We Have the Power to Shape Our Future
By Kevin Garvey
This Labor Day, the value of unions and their ability to make life better in our communities is
becoming more apparent.
This year, UFCW Local 75 has organized Ohioans who work in grocery stores and food
processing facilities. Among many other things, the hard-working women and men who have
joined our union realize that union workers earn over an average of $200 more per week than
their nonunion counterparts. They know that union workers are more likely to have jobs that
provide affordable health insurance, paid vacation, holidays and sick leave, fair scheduling,
workplace safety and health protections, protections against automation and other benefits. They
are also keenly aware that too many of their family members, friends and neighbors are still
struggling in low-paying jobs with little to no benefits that make it impossible to climb the
For too long, our economic system has been rigged to benefit the wealthy few at the expense of
the rest of us. Here in Ohio, Representatives John Becker and Craig Reidel, with backing from
corporations, have proposed to change our state’s constitution to include so-called “Right to
Work” language. So-called “Right to Work”, also known as “Work for Less”, undermines the
ability of working people to improve their workplaces and hold irresponsible employers
accountable. These laws lead to reduced wages and make it easier for companies in our state to
offer fewer sustainable jobs. Simply put, Work for Less laws help corporate profits and hurt
wages for hard-working people.
Fortunately, by banding together and voting, we can stop bad laws like Work for Less and start
passing legislation that will improve our lives.
This is an important election year, and any lawmakers that think Ohio’s workers are going to
stand idly by and be denied access to a better life should look to Missouri, where voters recently
rejected a Work for Less law by a wide margin. Like our brothers and sisters in Missouri, we can
and must reject the broken status quo by spreading the word that our ability to create a better
future depends on us standing up together to ask for it.
Whether it’s in the voting booth or at the workplace, it’s time for everyday people across Ohio to
realize that we have the power to shape our future. Victories for hard-working families, like we
saw in Missouri, can be won here in the Buckeye State, too. This Labor Day, let’s all realize the
value we bring to our workplaces and stand together to create the better life we all deserve.
Kevin Garvey is the President of UFCW Local 75 representing members throughout Ohio,
Kentucky, and Indiana.