"I work 40 hours per week or more, and I know I need to work, but it is not enough to support my family and survive," says Columbus area janitor Sherri Copper. Ohio's minimum wage is currently $7.95 an hour.
Thursday, May 1 is International Workers' Day, also known as May Day. The community coalition Central Ohio Workers will gather in downtown Columbus to celebrate the collective strength of Ohio workers and say with a united voice: "Ohio Needs A Raise!"
The rally and march will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of State and High Streets, the southwest corner of the Ohio Statehouse. Workers will speak about their struggle to support themselves and their families on poverty wages.
Central Ohio Workers will also announce the formation of the Central Ohio Worker Center (Centro de Trabajadores de Central Ohio) in Columbus. Planning for the formation of a community-based worker center in Columbus is under way to support, advocate, and empower workers in Central Ohio.
Worker centers are nonprofit organizations that organize and provide support to communities of low-wage workers who are not already members of a union or have been excluded from unionizing by U.S. labor laws.
"The need for empowerment of workers could never be greater and the Central Ohio Worker Center will be a vehicle for workers to learn their rights, address workplace injustices, and advocate for a better quality of life," said organizer Rubén Castilla Herrera.
Central Ohio Workers is a coalition of community organizations, labor unions, people of faith, people of color, students, LGBTQ community, food and transportation justice advocates, and educators:
- Central Ohio Immigrant Justice
- Ohio Interfaith Immigration Coalition
- Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio
- Ohio Peace Network
- Ohio Fair Food
- Equality Ohio
- SEIU Local 1
- Ohio Education Association
- Ohio AFL-CIO
- Ohio Student Association
- CWA Local 4501
- Jobs With Justice
- International Socialist Organization – Columbus
- Fight for $15 – Columbus
- Move to Amend – Central Ohio
- People's Department of Transportation