South Florida AFL-CIO Weekly Newsletter: May, 19th

Welcome to this week’s South Florida AFL-CIO E-Messenger, your guide to labor news in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties . Let’s dive in.

Here's what you need to know this week:

Due to Covid-19, many workers in our community are struggling. In wake of the pandemic and the shutdowns that followed, over 1.3 Million working people in the State of Florida have applied for unemployment, and while that number in itself is astronomical, it doesn’t include people that aren’t able to receive benefits. People need help and with that in mind, the South Florida Central Labor Council, along with Feeding South Florida and Miami-Dade County District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava partnered with Food Share to open up a Food Distribution Center on Saturday, May 16th. 

H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, includes an emergency workplace infectious disease standard; gives aid for state and local governments, public schools, the U.S. Postal Service, and pension funding relief; keeps workers on payrolls to avoid mass layoffs; extends unemployment insurance; provides more direct payments to working people; extends health care coverage; provides housing and food benefits; and much more.Of course, as is the case with any legislation, the HEROES Act is not perfect.

We would urge you to call you Senator by (866)832-1560 and ask that Congress to protect mine workers by requiring not only the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) but also the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease.In addition, since there is no consensus in the labor movement about the GROW Act (which authorizes composite multiemployer retirement plans), we would suggest further review and debate on it as the HEROES Act moves toward enactment.  Working people are desperate for our leaders to put partisanship aside and do what is right for our health, our economy and our country. The HEROES Act is a major step forward.

Join the South 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.

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.

Online: Completing the census online has never been easier, visit mycensus2020.org and follow the instructions to be counted. Visit https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-mail.html for more details .

Phase one of reopening South Florida officially began on Monday, but not every city is working on the same timeline. Retailers, restaurants and more are making final preparations for limited reopening's that will allow customers back inside. Restaurants, stores, salons, barber shops, even museums deemed non-essential in the past, will be up running, with mask wearing, reduced capacity and social distancing enforced.There are exceptions though, in Miami-Dade, Hialeah, Miami, Miami Beach and Miami Gardens will open retail on Wednesday, May 20. Restaurants in Hialeah, Miami and Miami Beach will wait until May 27. Miami Gardens is expected to open its restaurants closer to June 1.

That's all for this week! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. If you would like to receive text message alerts from the Florida AFL-CIO (Msg & data rates may apply), text FLUNION to 235246! If you have any comments, or would like something added to the newsletter, please let us know!

In Solidarity ,

South Florida Labor Council