Workers Memorial Day 

Fifty years ago on April 28, the Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect promising America’s workers the right to a safe job. 

While the law was a great step forward for private sector workers, public employees were exempt. It would take Ohio’s public sector workers another 23 years, including an eight-year battle in the Legislature, to end this deadly discrimination and win the same workplace protections.

Without OSHA protections Ohio public employees could not even refuse to enter an unsafe area if they believed their lives were in danger.

The law was won because of the tireless efforts of Ohio’s AFSCME unions which organized for safer working conditions and demanded government action. While the law passed in the Ohio House several times it always died in the Senate.

The law for the first time created a legal obligation for public employers to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards.

Unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality in Ohio and across the nation. But our work is not done.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the inextricable link between workplace safety and the health of our communities. Organized labor will continue to organize and strengthen job safety to save lives and make the workplace a safe place.

AFSCME MEMBERS: Tell your Senators to pass the Pro Act!


Attention AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Sisters and Brothers,

Today is the AFL-CIO National Day of Action for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. Call your senators and tell them to support working people by voting YES on the PRO Act.

Let’s show the Senate that AFSCME Council 8 members are pro-union across the Ohio and across party lines.

Call Your Senators

Our outdated labor laws are no longer strong enough to protect us in the workplace.

High-profile corporations openly union-bust without facing consequences. Anti-worker lawmakers have passed wage-killing and racist right to work laws in 27 states. Inequality has skyrocketed as workers have been denied a voice on the job.

The PRO Act would change that.

It’s the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression. And it’s also a civil rights and economic stimulus bill. If we can get this passed, working people will thrive for generations to come.

It passed the House on March 9 with bipartisan support, and President Biden has urged Congress to send it to his desk. The Senate is the final obstacle.

So let’s flood the Senate phone lines with support for the PRO Act. Call your senators and tell them to vote YES on the PRO Act.

In Solidarity,
R. Sean Grayson
President, AFSCME Ohio Council 8

P.S. There are also in-person actions being organized across the country during our National Week of Action, April 26-May 1, 2021. Find one near you.

2021 AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Family Scholarships Are Now Available

The AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Family Scholarship committee is pleased to announce this year’s four-year, $2,500 per year women’s scholarship is named in honor of Patricia Kittle, and the men’s scholarship honors Leroy Elmore.

 

Patricia “Pat” Kittle worked as a registered nurse at Trumbull Regional Medical Center for more than 42 years. A graduate of the Trumbull Memorial School of Nursing, she embarked on a career dedicated to the selfless care for others. 

A key activist during the successful nine-day strike for union recognition in 1999, Pat went on to serve as vice president of AFSCME Local 2026 for 20 years and in 2019, she became Union President.

Throughout her career Pat continued her activism. She served on AFSCME International’s Nursing Advisory Committee, AFSCME’s Nursing congress, as a Volunteer Member Organizer, and oversaw the local union’s Member Action Team.

A caring individual, she was a person who could solve any problem with grace and efficiency. Pat passed away in June of 2020.

 

Leroy Elmore started his health care career in the 1960’s and was employed by Cleveland’s Mt. Sinai Hospital as a pathology assistant starting in 1971. 

A year later, he was instrumental in forming an AFSCME local union at the hospital and served as a member, steward and union president for more than ten years. In 1985, he joined the AFSCME International project staff as an organizer. Two years later he became an Ohio Council 8 staff representative in the Cleveland Region and in 1998, he became Cleveland Regional Director. 

In 2001, he joined the AFSCME Ohio Care Plan as Plan Administrator and served for 12 years before retiring, topping off a 39-year AFSCME career.

Leroy lives in Euclid Ohio and is still active in the community.

Ohio Council 8 First Vice President Marcia Knox, chair of the executive board’s scholarship committee, encourages all eligible students to apply for the $2,500 per year, four-year scholarships.  

Eligibility Requirements:

An applicant’s parent must be an AFSCME Ohio Council 8 affiliated local union member who has been in good standing for at least one (1) calendar year prior to June 1, 2021.

In addition, an applicant must graduate from high school in the year in which an application for the scholarship is made and must attend a four (4) year accredited college or university as a full-time student. 

Full details are included in the official application brochure can be downloaded at (insert link).

Applications must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, June 1,2021. Applications which are incomplete, or which are postmarked after the specified date, will be ineligible for consideration.

Click here to download the application.

Ohio dramatically expands vaccine eligibility while other numbers go up

Ohio got two more pieces of hopeful news about the coronavirus Tuesday.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced that because of rapidly expanding supplies of the vaccine, all Ohioans 16 and over will be eligible to get a shot by the end of March. At the same time, the percentages of residents already eligible for the vaccine are showing marked improvement after weeks of slow growth.

Increased production of the first two vaccines to be used in the United States and the approval of a third have tripled the number of weekly doses flowing into the state from early February. Growing supplies prompted DeWine to make his Tuesday morning announcement.

“It’s a moral imperative that we move as quickly as we can to vaccinate all Ohioans who wish to be vaccinated,” DeWine said in a tweet. “We expect a significant increase in vaccines coming to Ohio soon, so we will expand vaccine eligibility.”

Read the full story from the Ohio Capitol Journal here.

A Celebration of Our Fiercest Female Labor Leaders

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/

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