This Labor Day, there are a record low number of Ohioans in the labor force—fewer than there have been since October 1978. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports just 59 percent of Americans 16 and over have declared that they are part of the labor force; in Ohio, that figure is just under 63 percent, a 34-year low. That’s not the only thing that has the progressives at Policy Matters Ohio worried. Amy Hanauer says the group’s annual Labor Day report also shows the state lost more than 2.3 percent of its jobs since 2005, while the country added 3.8 percent in that same period.

United Farm Workers Week, 40 Years Later

May 2, 2014
César Chávez
Cornelius M. Keyes / National Archives

In the summer of 1973, César Chávez came to Dayton from the strike lines in Coachella, California to talk about the plight of farm workers. There was a week of activities and WYSO News was right in the middle of it.  Rediscovered Radio’s Jocelyn Robinson takes a look at the struggles facing the migrant worker community, then and now.

When United Farm Workers union organizer César Chávez spoke at the University of Dayton over forty years ago, the hardships he described sounded real, but seemed far away.

Workers march to deliver "strike papers" to Walmart officials. Nov 2013
Jerry Kenney / WYSO

Workers at a Walmart store in Dayton staged a one-day strike Monday to protest what they say are violations of their rights. Some employees of the company are accusing the retail giant of retaliating against them for speaking out about wages and hours.

Labor groups and city and state legislators joined Walmart employees in a crowd of about 70 outside the York Commons Shopping Center in Dayton. 

Scott Stringer has been a Walmart employee for five years.

Union members at Cooper Tire in northwest Ohio have agreed on a five-year contract with the company that ends
a three-month lockout.

Multiple media outlets report that workers approved the contract last night by a vote of 627 to 321.

More than 1,000 workers at the plant in Findlay were locked out in November. They had rejected an earlier contract offer, saying they were upset over proposed pay cuts and increased health care costs.


Union members at Cooper Tire in northwest Ohio are set to vote Monday on a tentative five-year agreement with the company that could end a months-long lockout.

More than 1,000 workers at the plant in Findlay were locked out in November. They had rejected an earlier contract offer, saying they were upset over proposed pay cuts and increased health care costs.

Multiple media outlets have reported that newer hires would be compensated differently than veteran workers under the proposed agreement.


AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A nationwide shortage of truck drivers has specialty schools in Ohio working to help trucking companies fill that need with newly-trained drivers.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports trucking organizations' estimates on the need for drivers over the next couple of years range from 100,000 to 500,000. Industry officials say the aging of the current driver population and increased trucking regulations are among the reasons for the tight market.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - It appears Ohio won't get $176 million in federal stimulus money to expand its unemployment benefits.

The federal government set aside $7 billion to give to states that expanded those benefits, and the deadline is Monday. Ohio's General Assembly would have to pass a law to make those changes, but no voting session was scheduled Monday.

A spokesman for Republican Gov. John Kasich says it's unwise to make changes that will cost the state in the long run in exchange for one-time money from the federal government.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Hundreds of home-weatherization jobs are expected to be lost in Ohio as federal stimulus money runs out for programs that help low-income and elderly Ohioans with home-energy improvements.

The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies in Columbus told the state this week that agencies providing services for the Home Weatherization Assistance Program expect to lay off about 700 employees in the next six months.

In the week's PoliticsOhio, Emily McCord speaks with Bill Coehn with the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau. Cohen breaks down the result of several of this week's Quinnipeac polls. It includes how Kasich's approval rate is sinking, mixed news on President Obama in the state, and how Ohioans feel about the new health care law. Also, Cohen reports on the national implications on collective bargaining. Ohio voters will decide its fate in November.