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Fighting for the collective bargaining rights of union workers and the middle class is one of my top priorities. I firmly support the right of labor unions and public and private employees to collectively bargain. Ohio is significantly impacted by union membership, as it is home to the 7th largest number of unionized workers.

Unfortunately, union membership has declined by 10% since 1983, according to 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While unionized workers averaged roughly $177 more in median weekly earnings than nonunionized workers in 2014, unionized workers made up only 11.1% of America’s workforce.

Fair Wages

I am an original cosponsor of the Original Living Wage Act, which would link the minimum wage to 15% over the federal poverty level for a family of four and increase the wage automatically every four years to ensure its purchasing power.  I also support the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Equal Pay Day Resolution, which work to end gender discrimination in wages and recognizes that for far too long women have been paid a fraction of that earned by their male counterparts.  I am also an original cosponsor of the Raise the Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage and gradually eliminate the subminimum tipped wage.

Federal Workers

I support a measure to give federal workers the pay increase they deserve after enduring a three-year wage freeze, four years without locality pay, furloughs, and a government shutdown.  In 2014, the 1% wage adjustment failed to keep up with the nation's rate of inflation. I also support the Wage Grade Employee Parity Bill, which ensures that wage-grade employees receive the same wage increase as salaried federal employees.

Workplace Protections

I am a strong supporter of workforce protection measures, including the ability for employees to earn paid sick leave as well as familiy and medical leave insurance.  I cosponsored the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Act to improve compliance with mine safety and health laws so that all workers are protected.  I also joined a letter to Secretary Perez and OMB Director Donovan supporting President Obama's executive order on Fair Pay and Save Workplaces to federal contractors are fully evaluated for compliance with employment and workplace safety laws.  This letter pushed for a complete review of proposed rules and guidance so they can be released for public comment as soon as possible.