th instead. 

The April 28th primary is  MAIL ONLY. 
There will be NO in-person voting.

No in-person voting  Click here  to read more about it, and please share this information with your friends and family.
"Quick-hit" Information From
Government Strategies Group
The following helpful information comes to us from our friends at Government Strategies Group, A Full Service Government Relations Firm.

Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans to complete the 2020 Census. Right now, Ohio’s response rate of 52.2% is higher than the national average and higher than all neighboring states, except Michigan which has a response rate of 55%. For more information, visit or call 844-330-2020.
Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at . It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email .

To cast your absentee ballot, call the Hamilton County Board of Elections at 513-632-7039 or visit online at to download an absentee ballot request form. You must fill out this form to receive your ballot. The BOE will then mail you your ballot, which must be requested by April 25th and post-marked by April 27 or returned in person by April 28th.

If you are at home helping your children while they are away from school or simply want an escape from the news of the day, check out some of the resources available in our community:
• ArtsWave: View a directory of virtual or streaming art activities from dozens of local organizations.
• Cincinnati Art Museum: Join the CAM Connect Facebook Group for blogs and videos about the collection.
• Cincinnati Museum Center: New content is available on demand and released daily at , Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Join CMC for at-home science, art, & history activities, virtual chats & interviews with curators & other experts, virtual storytimes, & more.
• Playhouse in the Park: Join Playhouse for art at home resources at
• Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra: The CSO is offering daily learning activities for at-home music lovers of all ages. Click here . You can also follow the CSO Educator Network on Facebook for Learning at Home resources.
• Contemporary Arts Center: Experience the CAC from the comfort of your home. Take an audio tour of selected exhibits with local artist Britini Bicknaver; Participate in the 6 Questions Series for dispatches from the artists themselves. Vimeo channel for video highlights from recent exhibits. Follow the CAC on Instagram and Facebook for more updates.
• Great Parks of Hamilton County: Don't forget to join us every Monday-Friday at 10 a.m. on Facebook and Instagram Live. We're hosting story time, taking nature walks, meeting animal ambassadors, making crafts and much more! We want you to share your favorite park activities with us on social media. Not on social media? No problem! Every live video will be posted to the Great Parks blog afterward.
Did someone say taco night? Order taco kits from Pata Roja Taqueria for home delivery of fresh ingredients. Visit and place an online order.
Download the Findlay Market app on your smart phone to place a mobile order for pick up or delivery of fresh food from local farmers and restaurants. Help support local businesses stay afloat in this time of uncertainty.
COVID-19 Regional Response Fund distributed $2.5 million directly to dozens nonprofit organizations serving to our region’s most vulnerable individuals and families affected by COVID-19. To read about how this fund has impacted our community and specific stories from organizations funded – visit our new website for the fund . Help us share these stories by using #StrongerTogether on all social media.