The AFL-CIO Great Lakes district meeting was held in Pittsburgh from June 3 through 4. Union activists from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and even a few from West Virginia, came together to learn from one another and build the Union Movement. Over the course of the meeting, participants attended workshops focused on “building the movement and empowering our communities”.
Attendees also heard remarks from national and regional leaders, presentations on key issues. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler stressed the importance of preparing our movement for the future of work. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale rallied the crowd in his opening introduction and reminded our labor movement of the incredible successes our movement has won in the past year. Our own Secretary Treasurer Frank Snyder addressed the importance of union members running for local office and representing working people in their communities. Allegheny CLC President Darrin Kelly thanked fellow labor leaders for their support and solidarity throughout the historic year of elections in southwest Pennsylvania.
Since the Janus case decision last June, unions have been organizing new and existing members, making it clear that unions are on the rise in the United States. As attacks against working people continue, and corporate greed chips away at our opportunities, organizing workers and mobilizing our members is more important than ever. In response many of the workshops and discussions focused on engagement and making the case for unions as the best solution for addressing corporate greed.
The Great Lakes District Meeting also addressed the recent devastation our brothers and sisters in Ohio have just recently experienced with more than thirteen tornadoes hitting the Dayton-Miami area. Hundreds of homes were devastated, and millions of dollars of damaged were sustained, but thankfully there were no reported fatalities. Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga and Dayton-Miami union sister Marcia Knox asked attendees of the meeting to help the Dayton-Miami CLC Food Pantry, which lost power and all its provisions. The result was more than $2,400 dollars in donations. President Rick Bloomingdale announced that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO would match the amount raised. If you would like to donate, you can send a check to The Dayton-Miami Labor Food Pantry, 6550 Poe Ave. Dayton, OH 45414.