A celebration of YOU: Labor Day 2023

Posted Sep. 6, 2023 by

Labor Day is not just a day off; it's a true celebration of YOU––the great American union worker and the services you provide for Ohio, and ALL the union members that make our world a better place.

Standing together with co-workers in a union makes a real difference you can feel every day. That was shown this week at the AFL-CIO's Inaugural State of the Unions this week, in which AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler talked about where union members stand in this country. "Our story is of working people," and "working people are reclaiming our power," she declared. Workers don't just want to be seen, they want to be heard! And they are being heard.

Remembering the reason for Labor Day: Workers and their unions!

This past Labor Day weekend, we all felt the excitement and the momentum. Working people and retirees are jumping at the chance to experience the union difference. OCSEA members showed up at parades, festivals and other Labor Day events to show their solidarity for working people and promote the power of being union!

Union activism is on the rise everywhere you look, as more people are fighting for a seat at the table. And, to top it off, unions remain overwhelmingly popular. New poll results from the AFL-CIO shows that more than 70% of Americans have a favorable view of unions, and that rises to 88% among those under 30 years old. And according to a new Gallup survey, growing numbers of people believe unions help the economy and want unions to be stronger.

“That working people—standing together and standing up for one another—are an incredible force for progress at work, in our unions, in our economy and in our democracy.” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond during the national union's State of Unions. He said that's why every day, more and more working people are finding out that the labor movement is the one of the only solutions to low wages, unsafe workplaces and more. He said unions are one of the only institutions left to help give workers the power they need. See the full State of the Unions event HERE.

Click HERE see AFSCME's Labor Day message that talks about the rising efforts for w voice in the workplace, especially from younger workers who strongly support unions (88% remember!) and know that they deserve better! And that being union will help make that a reality. Read more below under "Fresh Faces of Organizing in Ohio."

Celebrate being union! Get your FREE "It's Better In A Union" sticker today!

Fresh Faces of Organizing in Ohio

This power of being union was on full display during a panel discussion at OCSEA’s Biennial Convention where delegates were introduced to three Ohio activists who know what it’s like to organize their workplaces for the first time. Guests discussing their organizing successes and challenges included Kyle Stoller from the Franklin County Public Defenders’ Office; Jo Snyder, from the Wexner Center for the Arts; and Zach Frye from the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati.

The panel of young AFSCME activists discussed how they were each able to energize their members to organize for the first time ever. A recent Labor Day poll indicated that 88% of young workers in this country believe in the power of unions. Nine in every 10 Americans under the age of 30, and that's on display with these union activists.

Moderator Luke Ward from AFSCME Ohio Council 8 told delegates that there are important lessons to be learned from the newly organized that can apply to OCSEA chapters who have had collective bargaining for decades.

Some of the tools they utilized included activating Member Action Teams to map their workplaces as well as keeping members mobilized during "down" time by reaching out just to touch base. Luke said one of the most important lessons is that organizing isn’t something that you do once and forget it. He said keeping members’ engaged is key to strong chapters and organizing drives. "These are people who took a huge leap of faith at great personal cost," said OCSEA Pres. Chris Mabe. "But they knew that having a union in their workplace was key to having a voice on the job," he said.

Here are just a few of the benefits of being union:

  • Workers in labor unions make 18% more in wages than our nonunion counterparts.
  • We are more likely to have health care benefits. More than nine out of 10 union members have access to employer-provided health insurance, compared to 68% of nonunion workers, according to the Department of Labor. 
  • We work in safer workplaces. One study found job sites that were unionized have lost-time claims at a 31% lower rate than non-unionized sites. 
  • We have more job security—even and especially in moments of economic crisis. Life is better in a union. Even a U.S. Treasury first-of-its-kind report declared this week that unions benefit the U.S. economy in so many ways! 

That’s why this Labor Day we’re celebrating our fundamental right to organize by reminding workers across the world—it’s better in a union!

Celebrate being union! Get your FREE "It's Better In A Union" sticker today!