Brown Vows to Work with Biden-Harris Administration to Put Ohio Working Families First, Honor the Dignity of Work
CLEVELAND, OH – February 10, 2021 – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) staff hosted 16 virtual roundtables over three weeks to meet with Ohio labor leaders from across the state. Brown’s office will take their priorities back to Washington, where he now serves in a Democratic majority in the Senate dedicated to working with President Biden to restore the Dignity of Work.
“These roundtables are among the most important parts of my job – the best ideas don’t come out of Washington, they come from conversations like these,” said Brown. “After four years of inaction and betrayal from the previous Administration on issues important to Ohio workers, I am eager to work with President Biden on behalf of all Ohioans to restore the Dignity of Work.”
Brown has long led efforts to restore the Dignity of Work. Some of Brown’s priorities that he intends to work with the Biden Administration and Democratic Majority on include:
· Strengthening Buy American standards and helping American businesses and workers:
o Brown applauded an Executive Order signed by President Joe Biden to strengthen Buy American standards and help American businesses and workers.
o Last Congress, Brown introduced legislation to apply Buy American rules to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects. Brown’s bipartisan bill, the Build America, Buy America Act, would implement Buy American rules across the board – ensuring that American taxpayer dollars are used to buy American-made iron, steel and manufactured products for any federally funded infrastructure projects.
· Passing Comprehensive Legislation to Strengthen workers’ right to organize a union:
o Brown joined House and Senate Democrats in introducing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act – comprehensive legislation to strengthen protections for workers’ right to organize a union and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions.
o In 2020, the legislation passed the House of Representatives but stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Brown will push for its passage again this Congress.
· Fixing the multiemployer pension crisis:
o Senator Brown is committed to fighting for a multiemployer pension fix to be included in the earliest possible legislative package.
o In 2019, Brown led 30 Senators in reintroducing the Butch Lewis Act in the Senate, named for a retired Ohio Teamster, the Butch Lewis Act would address the pension crisis threatening the retirement of more than 1.3 million workers and retirees nationwide and putting small businesses across the country in jeopardy.
· Introducing legislation to raise minimum wage to $15:
o Brown recently introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025. Beginning in 2026, the federal minimum wage would be indexed to median wage growth. According to an independent analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, the Raise the Wage Act would increase wages for nearly 32 million Americans, including roughly a third of all Black workers and a quarter of all Latino workers.
· Supporting President Biden’s pro-worker COVID-19 Rescue Package proposal, which includes the priorities Brown has fought for, such as:
o Additional weeks of unemployment benefits, through September 2021, including for self-employed and independent contractors. It would include an additional $400 per-week unemployment benefit.
o A provision to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Senator Brown has long fought to raise the minimum wage to $15. This pandemic has resulted in millions of American workers putting their lives at risk to keep their communities and country running, including the 40 percent of frontline workers who are people of color.
Brown’s staff hosted these virtual roundtables with workers and labor leaders in communities throughout the state, including:
· Bowling Green
· Knox County
· Licking County
· Mahoning Valley
· Richland County
· Stark County
· Summit County