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

RELEASE: An Agenda for Florida’s Workers

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2018
Contacts:

Elbert Garcia, New Florida Majority, Elbert@NewFloridaMajority.org or (718) 930-9497

David Fernandez, Florida AFL-CIO, dfernandez@flaflcio.org or (850) 570-9953

Anna Susman, Berlin-Rosen, anna.susman@berlinrosen.com or (646) 200-5285

As Florida Governor’s and Legislative Races Heat Up, Worker Groups Release Bold Agenda to Bolster Workers’ Pay, Jobs

With economy growing but paychecks flat, groups say next governor must stand with working people or face political peril

With a high-stakes election around the corner, groups representing Florida’s workers — including the Miami Workers Center, the Florida AFL-CIO, New Florida Majority, Organize Florida and the Farmworker Association of Florida, among others — today released a Florida Workers’ Agenda calling on the next governor and the legislature to take bold action to improve jobs, wages, and working conditions for the state’s workers.

While Florida’s economy has been growing under Rick Scott, pay has been flat and living costs have been rising, leaving millions of families just a missed paycheck away from economic crisis. According to the United Way, 45% of Florida households can’t afford basic necessities. Orlando has the lowest median pay of any metropolitan area in the U.S. And in South Florida, poverty-wage jobs and rising housing costs are squeezing families hard.

Weak worker protections are a big part of the problem. Florida’s minimum wage is just $8.25 an hour, and has increased only 90 cents since 2009. And workers who are cheated in their paychecks, injured on the job, or laid off are left stranded. Florida has no state wage enforcement agency. Its unemployment insurance program is the stingiest in the U.S. And its workers comp protections for injured workers have been declared unconstitutionally inadequate by the Florida Supreme Court.

The Democratic gubernatorial candidates are meeting to debate in St. Petersburg on June 9 and in Miramar on June 11. The Republican candidates are debating in Tampa on June 28.

The Florida Workers’ Agenda outlines key reforms that the next governor—or the governor together with the legislature—should take to protect working families. The recommendations include:

  • Backing a 2020 ballot initiative to gradually raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour
  • Fighting attempts by the legislature to tie the hands of cities and counties from addressing worker needs
  • Getting the state back in the business of fighting wage theft by establishing state wage enforcement programs at the Department of Economic Opportunity and attorney general’s office
  • Fixing the state’s stingy unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation systems, which no longer provide meaningful safety nets for jobless and injured workers
  • Tackling the health and safety threats facing Florida’s workers, especially farmworkers
  • Promoting access to jobs for qualified workers with arrest or conviction records by “banning the box” in state hiring
  • Defending workers’ right to organize and join unions, and promoting decent pay for public servants like teachers and airport workers
  • Protecting immigrant workers
  • Fighting for workers’ civil rights and fighting forced arbitration of worker complaints
  • Opposing a ballot proposal to require a supermajority vote of the legislature to raise revenue in the future

“All Floridians deserve wages and conditions that reflect the value of their hard work and gives them the financial freedom to achieve their dreams,” said Moné Holder, senior program director for policy, advocacy & research at New Florida Majority (NewFM). “Working class families, especially communities of color that have been systematically kept at the margins, demand fair economic policies and lawmakers who will fight for our basic human rights and support an agenda that protects Florida’s workers.”

“The Florida AFL-CIO supports this worker agenda because it transcends the usual glittering generalities and broad attacks typically seen during elections season. The policies outlined in this agenda provide a framework for Florida’s struggling workers to meaningfully participate in our economy and hold decision makers accountable,” said Rich Templin, director of politics and public policy with the Florida AFL-CIO. Templin continued: “Florida’s workers and our economy deserve an unemployment insurance system that isn’t the worst in the nation, a workers’ compensation system that puts workers and employers over insurance profits, and local governments that are empowered to do what’s needed in their communities without the burdens of legislative preemption. The policy solutions in this agenda are vital for our state’s future and must be a part of the public discourse during this pivotal election season.”

“Workers are on the front lines of serving our communities’ needs every single day. They need to be the priority to ensure a thriving state with healthy families. It’s far past time elected officials stand with women and families and deliver for those making Florida work,” said Debbie Soto, board president, Organize Florida.

“Farmworkers do the essential work of feeding us.  They endure sweltering heat, biting insects, exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals, and dangers from accidents with unsafe farm equipment and hazardous workplace conditions, all in order to provide us cheap, affordable food in our grocery stores.  For the work they do, they deserve decent, livable wages; strong health and safety protections; and freedom from harassment, abuse, threats and retaliation.  Their lives and our food depend upon it,” said Tirso Moreno, general coordinator of the Farmworker Association of Florida.

“As an organization that defends the rights of low-wage and immigrant workers, Community Justice Project is in full support of this important agenda. We know all too well that workers in our communities are dealing with low wages, widespread wage theft, unjust work conditions, and continuous attacks on their right to organize. We need and deserve an economy that works for all of us,” said Oscar Londoño, Skadden Fellow & attorney with the Community Justice Project.

“From wage enforcement to unemployment insurance to workers comp, Florida’s protections for workers are today some of the weakest in all the 50 states,” said Paul Sonn, director of the National Employment Law Project Action Fund. “Florida’s working families deserve a governor who will fight for them by promoting good jobs with fair pay and safe workplaces for the state’s eight million workers.”

The groups releasing the agenda include:

Advocacy Partners Team

Community Justice Project

Farmworker Association of Florida

Florida AFL-CIO

Florida Immigrant Coalition

Miami Workers Center

National Employment Law Project Action Fund

New Florida Majority

Organize Florida

South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice

We Count

Working People’s Day of Action: Miami and Orlando

On February 24, in cities across the country, thousands will unite to demand an end to an economy that’s rigged in favor of the wealthy and most powerful for a Working People’s Day of Action.

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. joined striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee as they fought for the freedom to join together in a strong union and be treated with dignity and respect at work. Now, fifty years later, as a handful of corporate elites, divisive extremists and corrupt politicians continue to rig the economy against us, working people and allies nationwide are rising up.

In Florida there are two Working People’s Day of Action events planned in Miami and Orlando. Join us in Miami for a mass mobilization at Bayfront Park. Working people from across Florida will be standing up for the freedom to join together in strong unions and fight for decent and equitable pay for our work, affordable health care, quality schools, vibrant communities, and a secure future for all of us.

Click Here to RSVP for the Miami rally at Bayfront Park on February 24th.

For our sisters and brothers in Central Florida, union members and allies will be holding a special screening of “At the River I Stand,” the powerful documentary chronicling the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike, followed by a workshop and panel on the impacts this pivotal moment in labor and civil rights history still holds to this day. Space is limited for this event, so be sure to RSVP as soon as possible.

Click here to RSVP for the Orlando movie screening on February 24th.

Two days after our day of action, the Supreme Court will hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a case that is the culmination of decades of attacks on working people. The forces behind this case are the same forces that have pushed for limiting voting rights, attacked immigrants, and undermined civil rights protections.

We want to encourage working families from across the state to take part in this powerful day of action. For more information on the day of action visit www.itsaboutfreedom.org.

Florida Unions Answer Call for Hurricane Relief

What does it mean to be union? It means standing together with family, co-workers and community, especially when they need it the most. Union members across the state exemplified that definition with relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Irma over the past two weeks. In the wake of Irma, Florida AFL-CIO created the Florida Workers Relief Fund, a program to help provide relief for union members, their families and community partners. Funds raised statewide have been going directly to union members who are still struggling to get back on their feet in areas that were hardest hit.

Read the full story at Fight for Florida. 

Florida Workers Relief Fund

As millions of our fellow Floridians continue the immediate work of digging out after Hurricane Irma by dealing with the loss of electricity, needing food, water and basic necessities, the Florida AFL-CIO is working to help provide assistance for both the short and long term for the victims of this terrible storm.

The Florida AFL-CIO has established the Florida Workers Relief Fund in order to provide direct support to union members, community allies, their families, and neighbors. The funds we raise will be used to help purchase the essential items and services desperately needed by working families impacted by Hurricane Irma across the state.

Each dollar we raise will go directly to families in need, with no overhead or administrative costs. The Florida AFL-CIO is tapping our greatest resource, our members, to create a network of workers across the state who are identifying those in need and providing them the support necessary so that they can get back on their feet.

This is an excellent opportunity for your generosity to make a real difference, supporting a program of workers helping workers to help make our communities whole.

Thank you for your support.