Throughout the U.S., state governments with a Republican majority have worked to pass laws that many in the labor movement believe limits the ability to vote.
Communications Workers of America District 4 Administrative Director Frank Mathews explained what the federal government is doing to stop these restrictive laws. He also discussed Ohio-centric issues, such as a plant threatening to close production and a bill to keep call center jobs in the state.
Passing the For the People Act
Mathews said the best way to combat the restrictive state laws is to pass the For the People Act. Following the 2020 presidential election, Republican led states such as Florida and Georgia worked to pass legislation limiting ballot drop boxes, limit mail-in voting and more.
These laws will mostly affect people living in more populous areas, typically Democratic strongholds. The laws could force longer wait times and make it difficult for people living in metropolitan areas to vote.
Mathews said the For the People Act will make it harder for states to pass what he called voter suppression bills.
Saving manufacturing jobs in Ohio
General Electric has long threatened the closure of a lightbulb manufacturing facility in Bucyrus, Ohio. The factory is one of the major employers in the town and would be a devastating loss.
While Walmart still wanted to sell the lightbulbs, the retail giant refused to speak up for American workers and instead quietly outsourced the work to China. Mathews suggested legislation be passed to prevent outsourcing like this from happening.
Protecting call center jobs in Ohio
Mathews said corporations such as AT&T are continuing to outsource their call center jobs to countries who supply cheap labor. Despite being given a massive tax cut and promising to invest in American job creation, the company turned around and slashed American jobs.
Holding corporations will be important in the coming years, as companies continue to benefit from their massive tax cut. Mathews suggested finding ways to punish companies who go back on their promise to invest in American job creation.