Leveling the playing field for workers


It’s simple: unions make Ohioans’ hard work pay off.

Union workers earn higher wages, on average, and have better benefits, more retirement security, and more control over their schedules.

It’s why I’m leading the fight to pass the PRO Act — the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. The bill would start to level the playing field between workers and corporations, so workers can bargain for higher pay and better health care and more opportunities for career advancement.

When workers try to organize a union, it’s never a fair fight.

More and more people are beginning to see the underhanded tactics workers are up against, like what happened at an Amazon warehouse earlier this year. Amazon is one of the most powerful corporations in the world, and would not be raking in profits without the hard work and dedication of its workers. Yet Amazon unleashed all of that power to fight its own workers in Alabama, when they tried to form a union. And we see the same tactics here in Ohio.

This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on the PRO Act. Ohioan Gracie Heldman, from Pandora, Ohio, testified about her experience trying to form a union at what is now Hearthside Food in McComb. Over the course of three union elections, the company has harassed employees and threatened them with firings and plant closures, all to try to stop them from unionizing.

The PRO Act would finally give workers a fighting chance against these corporate union-busting tactics. It would strengthen the punishments against companies that violate workers’ right to organize, and that retaliate against union organizers. And it would close loopholes that allow employers to misclassify their employees as supervisors and independent contractors, to avoid paying their fair share and giving workers the benefits they deserve.

Unions are all about the Dignity of Work — they give workers a voice in their workplace, and empower people to build careers and build a better life for their families. Strong unions mean a strong middle class, and I will keep fighting to allow more workers to join them both.


By Sen. Sherrod Brown


Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is a U.S. Senator for Ohio. He can be reached at 1-800-896-6446. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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