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 

Don’t Let The Senate Steal Our Sunshine: Tell Your Senator To Vote NO On House Bill 997

Reconsideration threat underway, don’t let the senate take this victory away!

Senate Bill 220 has been substituted by House Bill 997, legislation that has already passed the Florida House. House Bill 997 is the House companion to SB 220.

Florida has one of the most transparent state governments in the nation thanks to our sunshine laws. Unfortunately, legislation currently in the Florida Senate, House Bill 997, would limit citizens’ access to our state government. House Bill 997, Public Records and Public Meetings would hide the presidential search process for Florida’s universities and colleges.

Florida’s university and college presidents are some of the most powerful unelected public officials in our state, controlling billions of dollars through college and university budgets. As it stands, the selection process is completely open to the public, giving local communities and Florida’s citizens a voice in the selection of these powerful figures. House Bill 997 would hide the information of presidential candidates until the final phase of the process. The citizens of Florida have a right to know who the applicants for these incredibly influential positions are and have a right to have a say in the process.

Florida’s higher education system has been ranked as the best in the nation, all while having the selection process accessible to the public. This bill would needlessly block vital information from the people of Florida. This will only help the powerful and well connected and will invite political cronyism and corruption into our higher education system. Call your senator and tell them to vote NO on House Bill 997.

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.

Tell Governor DeSantis: Don’t Take Away Vital Relief For Working Floridians!

Governor DeSantis recently announced that he will be ending the federal enhanced unemployment benefits that have been a lifeline for unemployed Floridians.

Florida has some of the worst unemployment benefits in the nation, for those that receive them in the first place, as most applicants won’t receive a dime. Ending the extra $300 a week in pandemic assistance is a slap in the face to working people barely scraping by on these embarrassingly low benefits. Studies have shown that increased unemployment benefits don’t keep workers from looking for work, but instead help keep our local economies solvent. Ending these benefits will pull roughly $700 million in stimulus funds out of Florida’s economy!

Much has been made about Florida’s “hiring crisis” with false claims that people are making more money to stay home than get a job. In reality, the pandemic has made Florida’s childcare, housing, and healthcare crises worse and this is keeping many out of the workforce. It has also reset our labor market with more and more looking for jobs that don’t pay poverty-level wages and could still be dangerous as we continue to crawl out of the pandemic. Most are still looking for steady, safe employment. Cutting these vital, lifeline benefits does nothing in the long run to strengthen our already hammered state economy and won’t force people back to work, just to the food lines.

Ending federal pandemic assistance is a short-sighted and mean-spirited piece of politically driven policy that does nothing to address the long-term issues facing our state and our working people. Join us in sending a message to Ron DeSantis by signing the petition and stand up for our working families.

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.