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.”

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)

Ham

  • 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)

Stuffing

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

Vegetables

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

Cranberries/Cranberry Sauce

  • Dole (IBT)
  • Ocean Spray (IAM)

Potatoes

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

Bread

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

Pie

  • 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.

COVID-19 Resources

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 info@flaflcio.org

National Resources

AFL-CIO COVID-19 Resources: https://aflcio.org/covid-19

U.S. Department of Labor Paid Leave Rights: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Guide:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Florida Resources

Florida Reemployment Assistance, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity:
http://www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants/apply-for-benefits

CARES Act Benefits and Implementation, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity 
http://www.floridajobs.org/cares-act

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Resources:  https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/

Florida Department of Education COVID-19 Resources:
http://www.fldoe.org/em-response/index.stml?fbclid=IwAR1aLQuIPj71iFhRWDWqdpC9JWCOsAMFDQIIxUGCWn2vX2JpS7sLDODllJw

United Way of Florida Resources: https://www.uwof.org/

Local Resources

South Florida AFL-CIO Resource Guide

IATSE 631 Orlando Area Resource Guide

Take Action

Donate to Help Miami Hospitality Workers Impacted by COVID-19:
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/unite-here-local-355

Donate to the National Association of Letter Carriers and the Florida State Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive:

https://www.nalc.org/community-service/food-drive/2020-donor-drive

COVID-19 Affiliate Relief Programs

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.

Click here to help provide South Florida’s hospitality workers with much-needed relief.

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.

Click here to support Stamp Out Hunger.

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. 

Click here to support the food drive. 

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.

You can help by lending your voice to the petition calling for their reinstatement here.

Workers First Caravan: Working Floridians Rally for Economic and Racial Justice

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.

The Southwest Florida Chapter rallied to save the U.S. Postal Service in Cape Coral, you can read about their event here.

In South Florida, the South Florida AFL-CIO, Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO, and the Broward County AFL-CIO saw incredible turn out at their events. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has more.

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.

The Central Florida AFL-CIO caravaned through downtown Orlando in order to raise awareness for the cause, WESH 2 has more on the story. Members took some excellent drone video to show the full scope of the event, which you can watch here.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the critical need for economic and racial justice in these turbulent times. Solidarity!

Honoring Those We Have Lost: A Workers Memorial Day Message From Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams

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.

Labor Counts: 2020 U.S. Census



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

By Mail

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.

For more information on completing the census by mail, click here.

Online:

Completing the census online has never been easier, visit mycensus2020.org and follow the instructions to be counted!

Click here to find out more about completing your census online.

By phone:

You can also complete the questionnaire by phone.

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.

Make sure you count, complete your census today!

CORONAVIRUS: Be Vigilant, Be Prepared. Don’t Panic.

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 Administration (TSA) 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 breath, muscle 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;
  • Correctional workers;
  • Educators;
  • Cleaning 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.

PRIORITIES FOR WORKERS AND UNIONS

  • Comprehensive workplace plans to identify potential exposure routes, controls to mitigate risk, such as isolation, social distancing and personal protective equipment, and training procedures.
  • Emphasis on personal hygiene practices, hand-washing and respiratory etiquette.
  • Protocols to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations when hosting and attending events or large gatherings. These recommendations may change as the situation evolves.
  • Strong standards and guidance from agencies in charge of protecting 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 protection, and respirator fit testing.
  • Plans for supply shortages, including triage and prioritization.
  • Protocols in case of a workplace or community outbreak, including possible self-quarantine or workplace quarantine.
  • 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.
  • Policies to make it possible for sick workers, quarantined workers, parents of children whose schools have closed and workers caring for loved ones in these situations to stay at home without the loss of pay, seniority or benefits.
  • Policies to ensure that workers are not discouraged by cost considerations from seeking preventive treatment, testing, ongoing treatment or, eventually, voluntary vaccination.
  • Policies to address the pandemic’s impact on the U.S. economy and on specific sectors, with a guarantee that any sectoral assistance actually benefits workers.

WHAT WE’VE DONE

  • Launched immediate and ongoing response and coordination of information and expertise to address affiliate needs.
  • Petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard for infectious diseases to protect all at-risk workers from COVID-19 and future infectious diseases.
  • Procured supplemental funding that included worker health and safety training in emergency response preparedness and workplace procedures.
  • Requested 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 contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ensuring working people have the health and safety resources, training, and tools needed to be protected at work during this crisis.
  • Demanding strong enforceable standards to ensure that employers provide workers the necessary protections to keep them safe from all injuries and illnesses on the job.
  • Strengthening and rebuilding our systems of health care, other worker protections, and economic stabilizers whose weaknesses have been exposed by the crisis.
  • Staying tuned to the AFL-CIO webpage below for the latest developments.

MORE INFORMATION