Free College Benefit for AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Members!

Learn more about AFSCME Ohio Council 8’s free college program here!

New Phase of COVID Vaccination Program Starts Tomorrow

To read a fact sheet about the rollout of vaccines in Ohio click here!

A Celebration of Our Fiercest Female Labor Leaders!

Rosina Harvey Tucker: Labor Organizer, Civil Rights Activist, Educator

 
Rosina Harvey Tucker
(1881-1987)
Labor Organizer
Civil Rights Activist
Educator

  • Rosina Harvey was born in Northwest Washington, DC in 1881, one of 9 children of formerly enslaved parents from Virginia.  She married B. J. Tucker, a Pullman porter and a founding member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.
  • Organizing the porters was difficult because the men were always on the road, working long hours.  Porters were fired by the company for union activities; fear of retaliation was real.
  • Rosina Tucker worked closely with A. Philip Randolph in establishing the Brotherhood. She became a leader in the union’s Women’s Economic Council.  “We furnished a great deal of the money in the beginning that was basic to the struggle to organize, by giving parties, dances, dinners, anyway we could,” she said. “Lots of men lost their jobs, but the women held secret meetings.”
  • A. Philip Randolph and Rosina Tucker

    A. Philip Randolph and Rosina Tucker

  • Visiting the homes of hundreds of porters in the Washington, DC area, her reputation as a black female organizer grew. With no full-time union staff she collected dues, distributed the union newspaper, The Black Worker, and encouraged the wives of Pullman porters to become active.
  •  In 1963 she helped organize the March on Washington. She assisted the District of Columbia labor movement by helping  to organize laundry workers, domestic workers, hotel and restaurant workers, teachers and red caps at Union Station.
  • At the age of 102 she testified before a Senate subcommittee on aging.  She narrated Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle (1981) the award-winning documentary.

In 1983 she received a humanitarian award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and a leadership award from the Coalition of 100 Black Womens’ Clubs.  She was an elder of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church; her autobiography, My Life as I Have Lived It, was published posthumously.

Carter G. Woodson and the Origin of Black History Month

The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the summer of 1915.  Carter G. Woodson, a graduate of the University of Chicago and Harvard, traveled from Washington, D.C. to participate in a national celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois. Thousands of African Americans from across the country came to see exhibits highlighting the progress their people had made since the destruction of slavery.

Inspired by the overflow crowds who waited hours to view the exhibits, Woodson decided to form an organization to promote the study of black life and history.  Later that year Woodson met with A. L. Jackson,  a fellow Harvard alumnus, to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). 

In 1925, Woodson decided that the Association would both create and popularize knowledge about the black past and proclaimed Negro History Week in February, 1926.

Woodson chose February to encompass the birthdays of two great Americans who played a prominent role in shaping black history, namely Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays are the 12th and the 14th. 

For more information about the origins of Black History month visit the ASNLY web page at:

https://asalh.org/about-us/origins-of-black-history-month/

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Members on the Front Lines in Lake County

Carol Tackett, right, and Arielle Hillard registering individuals getting COVID 19 vaccinations. 

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 members of Local 3622 at the Lake County General Health District are on the front lines working together to distribute and administer COVID 19 vaccinations to the more than 230,000 residents of the county located on the coast of Lake Erie.  

According to Paul Stromp, president of the 40-member union and a14-year employee, “the whole department is working together – our nurses are administering the vaccine, other staff directing traffic, registering people, doing case tracking, and working the phones answering questions and walking older folks through the online registration process.”

Carol Tackett, a 25-year nurse and union member, is proud that the Lake County General Health District staff is working as a team to vaccinate as many county residents as possible. “We get anywhere from 200 to 400 doses a week and I’m proud to say we have not wasted or lost a single one. But 400 doses don’t go far in a county our size,” she said.

The community cooperation goes beyond the Health District as the area’s other local government offices, including a fire department, equipment maintenance garages and other locations were made available to provide readily accessible drive-through vaccination clinics across the county.

“I have never been so proud of my union sisters and brothers and my community for the way we’ve all come together during this time of need,” Tackett said. 

The health district is anticipating an increase to over 1,500 vaccination doses a week soon and will be ready to administer them to the residents of Lake County as they become available.

 

Fund the Front Lines Day of Action Tomorrow!

Participate in AFSCME’s Day of Action 

Thursday, February 4th by calling your Ohio House and Senate representatives and urge them to pass the American Rescue Plan.

Lawmakers face a March 14 deadline if they want to provide additional aid before the COVID support extended in December 2020 runs out.

The American Rescue Plan calls for $1.9 trillion in relief, including:

  • $350 billion in critical state and local fiscal relief in addition to targeted funding to help defeat the coronavirus including through support for vaccines, testing and public health programs.  
  • $170 billion to help K-12 schools safely re-open and $40 billion for childcare. 
  • An extension of Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs through September 2021 with a $400/week federal enhancement and an additional round of individual relief of $1,400 per-person and per-child direct payments. 
  • $160 billion in pandemic aid for vaccines, testing and contact tracing.
  • Relief funds for the millions of Americans struggling to make rent and mortgage payments, as well as those experiencing homelessness.  
  • $20 billion for transit agencies deeply impacted by the pandemic 

Without this relief package, we won’t be able to keep nurses, teachers, EMS, custodians, childcare providers and so many more on the job keeping our communities safe due to budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic. Without this relief package we will be unable to help the millions of American families struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

Call your senators today and tell them we need to pass the American Rescue Plan. 

Contact your Senators and Representatives at:

House call in – 1.855.329.5629                     Senate call in – 1.888.981.9704

 

Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Black History Month

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The National Archives holds a wealth of material documenting the African American experience and highlights these resources online.

Explore those records documenting African American History through the African American Research page and within the National Archives Catalog.

https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/african-american-history

What To Expect from Biden/Harris 

Strong unions built the great American middle class. Everything that defines what it means to live a good life and know you can take care of your family – the 40 hour workweek, paid leave, health care protections, a voice in your workplace – is because of workers who organized unions and fought for worker protections. Because of organizing and collective bargaining, there used to be a basic bargain between workers and their employers in this country that when you work hard, you share in the prosperity your work created.

There’s a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers. It’s been raging for decades.

President Biden is proposing a plan to grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class – the backbone of the American economy – by strengthening public and private sector unions and helping all workers bargain successfully for what they deserve. 

As president, Biden promises to:

  • Check the abuse of corporate power over labor and hold corporate executives personally accountable for violations of labor laws.
  • Encourage and incentivize unionization and collective bargaining.
  • Ensure that workers are treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve.

Workers at Ohio’s GE-Savant Lighting Plant fight for jobs in Bucyrus

Workers at the GE-Savant lighting facility in Bucyrus, Ohio are fighting for their jobs after the company issued a WARN notice, informing workers they intend to move the LED residential light bulb line out of the facility to China, permanently laying off 80 workers. The GE-Savant facility is one of the only residential lighting plants left in the USA, where workers currently make bulbs for Walmart.

Will you show your support by signing the Ohio AFL-CIO Love Us, Don’t Leave Us petition? Sign here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/love-us-dont-leave-us
Read the full article here.
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