Tim Burga, President of the Ohio AFL-CIO spoke with America’s Work Force on May 5 to review testimony that he gave to the Ohio House Task Force detailing what needs to be done to protect workers.
Burga applauded Governor Mike DeWine for quickly responding to the threat of COVID-19 and implementing the stay-at-home order. He said that implementing the order saved the lives of workers and patrons. Now people are wondering if businesses are being allowed to reopen too quickly. Burga said that the economy will not be the same once it reopens and that we will have to work to restore it. He then discussed industrial manufacturing policies and America’s dependency on other countries for our industrial economics. Burga said that the United States outsourcing and offshoring has caused shortages of personal protective equipment and ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sharon Johnson, writer for the Progressive spoke about her article “Hell No, You Can’t Go.” Her article addresses how non-compete clauses chain low wage workers to their current employers. She said that non-compete clauses have been used for scientists, senior managers, engineers and other high ranking positions, but are now being used by employers on low wage employees to keep them from working for a competitor. Johnson described how non-compete clauses hurt employees, but one of the key ways that it impacts them is that it takes away their ability to bargain for better wages, conditions and benefits among other things. This led her into the topics of workplace mobility act and antitrust laws. Lastly, she praised healthcare workers in New York City who have been working diligently through the pandemic. You can find Johnson’s article here.
AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about the Vice President of Amazon resigning after finding out about Amazon firing employees who were staging protests and fighting for better conditions while working during the pandemic.