Betsy Rader, Employment Lawyer and Ohio State Senate candidate, spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on May 20 to discuss labor issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rader first spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on “essential workers” and how they deserve better working conditions and compensation. Rader said workers who have been on the frontlines during the pandemic have shown they need better pay, more sick days and other benefits due to their potential exposure to COVID-19 at work. Rader continued by saying that this pandemic exposed businesses and their lack of protections for workers. She added that a union presence could make the workplace safer. This presence would ensure that all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards are met so the workers can continue to work safely. Lastly, Rader spoke about how the unemployment system in Ohio has failed to protect those out of work. She added that the pandemic exacerbated the unemployment system issues.
Laurie Glicker, Executive Vice President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3283 and Secretary for Council 171, and Legislative Steward for AFGE Local 3283 Dan Drost, detailed how their union is helping to protect its members during the pandemic. They explained how unions are working to ensure their members are safe and that businesses are following safety standards during the pandemic. They also spoke about relentless attacks on federal employees and their unions by President Trump.
AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about workers being punished by their employers for raising concern about work conditions for frontline workers.