We have to build an economy that works for everyone, and that starts with supporting workers as the foundation for growth and prosperity. Workers deserve the same freedom CEOs have: the freedom to negotiate a fair return on our work. In Congress, I will proudly vote for the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) and other legislation that protects and expands the rights of workers to join together and improve their working conditions and safety. I’ve introduced legislation in the Ohio legislature to do just that. To stop the corporate business model that shuts down factories in Ohio and moves jobs overseas, we must raise labor standards not just in the U.S. but in every country we trade with.
It is important that Congress focuses not just on job creation, but on good-job creation. There are various methods to accomplish this goal, such as granting a tax credit to businesses that pay wages above the industry average or tying investment tax credits to company wage levels. We should be investing in union-based job training programs and apprenticeships to connect local talent with the employers who need them. When Ohio pays to create below-average-wage jobs, we are simply spending more money to maintain low standards of living. Ohio should not be in the business of subsidizing poverty.
Expanding and protecting union jobs and the right to organize is especially critical to Ohio’s working women. Women represented by labor unions earn an average of $212 more per week than women in nonunion jobs, and union women experience a smaller gender wage gap with greater access to critical benefits that can ensure their long-term financial security and well-being. In Ohio, the union wage advantage is large enough to cover the costs of full-time child care for an infant in a qualified daycare center.