Ohio Council 8 Volunteer Member Organizers Skill-Up

Ohio Council 8 members joined more than 160 AFSCME members from around the country who gathered in Las Vegas last week to lift up the voice of public service workers and move our union forward. 

“No one is better than a union member to explain the benefits of joining and belonging to a union.  That’s why VMOs are so effective organizing new members and in internal organizing,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Organizing Director Steve Roth.

Conference attendees participated in skill-building training sessions as well as gaining practical organizing experience. Leaving the classroom and hitting the streets, VMO’s knocked on the doors of Nevada state workers in anticipation of a pro-union administration by the state’s new Governor. 

For AFSCME Local 2191 Columbus Health Department President Jamie Shoemaker, the conference “was a great opportunity for information sharing and ways to make sure our union continues to grow. Our message was clear – joining a union is the best way to improve lives of all public employees – in Nevada and Ohio.”   

President Lee Saunders addressed the VMOs on the first day of the conference, telling them, “No matter the politician or the boss, it’s on us to grow this union and take care of our families and those we serve. And that’s why we are here. VMOs have a set of experiences and perspectives that cannot be replaced.”

In addition to Shoemaker, Council 8 members Kelly Bennett of Dayton, Keava McLoughlin of Columbus, Marilyn Fletcher, of Toledo, Quanna Murphy and Linda Wilson  of Cincinnati, Shawn Daum of Akron, and Tina Brown of Athens, attended the conference.

AFSCME Local 2191 President Jamie Shoemaker, first row left, joined by other O-H-I-O AFSCME members at the International Union’s Las Vegas VMO conference.

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 stands strong with Lordstown workers

AFSCME Council 8 is standing strong with workers in Lordstown, Ohio as they fight to keep the General Motors Lordstown Complex running and save the countless jobs that rely on the complex.


Drive It Home Ohio is a collaborative effort bringing together the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce and UAW local 1112, along with local business, community and religious leaders, workers, consumers and their families, to urge General Motors to support growing their investment at the Lordstown Complex. We build cars in northeast Ohio and those jobs build our economy in the region and all across the state. Drive It Home will grow jobs in the Mahoning Valley, protect manufacturing jobs in our state and ensure that American cars are made in the United States.


American-made cars should be made in America. No more outsourcing jobs and leaving American workers behind. Join us in supporting the efforts of Drive It Home Ohio and the workers in the Mahoning Valley. They have been loyal, hard working dedicated members of the GM Family for 52 years and we need to remind GM and the world that you don’t turn your back on family.


Find Drive It Home Ohio on Facebook and Twitter and like and follow their pages to show your support!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Drive-it-Home-Ohio-2154785934574190/


Twitter: https://twitter.com/driveithomeohio


You can also sign up for updates and additional information at the Drive It Home Ohio website: http://driveithomeohio.com/


Shop Union-Made This Thanksgiving!

Check out this helpful guide to shopping union-made this Thanksgiving. That’s something we can all be thankful for!

Right to Work is wrong!

Watch this video and see why Ohio workers are fighting back against dangerous right to work legislation. Don’t let legislators take away your voice. Fight back!

Ohio Right-To-Work Raises Its Ugly Head Again

Union members overflowed the House Finance Committee hearing room for the first reading of HB 53, a controversial “Right-to-Work” bill aimed at Ohio’s public employee unions.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Becker, a Clermont County Republican, had little to offer when questioned about the need for the bill and what effect it would have on unions.

The bill “would not change anything” he said. In fact, it would change everything public employees have gained since the 1982 passage of Ohio’s public employee collective bargaining law. 

When challenged by committee members to explain how Ohio would be different than other right-to-work states where pay has plunged and workplace injuries have skyrocketed, he said he didn’t know.

Right-to-work laws commonly allow members to stop paying union dues while still enjoying union representation, creating a so-called “free riders” problem. Becker’s bill supposedly solves this by wiping out exclusive representation.

Under HB53, unions would be prohibited from representing non-members. Experience has shown that giving up exclusive representation is a trap. While it may address “free riders”, it’s a divide-and-conquer tactic that ultimately weakens a union’s power to win better pay, stronger pensions, and job security.

It’s not clear if Ohio’s GOP-controlled Legislature is on board with restricting labor rights during its lame-duck session. Many members recall SB5, a similar law voters soundly rejected by a 62 percent margin in 2011.

“All of labor is watching this closely and we are ready to act if HB53 picks up any steam,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Political and Legislative Director Robert Davis, who advised all AFSCME members to remain engaged and informed.

If enacted, Ohio would become the 29th state with union busting laws on the books, including neighboring Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana.


AFSCME Council 8 President John A. Lyall appointed to the Industrial Commission Nominating Council

AFSCME Council 8 President John A. Lyall of Powell (Delaware Co.) has been appointed to the Industrial Commission Nominating Council by Governor John Kasich for a term beginning November 9, 2018, and ending October 20, 2022.


John A. Lyall has served as President of AFSCME Ohio Council 8 since 2007, and was unanimously elected to a third four-year term in 2015, at AFSCME Ohio Council 8’s 21st Biennial Convention.

President Lyall is a native of Cleveland and first joined AFSCME as a member in 1973,  when he went to work for the City of North Olmsted.  In 1979, he joined the Cleveland AFSCME staff.  He worked  as an assistant administrator with the Ohio AFSCME Care Plan, as an organizer, and staff representative.

John Lyall was appointed Cleveland Regional Director in 1991. In 1996, he was elected head of the Cleveland Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, now the North Shore Labor Council, and served as President until 1998.  In 1999, he moved to Columbus when he was appointed Council 8’s first Organizing Director, and in 2001, became the union’s First Vice President. 

He serves as an AFSCME International Vice President and serves as chairman of the AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Care Plan.

In addition, he serves as a vice president on the Ohio AFL-CIO Executive Board and is a member of the Ohio AFL-CIO Executive Committee.  Lyall is also a member of the State Executive Committee of the Ohio Democratic Party.

John Lyall graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with honors and completed the Harvard University Trade Union Program. 

He has been married 28 years and has three children.

Judges order Ohio to reinstate purged to voters

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals just halted Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s purge of the state’s voter rolls.

The ruling handed down yesterday, allows Ohio voters who had their registrations cancelled to cast provisional ballots in the Nov. 6, 2018 election.

The case led by the A. Philip Randolph Institute lost its claim that Ohio’s purge of its voter lists was unconstitutional when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ohio’s right to “clean up” its voter lists.

But they continued to challenge the use-it-or-lose-it process that kicks out the voter registration of anyone who has not voted in the last three federal elections.

Ruling there wasn’t an emergency need to block “purges,” the 6th Circuit Judges said it could consider that part of the appeal later.

If you believe your voter registration was revoked, you can go to the polls, re-register and cast a provisional ballot during early voting or on election day. 

If you have questions, call your county board elections.  You can find more voter information at https://voterlookup.sos.state.oh.us/voterlookup.aspx

Members of AFSCME Local 3073 Having Halloween Fun!

Members of AFSCME Local 3073 and the administration at the Belmont County Department of Jobs and Family Services got together for a little Halloween fun prior to starting this season’s joint community projects.

“AFSCME Local 3073 members and the Administration have a strong relationship that goes beyond the workplace, said Tracey Oates, an Ohio Council 8 Staff Representative in the Youngstown Region.   

Labor and management work together to serve their community just about every holiday. At back-to-school time, they provided students clothing and school supplies, and virtually all employees participate an annual food drive to make Thanksgiving better for the less fortunate, “and the list goes on,” Oates said.

Taking its name from the French for “beautiful mountain”, Belmont County, population 70,400, runs along a 40-mile stretch of the Ohio River on Ohio’s eastern state line with Pennsylvania.

Council 8 stalwart Angela Caldwell is stepping up for the Ohio AFL-CIO Day of Action

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 stalwart Angela Caldwell joined members in the Cleveland Region and across the state for the third Ohio AFL-CIO Day of Action. Volunteers turned out to knock on doors and make calls to fired up union households and get them ready to go to the polls to elect Richard Cordray as Ohio Governor.

“I retired and then looked up to see things going so bad in this country and what we won with our blood, sweat and tears being taken away – it made me mad. I just couldn’t sit back and watch, my union roots wouldn’t let me,” she said.

A 20-year member of AFSCME Local 100, representing Cleveland city employees, she held many union offices including Union President. In 1993, she started a second career as an Ohio Council 8 staff representative in the Cleveland Region, retiring in 2011. She is currently an active member of AFSCME Retiree Chapter 1184.

Tuesday October 9th is the deadline for voter registration, “so we need to make sure people are ready and able to vote.  Labor has to lead the way like it always does,” Caldwell said.

She is now working with the Ohio AFL-CIO’s Cleveland office during the election.

Angela is now working with the Ohio AFL-CIO’s Cleveland
office during the election.

John McCain, a Scarred but Happy Warrior

Article published in the New York Times on August 25, 2018.

With John McCain, you never quite knew. That was a big part of his appeal, one of the things that made him interesting, and also one of the things that drove people who value ideological consistency a bit batty.

As a professed maverick, Mr. McCain, who died Saturday at the age of 81, was bound to make somebody unhappy. Though for much of his career his votes on the Senate floor were mostly along party lines, his periodic challenges to Republican orthodoxy made him more popular among independents, Democrats and the tattered remnants of his party’s moderate wing than with the absolutists in the party’s base. Five years of torture in a North Vietnamese prison camp appeared to have left him with a pretty good idea of who he was, an ability to think for himself and the capacity to tune out partisan noises.

He had principles, and he had flaws, from time to time betraying those principles — most grievously in the 2008 presidential campaign. But in a Senate mostly devoid of the kind of commanding figures who once roamed its halls, he was a rare bird. And he could surprise you.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.

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