Sherrod Brown: Hard work should pay off


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This Labor Day let’s remember it was the labor movement that built our strong middle class, and its workers continue to be the backbone of our economy.

While our workers support our economy, we are not doing enough to support them. Too often workers have no paid sick leave, no paid family leave, and no overtime pay.

Generations ago, workers risked their lives to form unions. They took to the picket line, demanding safe working conditions and fair pay. Today we honor the labor movement’s legacy by continuing that fight. Earlier this year, I flew to Columbus with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to announce new overtime rules that will mean more money in the pockets of 134,000 Ohio workers, who will now be eligible to earn overtime pay. These aren’t workers looking for a handout – they’re just looking to be paid what they’re worth.

When workers put in the hours, they should see that reflected in their paychecks. When workers dedicate themselves to the job, they should be able to support their families, and put away a little for retirement. Hard work should pay off – it’s that simple.

As Ohioans spend this weekend at family cookouts and enjoy the last fleeting moments at the pool, take the time to remember why we celebrate. Take the time to remember the workers who have come before us, fighting battles to create the largest middle class and the greatest economy the world has ever seen. And if you are putting in long hours to support your family – perhaps even on Labor Day itself – then this day is for you. I wish all Ohioans a happy Labor Day.

— U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

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