The Cleveland AFL-CIO Retiree Council

An Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans Affiliate.

Who We Are

Retired union members established the Cleveland AFL-CIO Retire Council in 1996. The Council consists of representatives from union retiree groups in the area. The Council is the Cleveland area chapter of the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans. It has a representative on the Executive Boards of the North Shore Federation of Labor and the North Coast Area Labor Federation.

The mission of the Retiree Council is to advocate for retiree and senior issues and legislation, through the building of labor-community coalitions and the greater involvement of retired workers and their organizations.

What We Do

Participate in Elections.

  • Mail literature on labor's candidates to 10-30,000 retired union members.
  • Take part in voter registration campaigns.
  • Assist in Labor's election activities, calling union voters and helping in community walks.

Building Coalitions for Senior Advocacy

  • Initiated and helped lead the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs, a coalition of 300 union and community groups in Ohio. This three year effort resulted in the passage of "Ohio's Best Rx" law in 2003. This was a rare victory for the people.
  • The Retiree Council, in 2005, initiated and helped organize the Coalition to Preserve Social Security, which successfully fought against Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.
  • Senior Voice! Coalition is the current effort by the Retiree Council to build a coalition of union retirees and senior community groups. A speakers' bureau sends our volunteers to senior centers and residences to campaign for major improvements in Medicare, especially the Part D drug program.

Other activities of the Retiree Council

  • A sit-in at Senator DeWine's office in 2004 for his wrong position on Medicare.
  • Collecting signatures on various petitions.
  • Mobilizing members for lobbying, demonstrations and other labor activities.

Retired union members established the Cleveland AFL-CIO Retire Council in 1996. The Council consists of representatives from union retiree groups in the area. The Council is the Cleveland area chapter of the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans. It has a representative on the Executive Boards of the North Shore Federation of Labor and the North Coast Area Labor Federation.

The mission of the Retiree Council is to advocate for retiree and senior issues and legislation, through the building of labor-community coalitions and the greater involvement of retired workers and their organizations.

Why We Do It

We are involved because we want to protect the benefits and retirement securities that we fought for over the last seventy years. Everything we won as union members is under attack by corporations and right-wing politicians. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pensions, affordable senior housing, and dozens of other senior services are being eliminated or threatened with privatization. If we don't work to save these programs now, we will all have to work at Wal-Mart-type jobs tomorrow, as some are already being forced to do.

Active union members should also start paying more attention to their retirement future now, and not wait until they retire. We've all heard about the "baby boomers". Well, they are starting to join our ranks in large numbers. Look at these facts:

  • The labor movement is getting older. Younger union members have fallen from 30% to 20% of the total membership.
  • Today, there are 3.5 million retired union members.
  • In ten years, there will be 5 million retired union members.

Are Unions Prepared for the future?

  • Less than a third of union retirees maintain a relationship with their union.
  • Only a dozen or so international unions have a retiree program of any kind.

How You Can Help

Many unions need to make retiree organizing a priority. If they don't, a powerful voice on behalf of America's working families will be lost. Union members who are 50 and older need to look at what's happening to their future retirement security and get involved with their union in fighting for retiree and senior programs.

With the combined strength of older union members, their unions and retired members, the future of all seniors can be made more secure. That's what the Cleveland AFL-CIO Retiree Council is all about.

Join your union retiree group. Help start one if none exists. Be more involved in political and legislative issues. If you're interested in joining the Cleveland AFL-CIO Retiree Council, complete and mail the form below.

Download Form