Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ohio AFL-CIO Calls on Business to Pay Fair Share to Repair Ohio Unemployment Compensation System


Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

For the past decade, Ohio Republicans have yet to fix Ohio's broken unemployment system. Last week, Governor Mike DeWine has called on the legislature to tackle the issue, but rather than adjust the corporate taxable wage base to be in alignment with the national average (which is lower than any of Ohio’s neighboring states), the business lobby is calling on Republican legislators to limit eligibility and cut needed benefits to workers.

In an interview with WCBE’s Andy Chow, Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga (USW) said, “When you look at how front-line workers have put their health on the line to get us through this pandemic, I think we’re going to see an opportunity where the employers will understand that they need to step up and just do the average with what the rest of the country is doing to help move the system into a solvency place.”

In the interview, the business community believes workers should take a decrease in benefits. Burga disagrees, saying Ohio has a long history of extending a helping hand to workers laid off through no fault of their own, and this gives our state a competitive workforce advantage.