Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive: May 14th

Join the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, United Food and Commercial Workers, the AFL-CIO and other national partners in giving back to our communities as part of the 30th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Postal workers across the nation will pick up thousands of food nationwide for food banks during the food drive. You can help give back by leaving a sturdy bag of nonperishable food next to your mail box on May 14th, and a postal worker will pick it up. It’s that easy, and will help support food security in our communities.

Workers Memorial Day 2022

April 28th is Workers Memorial Day, a day where we honor those who have lost their lives on the job and those affected by work place injuries and illnesses. Working people across the United States and Florida are spending the day honoring those we have lost and committing to the fight for workplace safety. Below is a a look at how members of the Florida AFL-CIO observed Workers Memorial Day.

Message from Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams

Every year, thousands of workers lose their life on the job, and scores more die from long-term injuries and illnesses contracted at their workplaces. This year, and every year, America’s Labor Movement honors and remembers the working people that we have lost as part of Workers Memorial Day. On this day, working people and union members across the nation spend the day in solemn remembrance of those we have lost and continue our fight for safe and equitable conditions in the workplace.

Make no mistake, every worker lost, either on the job or from the long-term effects of workplace injuries and illnesses, is a tragedy. Here in Florida, 275 workers needlessly lost their lives in the workplace in 2020. Across the nation, 4,746 workers lost their lives at work in 2020, and approximately 120,000 working people passed away due to diseases contracted due to their jobs.

This information comes from the AFL-CIO’s Death on the Job Report, an annual report on the state of worker safety in the United States. While some progress has been made at the federal level, workers’ well-being is still in a precarious state after years of attacks by big businesses and their allies. I encourage our members to read the 2022 Death on the Job Report here.

Workers Memorial Day also commemorates the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health act in 1970 and the subsequent establishment of America’s main workplace safety governance institution, OSHA. One of the main drivers for the formation of our Labor Movement was the decades of workplace tragedies and lax standards that led to them. The formation of OSHA was, and is, a key step in the right direction to preventing tragic losses of life in the workplace. Unfortunately, OSHA has been consistently threatened and weakened throughout its existence, though there have been recent improvements at the federal level.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of just how essential America’s working people are. Time and time again, we have answered the call for our nation, states, and communities, often at great risks to ourselves. America’s Labor Movement will continue to tirelessly fight for the safety and dignity of all working people. This year’s Workers Memorial Day is a solemn reminder of just how crucial that fight is. 

In Solidarity,

 Mike Williams

President, Florida AFL-CIO

West Central Florida Labor Council President Shawn McDonnell on the Importance of Workers Memorial Day

Today, April 28th, we honor Workers Memorial Day, a day where we remember all those killed or injured needlessly on the job and continue the fighting for strong safety and health protections. From the preventable death of 5 workers when molten slag fell upon them almost 5 years ago at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach to the hundreds of workers exposed to toxic levels of lead at the Gopher Resource lead smelter in Tampa to the countless frontline workers who served through the pandemic with or without personal protective equipment (PPE), workers suffer when profit-seeking corporations go unchecked and policy-making and enforcement fall short.

This past legislative session, Tallahassee failed to pass a bi-partisan Heat Illness Prevention bill (SB 732 / HB 887) that would have enacted protections for workers exposed to heat, including access to water, breaks, and shade while also providing training for workers and supervisors to recognize and treat heat stress. As temperatures continue to climb, instances of heat stress are only going to rise. Failure to pass this critical safety legislation shows how Tallahassee prioritizes worker safety.

With the support of Tampa City Council, the West Central Florida Labor Council obtained an Apprenticeship Ordinance last year which requires that major public construction projects use 12 percent of their labor from state-registered apprenticeship programs. This mirrors an ordinance recently passed in St. Petersburg.  Apprenticeships programs are the industry gold standard for construction safety and skill level, and they put locals to work with our tax dollars.  However, ordinance compliance has been a challenge as we ensure that general contractors such as DPR on the Hanna Ave project in Tampa obey the law and utilize apprentices to ensure high-quality building and safety standards.

We can do better to protect workers on the job, not just on Workers Memorial Day but every day. According to the AFL-CIO’s Death on the Job Report, a yearly study of worker deaths and injuries, 5,333 died on the job nationwide in 2019, including 306 here in Florida. Every worker lost is a tragedy, and as a nation and state, we need to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for all working people. They deserve nothing less.

Shawn McDonnell
President – West Central Florida Labor Council, AFL-CIO

You can also read the message on the West Central Florida Labor Council page here.

Letter to the Editor by Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO Field Representative Ted Parsons

This letter was originally run in the Palm Beach Post, you can read it here.

Fifty-one years ago, on April 28, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), promising workers the right to a safe job. On April 28 of each year, working families and union members gather for Workers Memorial Day to commemorate workers who have lost their lives or livelihoods at work because of a workplace injury or illness and to organize to ensure the end of these unnecessary, preventable deaths, and injuries. Florida has just under 9 million workers who are covered under OSHA in 717,855 workplaces and only 54 Florida OSHA inspectors. It would take them 477 years to inspect each Florida workplace once. The number of OSHA inspectors is near its lowest number since the agency opened 51 years ago.

That’s why workers and their unions are standing up, speaking out, fighting back, and organizing. There is no stopping until there are strong standards & enforcement to protect workers from harmful exposures, dangerous conditions, and retaliation for reporting unsafe conditions. All workers should be able to go to work each day and return home safely to their loved ones.

Ted Parsons, Palm Beach–Treasure Coast Florida AFL-CIO, Jupiter

WMNF Tampa: “All workers deserve dignity”: Florida labor recognizes Workers’ Memorial Day

WMNF Radio in Tampa spoke to Florida AFL-CIO Director of Politics and Public Policy Dr. Rich Templin and IBEW Local 824 member Kim Smith about the importance of Workers Memorial Day. You can listen and read to the story here.

Palm Beach-Treasure Coast Hosts Digital Memorial and Town Hall in Honor of Workers Memorial Day

This Workers Memorial Day, the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO hosted a digital townhall and memorial for those we have lost on the job. You can watch it here.

South Florida AFL-CIO Rallies in Support of Unionizing Starbucks Workers

Monday, April 11th, members of the South Florida AFL-CIO, Miami Springs City Councilman Victor Vazquez, and community allies rallied in support of unionizing Starbucks workers in Miami Springs and against union-busting tactics by the coffee giant. Over 60 people attended the rally, including members of CWA, Teamsters, TWU, IUPAT, and UTD.

Workers at the Miami Springs Starbucks, located at 52 Curtiss Parkway, Miami Springs, Florida 33166, filed for a union election on March 14th, and ballots were set to be received Wednesday, April 13th from the National Labor Relations Board. In the lead-up to the election, management at the location has ramped up union-busting methods, including mandatory anti-union meetings.

The unionization effort at the Miami Springs Starbucks is part of a unionization surge at the coffee chain nationwide, and union members in the South Florida Area are standing in support of the unionizing workers.

“We are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with these workers to support their organizing efforts in any way we can against corporate giants like Starbucks that want to continue to suppress wages and benefits and not treat their workers with the dignity and respect they deserve as they pursue a better life for themselves and their families,” said Jeffrey Mitchell, President of the South Florida AFL-CIO.”

Members of the Starbucks Workers United Miami Springs Organizing Committee thanked their sisters and brothers in labor for rallying in their support.

“I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for showing up to support us today and all of the work you put in to make today a resounding success for our workers and union effort. I know, without a doubt, that everyone who entered those meetings left feeling a strong sense of support from our broader union brothers and sisters as well as a renewed enthusiasm for the hard work that lies ahead. This success would not have been possible without the unconditional support and experienced advice that was given to us in the days leading up to this demonstration.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are going to win our union and secure a contract that benefits all of our workers and their needs. Once again, thank you all so much for the time and energy you generously offered to us today. If you could forward this message to whoever needs to hear it, it would be greatly appreciated.”

In solidarity,
The Starbucks Workers United Miami Springs Organizing Committee

Other Starbucks locations are pushing to unionize here in the Sunshine State, including in Hialeah, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville.

2022 Florida AFL-CIO COPE Endorsing/Biennial Convention

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This year, the 2022 Florida AFL-CIO COPE Endorsing Convention will be held on Thursday, June 23rd, and Friday, June 24th. The Biennial Convention will be held Saturday, June 25th, and Sunday, June 26th in conjunction with the COPE Convention. 

The convention will be held at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace (1900 E. Buena Vista Palace, Lake Buena Vista, FL). All room reservations must be booked by Monday, May 23rd, 2022.

You can book a room online at: https://book.passkey.com/e/50215906 or via phone by calling (855)-757-4984 and make sure to mention “ACO” to be placed under our block and receive the reduced rate. 

You can also download, fill out, and mail your registration for convention. Click here to download the guest registration form. You can also download an alternate registration form here. 

If you plan on attending, please fill out our COVID-19 vaccination form here.

For those interested in being a sponsor, click here to download the form. If you are interested in being a vendor at the convention, you can download the form here.

For more information on convention, including registration, please email Helen Parker, Director of Operations for the Florida AFL-CIO at hparker@flaflcio.org

Thank you to our sponsors

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.”

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.

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.