State Reps. Jeff Crossman (D- Parma) and Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) today joined lawmakers and UAW workers at a Statehouse press conference to announce legislation to extend unemployment benefits and food assistance to union workers fighting for fair wages, better benefits and safer working conditions. The call comes amid a nationwide strike by UAW employees, who reached a tentative labor agreement Wed. on the 31st day of their strike with General Motors.
“While the news of a tentative deal between the UAW and GM is good news, it does not change the fact that there is a need for the legislation we are proposing today,” said Rep. Crossman. “Labor is strong and active in Ohio, and we need to keep it that way. Whether I’ve talked to workers in Parma, West Chester, or elsewhere, they have all said the same thing: ‘We are striking for everyone. We want the next generation to have the opportunities we’ve had.’ They love what they do, but they need our help.”
Rep. Crossman’s bill would extend unemployment benefits to striking workers who are working on reduced pay during the month-long strike, putting strains on the budgets of thousands of Ohio workers and their families. If passed, the bill would ensure UAW workers currently on strike with GM would be immediately eligible for benefits.
“Today, UAW members on the picket line are taking a huge risk to stand for what is right,” said Rep. Sobecki. “Earlier in the year, the nurses in Toledo stood on the streets to protect their patients. Tomorrow, it could be union members in your community fighting against injustice. That is why we all need to support the strike because, when union workers are strong, all workers are strong. When workers across our state are strong, Ohio’s economy is strong.”
Rep. Sobecki’s proposed resolution would call on the federal government to allow workers on strike and their families to apply for SNAP benefits.
Crossman and Sobecki’s call follows recent House Democratic efforts to push commonsense legislation to ensure the economic security and stability of working people and families, part of the caucus’s ongoing Ohio Promise campaign.
After introduction, the proposals will be referred to House committees, where they will be eligible for hearings.