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.
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
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.
North Florida AFL-CIO Celebrates Labor History Digitally
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.
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.”
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).
The National AFL-CIO, Florida AFL-CIO, and our Affiliates and Central Labor Councils are working across the state and the nation to ensure that working families stay safe at home and on the job. Below you will find resources for our union members and working Floridians at the national, state, and local levels. For further questions, feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Statewide, Florida AFL-CIO Affiliates are working to protect their communities during the pandemic. You’ll find ways to help support them in their efforts below.
UNITE HERE! Local 355 Fund for South Florida Hospitality Workers
Workers in the hospitality industry have been hit exceptionally hard in Florida and across the nation by closures in the wake of COVID-19. UNITE HERE! Local 355 in South Florida is currently accepting funds to support hospitality workers who have been unemployed by the crisis.
National Association of Letter Carriers and the Florida State Association of Letter Carriers Continue their Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Digitally
Every year, the National Association of Letter Carriers collects millions of pounds of food to help fight hunger in the United States. This year, to practice social distancing, the National Association of Letter Carriers and the Florida State Association of Letter Carriers are raising funds to donate to food banks across the Sunshine State.
Unite Here Local 737 Food Drive For Central Florida Hospitality Workers
Food insecurity continues to rise throughout Florida, especially for workers in the tourism and hospitality industry. Unite Here 737 in Central Florida has been collecting and distributing food for those hardest hit by the economic downturn. Your donation helps provide meals for those who need it most.
Sign the Petition To Help United Faculty of Florida (UFF)-Broward College Chapter Stand Up For Faculty Counselors
Counselors play a vital role in supporting their students, both professionally and in life. Unfortunately, Broward County College has terminated 14 tenured faculty counselors. United Faculty of Florida (UFF)-Broward College Chapter, is calling for the reinstatement of these counselors so they can continue their essential work. The Florida Phoenix has more on this story.
Wednesday, June 17th, working people and the Organized Labor movement took a stand to continue the fight for economic and racial justice across the nation. Here in Florida, Central Labor Councils, local unions and working people sent a message to put Workers First across the state, leading car caravans and rallying to hold our elected officials accountable.
Events were held in all corners of the state, from South Florida to Tallahassee. The caravans focused on the AFL-CIO’s Five Economic Essentials, demands that will help keep workers safe and help America come out of this pandemic even stronger. You can read about the Five Economic Essentials here.
Working people also rallied to protect our Postal Service from the big money interests attempting to privatize it, as well as calling for racial justice in the U.S. and combating the systematic racism that communities of color experience on the job and in our society.
Working people in the Tallahassee area rallied around our State Capitol to send a message to our elected officials that this moment calls for real change. WFSU has more here.
In Gainesville, the North Central Florida Labor Council joined in on the action to tell Rep. Yoho to put workers first and to support the HEROES Act. WJCB has more. Volusia-Flagler called on Rep. Waltz in DeLand to make the right choice for working people. Daytona News-Journal has more on the story. The West Central Florida Labor Council rallied in Sarasota at the office of Rep. Vern Buchanan, while the North Florida Central Labor Council and the Space Coast AFL-CIO rallied to save our vital Postal Service.
Today, Tuesday, April 28th, we will remember those who have lost their lives at the workplace in honor of Workers’ Memorial Day. Every year, working people needlessly lose their lives on the job due to a lack of safety standards and precarious working conditions.
This day is particularly solemn in the wake of further roll backs of safety standards across the nation. Working people in all manners of industries and careers are on the front lines of keeping our communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, they are met with some of the lowest safety standards we have seen in generations.
In 2018, 332 working people died on the job in the state of Florida, marking a ten-year high. Nationwide 5,250 fatal work injuries occurred, a two percent increase from 2017 and over 50,000 workers lost their lives due to the long-term effects of work-place hazards.
Safety standards across the country have drastically declined as a focus on maximizing profits over the well-being of working people has continued. It has been decades since the Occupational Health and Safety Act, or OSHA, was passed, the last major legislation protecting workers to be put into law. In the last few years, OSHA has been purposefully weakened, the administration is currently without a director and nationally, we have the fewest workplace inspectors in a generation.
Workplace injuries and fatalities can occur in all manners of jobs, not just the traditional image of dangerous construction sites and factories. Across all industries we have seen an increase in risk of workplace violence. Our medical workers are at risk of violence and disease every day, across Florida we have seen an increase in injuries and even death for transit workers, and first responders are increasingly met with violence on the job. This legislative session, the Florida Legislature heard multiple bills that would increase the protections for our state’s transit and mental health employees, unfortunately, they were not passed.
Safety on the job has become even more critical in the face of the current public health crisis we are experiencing. Across the nation, we have heard the horror stories of nurses and healthcare workers having to perform their jobs without access to the proper safety materials to help prevent the spread of the disease. They are not the only ones at risk to the virus. Essential workers in the industries that keep our communities running, like grocery workers and delivery workers, are also in harm’s way.
It’s absolutely critical that our elected officials, both at the national and state level, work to enact policies that protect our working people both during this crisis and after. Each one of these losses is a tragedy. Working people should feel safe knowing that they will make it home from work every day.
Mike Williams is the President of the Florida AFL-CIO which represents over one million union members, retirees and their families in the state of Florida.
Join the Florida AFL-CIO in ensuring every Labor household counts, make sure you’re counted in the 2020 census. Census information is incredibly important for the allocation of over 1.5 trillion dollars in federal, state, and local programs and services. This data also plays a crucial part in deciding political power and representation in Congress.
Due to the COVID-19 panic, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the period you can self respond until October 31st of this year. Responding to the census is one of the quickest, easiest and most important things you can do.
Ways to be counted
If you have received your paper questionnaire from the U.S. Census Bureau, simply fill out the questionnaire and return it in the enclosed envelope. Make sure the outer envelope’s return address is from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Call 844-330-2020 for English or 844-468-2020 for Spanish.
Why it matters
Standing up and being counted helps our democracy function. Federal programs use this information to allocate resources for everything from education to hospitals and your representation in government. In times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic or hurricanes, this information helps emergency management and first responders make critical decisions.
Across Florida and the nation, working people are taking the necessary precautions to stay safe in the face of COVID-19.
Below you’ll find resources from the National AFL-CIO on how to help prevent it’s spread and the actions Organized Labor is taking to stand up for working people.
CORONAVIRUS: COVID-19 BE VIGILANT. BE PREPARED. DON’T PANIC.
The COVID-19 outbreak is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It has spread rapidly around the globe and now throughout the United States. The World Health
Organization (WHO) has classified the outbreak as a pandemic.
Federal health officials have said we should prepare for severe disruptions to group
gatherings and public
settings, such as schools and other workplaces, and everyday life, raising a number
of concerns for working people.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS?
The COVID-19 virus is spreading from person to person, and there has been community transmission in the United States. Workplace exposure is a
serious concern. Health care workers and Transportation Security
agents have become infected with the virus. The virus can spread through the air and
survive on surfaces.
It can be transmitted even when people do not have symptoms; and symptoms may be mild and may not present
for up to two weeks. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough, shortness of
ache and fatigue, whereas a runny or stuffy
nose and a sore throat
are more common with the
seasonal flu and common cold. The disease is more deadly than the seasonal flu, with a higher
risk of severe
disease or death among older people,
individuals with an underlying illness, and current and former smokers.
Those left unprotected at work are at a greater risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus.
Information on the outbreak and virus is constantly evolving. See the links at the end for the most up-to-date information.
WORKERS AT INCREASED RISK
Working people are at increased risk if they frequently interact with potentially infected or infected individuals. Workers, listed below, are on the front lines and have an increased risk of exposure; however, as the outbreak evolves, all workers may be affected in some way.
Health care workers;
Emergency responders (e.g., law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs);
Airline operations (e.g., pilots, flight attendants, other airport workers);
Other transportation operations;
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and TSA workers;
Workers who have been
identified as “essential personnel”
by their employers during
an outbreak or quarantine; and
Other workers with broad exposure to the public.
FOR WORKERS AND UNIONS
workplace plans to identify potential exposure routes, controls to mitigate
risk, such as isolation, social distancing and personal
protective equipment, and training
Emphasis on personal hygiene practices, hand-washing and respiratory etiquette.
Protocols to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
(CDC) recommendations when hosting
and attending events
from agencies in charge
different groups of workers
that recognize the necessity for
airborne protections for front-line workers.
Adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, especially N95 respirators and those offering a greater level of
respirator fit testing.
Plans for supply shortages, including triage and prioritization.
in case of a workplace or community outbreak,
including possible self-quarantine or
Resources and preparation for a surge in demand for health services, including hospital beds and caregivers.
Much greater capacity for coronavirus testing, with a priority for testing health care workers who take care of patients.
possible for sick workers,
schools have closed and
pay, seniority or benefits.
to ensure that workers
are not discouraged by cost considerations
from seeking preventive treatment, testing,
with a guarantee
that any sectoral assistance actually benefits
WHAT WE’VE DONE
Launched immediate and ongoing response and coordination of
information and expertise to address
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency
for infectious diseases to protect all at-risk
workers from COVID-19 and future infectious diseases.
supplemental funding that
health and safety training in emergency response preparedness and workplace
Congress to pass COVID-19
legislation and economic stimulus legislation that includes priorities of working people.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Working with Congress, federal agencies, and state and local governments to ensure workers are
at the forefront of
the U.S. strategy to
be protected at work during this crisis.
strong enforceable standards to
ensure that employers provide workers the necessary protections
to keep them safe
illnesses on the job.
and rebuilding our systems of health
care, other worker protections, and economic stabilizers
exposed by the crisis.
Staying tuned to the AFL-CIO webpage below for the latest developments.