#EssentialOH Campaign Coming to Your Town Soon
Dayton skyline

Dayton - As part of a new national campaign to deliver better treatment and pay to all “essential workers,” the Dayton City Commission unanimously passed a resolution supporting an Essential Workers Bill of Rights on October 12. Essential Worker resolutions have passed in Lakewood and Toledo, and are under consideration in Fremont. Other cities across Ohio are starting the resolution process.

Mayor Nan Whaley said: “Of course Dayton is going to stand up for our essential community members: our government workers, health care workers, farm and factory workers, drug and grocery store workers, and others in the care, service, transportation, cleaning, and food industries. They can’t ‘work from home,’ they are needed in their workplaces to keep our society running. They have our backs, and we have to have theirs too.”

In its resolution, the city of Dayton commits to advocating for state and federal legislation that includes 1) health, safety, and whistleblower protections; 2) “truly universal” paid medical and family leave; 3) an end to shoddy practices to deny labor protections to workers; 4) healthcare security; 5) affordable child care; and 6) real accountability for companies who break labor laws. Read the complete text here:

Kathleen Kersh, an Attorney at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) in Dayton said: “We applaud the Dayton City Commission for recognizing and understanding the need to protect essential workers, by taking this step to pass the Essential Workers Bill of Rights in Dayton. Other communities across the state need to follow their lead.”

Added Deb Kline, Executive Director of Cleveland Jobs With Justice: “#EssentialOH is part of a broader national push to ensure that workers who have always been essential, but are now being recognized as such, have the rights they are owed, and are treated with respect, both during the pandemic and beyond. It’s a robust set of commitments to workers, and it’s the only right thing to do.”

Mónica Ramírez, Founder & President of Justice for Migrant Women, explained: “The Essential Workers Bill of Rights and the Essential Ohio campaign is a commitment to honor those we have lost to COVID-19 and to fight for the working people who truly are essential to our communities. Workers in the food supply chain, medical, and care-giving sectors, as well those who serve other vital functions that keep our nation in operation are often paid poorly and forced to work in grueling and even dangerous conditions. They have always put their health and safety on the line to care for us. The least we can do is ensure that their rights and contributions are cared for, too.” Ramírez is leading the Essential Ohio branch of the national campaign.

#EssentialOH is powered by ABLE, Justice for Migrant Women, the Ohio Immigrant Alliance, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, La Conexión, Policy Matters, and others. The national campaign is anchored by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Jobs with Justice, Justice for Migrant Women, United for Respect, Bargaining  for the Common Good, and other organizations.

Follow us on Twitter @EssentialOH