Fight for a Fair Economy Ohio Thu, 01 May 2014 13:51:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rob Portman: Votes Against Working Americans – AGAIN! Thu, 01 May 2014 13:51:49 +0000 RTW-Portman

The economy is not working for everyone.  While the top 1% has seen their earnings go up 177% since 1980, minimum wage workers are actually getting paid 16% less than they were in 1980.  That’s just not right.  But instead of raising the minimum wage and giving Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead, Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Senate Republicans have shown once again that they’re against the 99%.

Republicans: Party of the 1%

  • 41 Republican Senators are voting against the 99%.
    • Once again, the Republican Senators followed the orders of the Koch brothers to vote against a minimum wage increase and keep our economy working for only the wealthiest.
  • Earnings for the top 1% have gone up 177% since 1980.  Meanwhile, minimum wage workers are actually making 16% less, but Republican Senators are still refusing to give them a raise.
  • The 41 Republican Senators have an average net worth of $6.26 million, but they wouldn’t give hardworking Americans a $4,000 raise.
  • Since 1980, the current Senate Republicans have voted 312 times against raising the minimum wage.

Millions of Americans Would Benefit From Increasing the Minimum Wage

The 41 Republican Senators prevented:

Raising the Minimum Wage Receives Popular Support

  • In polls, nearly three-quarters of Americans support a minimum wage increase to $10.10. Pew Research found that 73 percent of Americans back a minimum wage increase.
  • Nearly 60% of small business owners recognize that raising the minimum wage would benefit businesses and support raising it.  In fact, 82% of those surveyed don’t pay any of their workers the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Senator Portman voted against giving a pay raise to hardworking Americans.

  • Senator Portman voted against raising the minimum wage, even though minimum wage workers now make 16% less than in 1980.
  • Senator Portman has a net worth of $13.9, but refuses to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.
  • Senator Portman stopped 1,147,000 people in Ohio from receiving a pay raise.
  • Senator Portman is siding with corporations paying low-wages.  The National Restaurant Association and its top corporate members have led the fight for decades to stop minimum wage increases and keep federal tipped wages low. Since 2008, Senator Portman has taken $63,000 in contributions from the NRA and its biggest members.
  • Senator Portman is protecting low-wage employers that taxpayers are subsidizing.  Millions of workers earning the minimum wage make so little that they qualify for food stamps (SNAP benefits).  Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would have taken between 97,169 and 115,869 people in Ohio off food stamps.
  • Senator Portman is turning his back on children in his state. There are 523,000 children in Ohio with at least one parent whose income would go up by raising the minimum wage to $10.10.
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End Gender Discrimination in Pay Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:06:14 +0000


Women working full time, year round earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. And it’s even less for women of color. Over the course of a 35 year career, a woman with a college degree will make an average of $1.2 million less than a man with the same level of education. If women earned equal pay for equal work, our economy could grow, boosting GDP by 2.9 percent or $450 billion.

Too many of us are working harder than ever just to keep up. But one of the most effective ways to help families get ahead, weather the ups and downs of the economy, and set our kids up for success is to make sure women earn equal pay for equal work.

We’ve all got a stake in ending gender discrimination in pay. Women make up about half of our workforce. When women make less than men that hurts their families. They’ve got less to get by on. It hurts businesses because their customers have less to spend. We do better when everybody has a fair shot, when our economy works for all of us.

Today, more women are their family’s main breadwinner than ever before. But on average, women are still earning just 77 cents on every dollar that a man does. And it’s still wrong. This isn’t 1958, it’s 2014.

Our economy hasn’t caught up to that reality yet. Outdated workplace policies are holding women and their families back. That has to change—because it holds all of us back. It begins with a simple principle—women should earn equal pay for equal work.

THINK ABOUT IT: You’re teaching your daughter that she can make her dreams come true with hard work—yet women still earn less than men in almost every job. Gender discrimination in pay still remains, even though it’s illegal. Give all children a fair shot. Let’s hold employers accountable and make it harder to discriminate against women. 

Women are the sole or equal breadwinners in the great majority of families, yet women working at all income levels tend to be paid less. It should not be more difficult for women and their families to get ahead. Everyone who works hard should get a fair shot to succeed and provide for their families. It’s illegal to pay women less, but gender discrimination in pay exists. It’s time to make equal pay for equal work a reality.

Here are a couple of examples of stories folks have shared with us:

“Sarah spent 8 years working at a restaurant. She started at the bottom and worked her way up to shift supervisor. When the restaurant expanded, the owner brought in a second supervisor —a man with half of Sarah’s experience, but he was paid more.” 

“Laura had an identical degree as her husband, and landed the exact same job, with the same company, as her husband. What wasn’t identical? Their pay. Even though she actually had more experience in the field, her husband was offered 13 percent more.” 

There are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs, but too many families are barely getting by. Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged. It’s time for policies that help families get ahead and to build an economy that works for all of us.

Raising the minimum wage and ending discrimination in pay bring us closer to giving all families the fair shot they need at success. 

When we do not get involved, we send a message that we are happy with things as they are and do not want them to change. We need to send a message that we need equal pay for equal work and other policies to help families get ahead.

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The “Give America a Raise” Bus Tour Comes to Ohio Thu, 27 Mar 2014 14:05:33 +0000
America may be a divided on many things, but the one thing most everyone agrees on is the need to raise the minimum wage. In an effort to rally everyday Americans in support of this effort,  community members, activists, politicians and progressive organizations joined the Americans United for Change sponsored Raise the Wage Bus Tour today.

The tour’s first stop was in Cleveland, where low-wage worker Tracy Watkins, along with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Ftizgerald and United States Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez spoke on the need to improve the lives of working people.

In her speech, Tracy urged members of her community and Congress to raise the wage for working people.

“If you would put yourselves in our shoes, you would vote for $10.10 an hour. We are barely making it without it,” she said.

The tour continued to Columbus, where a crowd of over 50 people gathered to support the cause. Joining the next leg of the tour were Columbus City Councilwoman Michelle Mills, State Representative Mike Foley, State Representative and Candidate for Ohio Treasurer Connie Pillich and champion for working people across Ohio, United States Senator Sherrod Brown.

A bill before Congress calls for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from the current $7.25.

State Reps. Mike Foley, D-Cleveland, and Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown, introduced House Bill 502, which calls for the minimum wage to increase to $10.10 per hour from the current rate of $7.95 per hour. Workers who earn tips to supplement their income would see their wages rise from $3.98 to $5.05 per hour under the proposal.

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The REAL State of the State Tue, 11 Feb 2014 23:34:35 +0000

Monday, February 24, 2014
Corner of E. Union Street and Weymouth Road, Medina, Ohio

Governor Kasich is giving his annual State of the State address and we want to show him the REAL State of OUR State.

Kasich’s so-called “Ohio Miracle” is turning into an “Ohio Nightmare” for many working families in the state.

That’s why workers, faith leaders and REAL Ohioans are gathering in protest of Governor Kasich’s State of the State. Join us, make your voice heard and let’s show Governor Kasich the REAL State of the State!

facebook_rsvpOr Online:


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Stand With Low Wage Workers In Ohio Tue, 03 Dec 2013 15:14:18 +0000 Tweets about "#FastFoodStrikes" ]]> It’s on – this Thursday, fast food workers are going on strike across the country. And it’s going to be bigger than ever before, with community members joining us at protests and rallies in hundreds of cities across the country!

We have three rallies planned here in Ohio, you can join us in Cincinnati, Cleveland or Columbus. Together, we’ll send the fast food giants a loud and clear message.


December 5th

(and nearby restaurants)

5330 Ridge Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45213


December 5th

(and nearby restaurants)

5616 Memphis Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44144


December 5th

(and nearby restaurants)

3554 S. High St.
Columbus, OH 43207


The outpouring of support we’ve seen so far has been amazing, but we’re only getting started.  If you can’t make it to a rally on Thursday, you can still say you’re with us.  Tell the fast food chains it’s time to pay $15 an hour and spread the word after you have.

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It’s time to #RaiseTheWage for Workers! Tue, 19 Nov 2013 19:01:21 +0000 raiseMinimumWagePresident Obama has showed vision and leadership by calling for a raise in the federal minimum wage as one way to “build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class.” At the federal level, Senator Harkin and Congressman Miller have introduced bills that would raise the federal minimum wage for the first time since 2009. Legislative and ballot initiative campaigns at the state and local level have made great progress and scored key victories. Below are key messages about the movement to end poverty wages for workers:

  • We have lots of catching up to do.  The federal minimum wage has fallen far behind the pace of inflation. In fact, workers making minimum wage today make less than they did in 1968 when adjusted for inflation. If adjusted to inflation, the federal minimum wage should actually be $10.55. Meanwhile, worker productivity has doubled during this time but they have yet to share in the benefits of their labor.
  • The current federal minimum wage can’t support families. The federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, amounts to only $15,080 a year. That is $7,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of four. People who work for a living should be able to support their families and live off their wages.
  • Low-wage jobs are costing taxpayers money. Since wages in the fast food industry are so low, 52 percent of front line fast food workers depend on public assistance to pay for basic needs like food, rent and healthcare. As a result, the low wages paid by fast-food companies cost Americans nearly $7 billion annually.
  • Workers get $7.25. Executives get 725 percent. CEO pay has risen 725 percent over the last 30 years and 80 percent of all real income growth has gone to the richest 1 percent of Americans. It’s time that workers got a raise.
  • States are leading the way to raise the wage. New Jersey became the fourth state to raise its minimum wage this year, following New York, Connecticut and California, which approved a minimum wage increase to $10 per hour. Effective January 1, 2014, New York and New Jersey will join 19 other states and the District of Columbia in raising their minimum wage above the federal level of $7.25 per hour. Legislative campaigns to raise the wage are underway in Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota and Hawaii.
  • Passing minimum wage bills in Congress would be an important crucial step toward raising wages for all Americans who work 40 hours a week and are still struggling to get by. Nobody with a full-time job should be forced to live in poverty.
  • Americans overwhelmingly support an increase in the minimum wage. Nearly three-quarters – 73 percent – support increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. A 56 percent majority believe that increasing the minimum wage would help the economy.
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Rally for Worker Rights and Good jobs Fri, 11 Oct 2013 19:54:29 +0000 Negotiations for good jobs in Columbus broke down last week when ABM refused to guarantee full-time hours for janitors. ABM’s decision signals a change in direction for the national, multi-million dollar company from employing a majority full-time to a majority part-time janitorial workforce.

Stand with us and Columbus janitors on Tuesday, October 15 at 4:00 p.m. at 21 E State in Columbus for a rally in support of full-time jobs for our community.

These workers are making an average of $18,000 a year can’t afford to lose hours or critical family benefits like health care. But they757c03f98530f1259b_k6m6b3nt2 can’t win this fight alone.

ABM profited $134 million off its janitorial work last year. Now ABM wants to increase its profits on the backs of the workers who make their business possible. At the same time, ABM has been retaliating against janitors who are standing up for good, full-time jobs in the workplace—violating Federal law in the process.

We cannot expect a bright future when we are shortchanging our city’s working families just to pad the pockets of bad acting, profitable corporations like ABM.

I hope you will join us on Tuesday, October 15 at 4:00 p.m. at 21 E State in Columbus. We will stand up together for good, full-time jobs that lift working families out of poverty.

Click HERE today and join the cause!

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#RaiseTheWage | Cleveland Rally for Better Wages Wed, 24 Jul 2013 20:02:37 +0000 Cleveland, OH – Nearly 100 activists and concerned community members rallied at Walmart on Wednesday to urge employers and elected leaders to raise the minimum wage.

As part of a nation-wide event, Fight for a Fair Economy Ohio (a project of SEIU District 1199) was joined by Policy Matters Ohio, SEIU Local 1, Ward 5 Councilman Matt Zone and a large coalition of other like-minded organizations urged companies like Walmart to lift their employees out of poverty by increasing wages.  The event coincided with a major economic policy address given my by President Obama who laid out a bold framework for how to grow our economy and address the critical economic issue of our time – income inequality.

At a time when basic necessities, like putting food on the table, paying a rent or mortgage and making sure there’s gas in the tank of your car become more difficult to maintain, workers across Ohio and the nation are looking to their employers and elected officials for a solution. The last increase to the minimum wage, at $7.25 per hour, occurred 4 years ago. Currently, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) is making its way through Congress and would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015, in three steps of 95 cents each, index raises to inflation and raise minimum wages for tipped workers.

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Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 Mon, 22 Jul 2013 14:20:12 +0000 More than four years after the official end of the Great Recession, pay for America’s workers remains stagnant while the cost of living continues to rise. Low-wage occupations have dominated job growth in the post-recession recovery, accelerating a decades-long shift in the U.S. economy toward lower-paying jobs. At the same time, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which translates to just $15,080 per year for a full-time worker, remains decades out of date, and the federal minimum wage for tipped workers – $2.13 per hour – has not increased in over twenty years.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 will help restore much of the lost value of the federal minimum wage, providing America’s lowest-paid workers with an urgently needed raise while boosting the consumer spending that fuels our economy.

See below for key background and analysis of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, in addition to the following resources:

Background and Key Elements

Following President Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage in his 2013 State of the Union address, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Representative George Miller (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Workforce Committee, have introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. It would:

  • Raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015, in three steps of 95 cents each.
  • Adjust the minimum wage to keep pace with the rising cost of living starting in 2016 – a key policy reform known as “indexing,” which ten states are already using to prevent the minimum wage from falling in value each year.
  • Raise the minimum wage for tipped workers - which has been frozen at a meager $2.13 per hour for more than twenty years – to 70% of the full minimum wage.

Restoring a Strong Minimum Wage for America’s Workers

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would help restore the minimum wage to its historic level, making up for decades of erosion.The federal minimum wage has lost more than 30% of its value and would be more than $10.59 per hour today if it had kept pace with the cost of living over the past forty years.

Helping 30 Million Americans Make Ends Meet

  • More than 30 million workers would receive a raise from the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013.
  • 88% are adults over the age of twenty, 56% are womennearly half are workers of color, and over 43% have some college education.
  • More than 17 million children have a parent who would get a raise under the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013.
  • The average affected worker brought home approximately 49% of her household’s income in 2011.
  • 71% of tipped workers getting raises would be women – a key step for women’s pay equity.

Higher Wages to Power Economic Recovery and Growth

  • Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity but remains tepid because consumers just don’t have the money to spend.  Wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of national income since 1966, while corporate profits are now the largest share of national income since 1950.
  • Raising the minimum wage boosts consumer demand, as low-income workers spend their higher wages at local businesses.
  • The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would generate more than $32 billion in new economic activity, translating to 140,000 new full-time jobs as higher sales lead businesses to hire more employees, according to estimates by the Economic Policy Institute.
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Rally for Better Wages Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:58:48 +0000 WalMart_Protest

Rally for Better Wages

Wednesday, July 24th


10000 Brookpark Road
Cleveland, OH 44130

Why are we protesting in front of Wal-Mart?

  • Wal-Mart is making big profits but paying poverty wages.
  • Low wages hurt working families in our community who struggle to make ends meet and hurt our local economy.
  • It’s time for Wal-Mart and other low-wage employers to raise wages right now to lift families out of poverty and lift up our economy.
  • We also need our elected officials to take action to raise the minimum wage by supporting The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would:
    • Raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by 2015, in three steps of 95 cents each.
    • Adjust the minimum wage each year to keep pace with the rising cost of living starting in 2016 – a key policy reform known as “indexing,” which ten states are already using to prevent the minimum wage from falling in value each year.
    • Raise the minimum wage for tipped workers – which has been frozen at a meager $2.13 per hour for more than twenty years – to 70% of the minimum wage.
  • July 24th marks four years since the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25, which is only $15,000 a year—less than the poverty level for a family of four.
  • We need both elected officials and the big low-wage employers to take action now and give working families a raise.

For more information, contact:

Pam Rosado, Event Organizer
Fight for a Fair Economy Ohio
Phone: 216-361-9801

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