Florida Union Members Celebrate Labor Day

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Across the Sunshine State, members of the Florida AFL-CIO celebrated America’s working people, called for the passage of the PRO Act, and discussed the path forward for America’s working people. Working people built this country and continue to keep it running throughout these difficult times. That’s something to celebrate every day of the year, not just on Labor Day, and you can help by signing the petition in support of the PRO Act.

“This Labor Day, Remember What Workers Have Fought For”
Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams has Op/Ed published in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Labor Day isn’t just another day off of work, it’s a moment to remember the working people who stood up for our rights as working people, wrote Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams in an op/ed published in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this Labor Day. You can read President Williams’ Op/Ed here.

Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO Hosts Labor Day Picnic Sunday, September 5th 
Sunday, September 5th, the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO held a picnic for its members celebrating Labor Day.  The event was attended by union members and local elected officials in the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast area. Food, music, and solidarity were enjoyed as part of the Labor Day celebration. Both WPTV and WFLX stopped by the picnic.
Northwest Florida Federation of Labor Members Give Back to Veterans in Pensacola and Tallahassee
The Northwest Florida Federation of Labor held days of action in both Pensacola and in Tallahassee, along with the Big Bend Labor Chapter. Union members in both Tallahassee and Pensacola collected donations and supplies for veterans in the Northwest Florida area. 

In Pensacola, members collected and organized donations and supplies for the HER Foundation and Pensacola Veterans Village. They collected over $1500 dollars in monetary donations and filled the IBEW 7606 Hall with donations.

The Big Bend Labor Chapter, along with the Northwest Florida Federation of Labor, collected over $1,500 in monetary donations and over $6000 worth of supplies to benefit Support Services for Veterans and Families and the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.

WTXL in Tallahassee has more on the Big Bend Labor Chapter and the Northwest Florida Federation of Labor’s day of action to support homeless veterans in the Tallahassee area.

Central Florida AFL-CIO Hosts Canvass For Orlando City Elections

Members of the Central Florida AFL-CIO spent their Labor Day by getting out the vote for union-endorsed candidates in the upcoming Orlando City Elections. Members spent the day safely knocking doors and enjoyed a barbecue and solidarity after the efforts. 

South Florida AFL-CIO Holds Press Conference in Support of Essential Workers
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins speaks at the South Florida AFL-CIO’s press conference.

The South Florida AFL-CIO, along with IBEW 349, UNITE HERE 355, United Teachers of Dade, SEIU 1991, AFSCME 1184, and local elected officials and community advocates, hosted a press conference in support of Florida’s essential workers.

AFSCME 1184 President Phyllis LaFlore speaks at the press conference.
North Florida AFL-CIO Celebrates Labor History Digitally
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The North Florida Central Labor Council celebrated Labor Day by hosting a digital celebration of America’s working people, featuring a look at the history of America’s unions and union members shared their stories about the importance of the labor movement. They were also joined by local Jacksonville politicians and Representative Charlie Crist. You can watch the celebration here.
Broward County Holds 2021 Virtual Labor Ball 
Saturday, September 11th, the Broward AFL-CIO hosted their annual Labor Ball. This year the event was held virtually and was joined by local union leaders, elected officials, and working people from the Broward County area. 

This year’s honorees were the Broward County School Board and Broward Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vicki Cartwright in recognition of their service and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and their dedication to the safety of Broward County’s students, teachers, and education professionals. 

In Memoriam: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, 1949-2021

Statement from Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams on the Passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

The Florida AFL-CIO joins millions of working people across the nation in mourning the loss of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. President Trumka dedicated his life and career to the fight for America’s working families, from his start as a coal miner in Pennsylvania to his tenure as President of America’s largest Organized Labor federation.

“Rich never tired in the fight for a better future for America’s working people,” said Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams. “Throughout his career, Rich was a champion for workers’ safety on the job, racial and economic justice, and the right for all of America’s working people to be treated with dignity. He cared deeply about working families here in Florida, in the United States, and across the world. I’m honored not only to have worked with him but to have called him a friend. While we grieve the tragic loss of a tireless advocate for working people, we will never forget what he stood for and will continue the fight for working families here in Florida and across the nation.”

Statement from the National AFL-CIO below:

Labor Legend Trumka Passes Away

AFL-CIO Pledges to Honor His Legacy With Action

Statement from AFL-CIO Communications Director Tim Schlittner on the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

“The labor movement, the AFL-CIO, and the nation lost a legend today. Rich Trumka devoted his life to working people, from his early days as president of the United Mine Workers of America to his unparalleled leadership as the voice of America’s labor movement. He was a relentless champion of workers’ rights, workplace safety, worker-centered trade, democracy, and so much more. He was also a devoted father, grandfather, husband, brother, coach, colleague, and friend. Rich was loved and beloved. Today, the 56 unions and 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO mourn the passing of our fearless leader and commit to honoring his legacy with action. Standing on Rich’s shoulders, we will pour everything we have into building an economy, society, and democracy that lifts up every working family and community.”

It’s Time to Pass the PRO Act!

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act or PRO Act is a game-changer for America’s working people. After decades of attacks on our right to organize, if passed, this bill would level the playing field between employers and working people. The bill will empower workers to advocate for improved safety standards, wages, and an economy that works for all.

Last year, the PRO Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives but was stifled by Mitch McConnell and his anti-worker allies. This year the bill has passed the House of Representatives once again, and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pass this monumental legislation.

Join us in telling the Senate to vote yes on the PRO Act. Click here to sign the petition in support of the PRO Act. Click here to call your senator and tell them to pass the PRO Act.

Across the Sunshine State, members and leaders are continuing to advocate for the passage of the PRO Act.

Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams wrote a guest column for the Orlando Sentinel about the importance of this legislation. You can read it here.

North Central Florida Central Labor Council President Lanny Mathis’s op/ed in support of the PRO Act was published in the Gainesville Sun. You can read it here.

As part of a national week of action by the AFL-CIO, Florida’s Central Labor Councils held events calling on Florida’s senators to vote yes on the PRO Act.

The Space Coast AFL-CIO hosted a digital press conference, which you can watch here.

The West Central Labor Council hosted a press conference in downtown Tampa featuring U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, Florida State Senator Darryl Rouson, Florida State Representatives Susan Valdes and Dianne Hart, and local labor leaders. You can watch the live stream of the event here.

The Central Florida also hosted a press conference calling on our senators to pass the PRO Act in Orlando along with State Representative Anna Eskamani. Click here to watch the live stream.

In Miami, State Senator Annette Taddeo joined the South Florida AFL-CIO for a rally outside of Senator Marco Rubio’s Miami office. After the rally and press conference, union members delivered postcards and local ordinances in support of the PRO Act to the Senator’s office.

The North Florida Central Labor Council hosted a rally and press conference outside of Senator Rubio’s Jacksonville office.

You can join us in sending a message to Senators Rubio and Scott by signing the petition here and calling our senators by clicking here.

2021 Legislative Update Week 9: Game Over

The 2021 Legislative Session has reached its final level, but Florida’s digital defenders will continue the fight for Florida’s working people! Find out more in this edition of the Florida AFL-CIO Legislative Update: Game Over!

2021 Legislative Update Week 7: Digital Devastation

Our constitutional rights are at risk of a hostile takeover! Working Floridians are fighting back against the dastardly damaged data attempting to derezz Florida’s democracy. Find out more in this edition of the Florida AFL-CIO Legislative Update Week 7: Digital Devastation!

Stand Up for Frontline Workers! Tell your Senator: Vote NO on SB 1014

In this time of crisis, Florida’s Legislature is responding by jamming through legislation that would eliminate the rights of Florida’s public frontline workers to advocate for their families and communities.

Senate Bill 1014, Employee Organizations, was originally focused on Florida’s educators of their constitutional right to join and remain in their union to advocate for our students and schools. An upcoming amendment on the bill now targets all of Florida’s public sector workers.

Our educators, state workers, municipal employees, health care workers, and others have gone above and beyond to serve their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill is a slap in the face after all they’ve risked keeping our state running.

Here in Florida, workers have the freedom to choose whether or not they join a union. Senate Bill 1014 is government overreach that would unnecessarily insert the government into that decision and attempt to tip the scales against state workers’ right to collectively bargain.

SB 1014, and its upcoming amendment, would make it impossible for workers to choose to have their union dues deducted from their paychecks, force the inclusion of language discouraging workers from joining a union on membership forms, and require our public-sector unions to prove that they represent over half of their bargaining unit, a direct assault on their Right to Work.

This bill is one of the most blatant attempts to disempower workers and eliminate their basic rights in recent history. Click here to call your senator and tell them to vote NO on SB 1014.

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