2021 Legislative Update Weeks 1 & 2: Reality Bytes!

Florida’s Legislature kicked off the Legislative Session with attacks on frontline workers’ rights and safety on the job, attempts to stifle Floridians’ voice in our democracy, and more.

Digital activists with the Virtual Working Families Lobby Corps fought back against these hacks on Florida’s mainframe and will continue the fight throughout the rest of the session. Find out more in this edition of the 2021 Florida AFL-CIO Legislative Update!

Protect Workers’ Rights: Tell Your Representative to Vote NO on HB 947 and 835!

In this time of crisis, Florida’s Legislature is responding by jamming through legislation that would infringe on public frontline workers’ right to join a union.

House Bill 947, Dues and Uniform Assessments, is part of a national push by billionaire-funded think tanks to make the unionization process needlessly complicated in order to suppress membership. If passed, the legislation would put employers in charge of the membership process for the first time in Florida’s history and prevent union members from automatically renewing their membership. HB 835, Employee Organizations, contains similar but even harsher provisions that single out K-12 educators, university and college professors, and education support employees.

Here in Florida, workers have the freedom to choose whether or not they join a union. HB 947 and HB 835 are government overreach that would unnecessarily insert the government into that decision and attempt to tip the scales against your right to collectively bargain. Working people should be able to make that decision themselves, without interference from the state.

This legislation not only sets a dangerous precedent, it’s an insult to the working people putting themselves in harm’s way to keep our state functioning. Call your representative and tell them to vote NO on HB 947 and HB 835.

Virtual Working Families Lobby Corps

From the first committee weeks, through Sine Die, the end of every Legislative Session, Working Families Lobby Corps activists stand up for Florida’s working people. In order to ensure the safety of the working people involved in the Working Families Lobby Corps, this year, the program will be held virtually. The Florida AFL-CIO office and building will remain closed until further notice. All activities will be virtual.

While the fight for Florida’s workers may look a little different this year, we will continue to make our voices heard. This year our army of digital activists will continue to meet with their representatives, learn the ins and outs of “politics as usual” in Tallahassee, and be a part of Florida’s democratic process, all while remaining safe and socially distanced. 

 Members of this year’s Working Families Lobby Corps will be a part of: 

• Regular remote briefings on legislation and session. 

• Virtual meetings between participants and legislators.

• Committee viewing and, if possible, virtual testimony.

• Virtual phone banks to alert members of critical issues and legislative processes.

• Letter writing campaigns.

• Safe, in-district activities such as car caravans and virtual delegation meetings.

Join us as we strive for a democracy that’s “for the people, by the people.” The Working Families Lobby Corp has long been the premier civic program for Florida’s working people. Join us as we continue our mission online. Contact your local Field Representative below to sign up and get involved! 

Broward AFL-CIO: Dana Shumate – 954-804-0533, DShumate@flaflcio.org

Central Florida AFL-CIO: Billy Lawson – 407-257-6081, wlawson@flaflcio.org

North Florida Central Labor Council: Yennifer Mateo – 386-299-7719, ymateo@flaflcio.org 

North Central Florida CLC: Jeremiah Tattersall – 352-222-1991, jtattersall@flaflcio.org

Northwest Florida Federation of Labor, including Big Bend & Panama City Chapters: Danielle Thomas: 850-320-0884, dthomas@flaflcio.org

Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO: Ted Parsons – 561-324-6636, tparsons@flaflcio.org

South Florida AFL-CIO: David Beltran – 305-215-7070, dbeltran@flaflcio.org

Southwest Florida Labor Chapter: Laura Griffin – 239-823-4743, lgriffin@flaflcio.org

Space Coast AFL-CIO: Karen Houston – 321-506-5867, khouston@flaflcio.org 

Volusia-Flagler AFL-CIO: Yennifer Mateo – 386-299-7719, ymateo@flaflcio.org 

West Central Florida Labor Council: Kyle Gawroriski – 850-228-9831, kgawroriski@flaflcio.org 

End the Attacks on Frontline Workers: Stop SB 78!

Senate Bill 78 is a blatant attack on frontline workers’ right to organize.

SB 78 is part of a national push by billionaire-funded think tanks to make the unionization process needlessly complicated in order to suppress membership. If passed, the legislation would put employers in charge of the membership process for the first time in Florida’s history and prevent union members from automatically renewing their membership.

This legislation not only sets a dangerous precedent, it’s an insult to the working people putting themselves in harm’s way to keep our state functioning. Call your senator and tell them to vote no on SB 78.

Legislative Session 2021: The Future Is Now!

This Legislative Session, the attacks on Florida’s working people continue…..but brave digital warriors are standing up for our rights through the power of the information superhighway!

Join us throughout session as we bring you updates from the Florida Capitol and show you how to fight back as a part of this year’s Virtual Working Families Lobby Corps. This Legislative Session, the future….is NOW!

Keep in Touch with the Florida AFL-CIO

The Florida AFL-CIO has multiple ways for you to stay in contact with us:

 You can find us on social media at www.facebook.com/FloridaAFLCIO and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FloridaAFLCIO.

Text updates are a great way to stay informed of labor actions and news in
Florida and your community. Sign up now by texting FLUNION to 235246.

You can also sign up for our e-mail list for updates, including the Florida AFL-CIO E-Messenger, our newsletter, by clicking here.

Thank You: Florida Union Members and Volunteers Help Get Out the Vote in Georgia

Tuesday, January 5th, voters in the Peach State made history, electing Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the U.S. Senate. Both candidates were endorsed by the Georgia AFL-CIO and will stand up for working people nationwide in Washington, D.C.

Bonnie Rodrigues, IBEW 1205, retired

Members of the Florida AFL-CIO and volunteers here in the Sunshine State joined the National AFL-CIO in reaching out to our fellow union members and voters to make sure their voices were heard on Election Day.

Beverly Rutherford, A. Philip Randolph Institute

Thank you to all of our members and volunteers who helped get out the vote with the Florida AFL-CIO for the Georgia Senate runoff elections. The Florida AFL-CIO’s phone banking program made thousands of calls into Georgia over the last few months as part of the AFL-CIO’s voter turn-out program.

Jim Junecko, IUOE Local 487-District 925

The election of Reverend Warnock and Jon Ossoff is a step forward for America’s working people. Both candidates support legislation that would provide critical economic relief for those affected by the COVID-19 crisis and more investment into protecting working people from the virus. They also support the PRO Act, legislation passed by the House that would greatly expand our right to organize.

Martha Shunn-King, APWU of Florida

Volunteers across Florida dedicated their time and effort to help elect two Senators that will fight for America’s working people. You can watch AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s message regarding this historic win here.

Thank you to everyone who made phone calls, wrote postcards, and helped make history.

Happy Thanksgiving! Make Sure it’s Union-Made

This Thanksgiving may look a little different than in past years. However you may celebrate, you can support good-paying, American jobs by buying high-quality, union-made products.

Below is the list of union-made Thanksgiving products from the AFL-CIO and Union Label. Products are made by a variety of our Sisters and Brothers in Unions across the country.

Products are made by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM); the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers (GMP); the Machinists (IAM); UNITE HERE; the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW); the United Steel Workers (USW); the United Farm Workers (UFW); and the Teamsters (IBT).

Set the Table

  • Anchor Hocking (GMP)
  • Bennington Potters (UNITE HERE)
  • Clauss knives (USW)
  • Corning-Ware (USW)
  • Cutco Knives (USW)
  • Fiestaware (GMP)
  • Homer Laughlin china (GMP)
  • Libbey glassware (USW and GMP)
  • Pyrex (USW)

Fresh Whole Turkey

  • Butterball (UFCW)
  • Foster Farms (UFCW)


  • Appleton Farms ham (UFCW)
  • Butterball ham (UFCW)
  • Cook’s ham (UFCW)
  • Farmland old-fashioned pit ham (UFCW)
  • Farmland original pit ham (UFCW)
  • Hormel honey roasted ham (UFCW)
  • Tyson ham (UFCW)


  • Manischewitz (UFCW)
  • Stroehmann bakery products (BCTGM)


  • Andy Boy (UFW)
  • Birds Eye (UFCW)
  • Eurofresh (UFCW)
  • Mann’s (UFCW)
  • Muranaka Farm (UFW)
  • Sunripe (UFCW)

Cranberries/Cranberry Sauce

  • Dole (IBT)
  • Ocean Spray (IAM)


  • Betty Crocker specialty potatoes (BCTGM)
  • Dole fresh potatoes (IBT)
  • Mann’s fresh culinary cuts sweet potatoes (UFCW)


  • Aunt Millie’s bread products (UFVW)
  • Pillsbury rolls (BCTGM)
  • Stroehmann bakery products (BCTGM)


  • Banquet fruit pies (UFCW)
  • Entenmann’s (BCTGM)
  • Marie Callender’s (UFCW)
  • Pillsbury pie crust (BCTGM)
  • Sara Lee (BCTGM)

Pie Filling

  • Del Monte fresh apples (IBT)
  • Food Club canned pumpkin (UFCW)
  • Kroger pumpkin pie (UFCW)

To find more union-made in America products, visit the Union Label and Service Trades Department.

Election Day 2020: Make Your Voice Heard!

Today is the day. Across the state, millions of Floridians from every corner of the Sunshine State will be casting their vote.

This election is a crucial one for the working people of Florida. We have the power to elect candidates that will put working families first. This year, safety on the job, our right to organize, better wages, and a brighter future are on the ballot. If you haven’t voted yet, today is your last chance. Know before you go: click here to see the Florida AFL-CIO’s endorsed candidates.

Polls are now open statewide. Make sure you’re ready to vote: know your official polling location and bring your identification. Click here to look up your polling location.

If you still have your mail-in ballot, you can return it in-person to your polling location or drop it off at your nearest drop-off location. Click here to find your nearest drop off location. If you are concerned about the status of your mail-in ballot, you can check its status here.

Remember: your vote is your right. If you experience any difficulties casting your ballot, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for assistance.

Union members have been making calls to get out the vote for months and will continue until the polls close. If you’d like to volunteer today, click here.

A better future for working people is possible. Make your voice heard. Solidarity.

Happy Holidays from the Florida AFL-CIO

This Holiday season, however you celebrate, make sure you support our sisters and brothers in Organized Labor by making your celebrations union-made.

This year has been one like no other, but we’re still grateful for Organized Labor, across the Sunshine State and the nation. From all of us at the Florida AFL-CIO, Happy Holidays!

Below you’ll find Holiday guides of Union-made products compiled from Union Plus, the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department, and BCTGM.

Union-Made Holiday Gifts

Apparel and Accessories

  • Brooks Brothers (UNITE HERE)
  • Joseph Abboud (UNITE HERE)
  • Majestic Athletic (UNITE HERE)
  • Timex watches (IAM)
  • Naturalizer shoes (UFCW)
  • Nunn Bush shoes (UFCW)
  • Red Wing shoes (UFCW)

Beauty Products

  • Avon (UFCW)
  • Caress skin care (UFCW)
  • ChapStick (USW)
  • Dove beauty products (UFCW)
  • Revlon (UAW)
  • Old Spice (UFCW)


(All made by RWDSU/UFCW)

  • Barrel of Monkeys
  • Battleship
  • Candy Land
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Clue
  • Connect 4
  • The Game of Life
  • Hi Ho! Cherry-O
  • Monopoly
  • Mouse Trap
  • Operation
  • Pictionary
  • Risk
  • Scrabble
  • Sorry
  • Taboo
  • Twister
  • Yahtzee

Sports Equipment

  • American Athletic (Russell Brands) (UAW)
  • Louisville Slugger (USW)
  • MacGregor golf clubs (IBB)
  • Standard Golf (IAM)
  • Top-Flite golf balls (IBB)

Stocking Stuffers

  • Rayovac batteries (IBT and UAW)
  • Bic lighters (USW)
  • Ghirardelli chocolates (BCTGM)
  • Jelly Belly (BCTGM)
  • Laffy Taffy (BCTGM)
  • Tootsie Roll Pops (BCTGM)
  • Allan peppermint candy canes (BCTGM)
  • Hershey’s chocolates (BCTGM)
  • See’s Candies (BCTGM)

Union-Made Hanukkah

All information is from Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Food and drink include those brought to you by the Machinists (IAM), United Farm Workers (UFW), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), and the Teamsters (IBT).

Crackers and Farfel

  • Manischewitz (UFCW)


  • Empire Kosher (UFCW)

Wine and Grape Juice

  • Arbor Mist (UFCW)
  • C.K. Mondavi (UFW, UFCW)
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle (UFW, IBT)
  • Gallo of Sonoma (UFW)
  • Turning Leaf (UFCW)
  • Minute Maid Grape Juice (UFCW)
  • Welch’s Grape Juice (UFCW)

Join Us in Giving Back

This year join us in giving back to our communities ahead of the Holidays. The COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic downturn has been difficult for Florida’s working families, if you are able, please help us in providing a Happy Holiday for everyone in our communities. You can find out more about getting involved below.

West Central Florida Central Labor Council Annual Toy Drive

This year, the West Central Florida Central Labor Council is continuing their annual toy drive in partnership with the Children’s Home Society. To remain safe and socially distant, this year donations will be made digitally to provide gift cards for children in the West Central Florida Area.

Click here to find out more and to make a donation.