On Friday March 3rd, United States Senator Sherrod Brown delivered a speech in Columbus, Ohio on restoring the dignity of work.  In response to that speech, Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga issued the following statement:

“I commend Senator Brown for articulating his vision for American workers that will address the most pressing challenges that we face in today’s economy.  The policy proposals that the Senator put forth today were spot-on and, if implemented, will greatly benefit working families in Ohio and across the country.”

“Senator Brown is correct in demanding that a comprehensive national policy is needed that empowers workers.  In both the near and long terms, there a number of policies that can help level the playing field for working people who have had the deck stacked against them for far too long.”

“Corporations need to invest in working people instead of trying to further the enrichment of investors though stock buy-backs and other gimmicks that leave too many workers with decreasing economic benefit.  And we need to use our national consumer power base to shape a trade policy that empowers workers here and abroad.  In doing so, we can raise wages on a global scale.”

“In the near term, the new overtime rules initiated by the Obama administration should be fully implemented to begin to address the income inequality that exists in our current economic climate.  Workers should be paid for the work they do, and implementing these rules will automatically boost pay for 130,000 working families in Ohio alone.”

“Finally, a longer term strategy that Senator Brown put forth to raise wages across the board is to expand collective bargaining rights to give workers a stronger voice in the workplace.  There is simply no substitute for working people bargaining collectively for a fair share of the wealth we help create. Collective bargaining leads to higher wages, better benefits, safer workplaces and a more robust economy for us all.”