Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on May 3rd, 2011 :: 0:41:10 to 0:49:40
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Lindsey Graham

0:41:01 to 0:41:11( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: us all with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the

Sherrod Brown

0:41:10 to 0:49:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown

0:41:12 to 0:41:34( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: senator's time has expired. the senator from ohio mr. brown: i rise and will be joined in a few moments by senator harkin, who is the chair of the health, education, labor, pension committee; senator murray, chair of the veterans' committee; and senator tpwhraoupl that you will, a new

Sherrod Brown

0:41:35 to 0:41:55( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: member -- and senator blumenthal, a new member of the senate. each of them, especially senator harkin, devoted their careers to worker rights, worker safety, decent benefits, pensions, creating -- in short, in creating a middle class.

Sherrod Brown

0:41:56 to 0:42:17( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: their efforts have been legion, all four of them -- all three of them in doing that. i rise today to commemorate workers memorial day. last thursday, april 28, our nation observed workers memorial day. we should pause for americans who have lost their jobs -- who lost their lives while on the job. i wear on my lapel a pin given

Sherrod Brown

0:42:18 to 0:42:39( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: to me at a workers memorial day rally in lorain, ohio, a city west of cleveland on lake erie, a steel town people like to call us. this lapel pin i wear is a depiction of a canary in a bird cage. the mine workers 100 years ago took a canary down in the mine.

Sherrod Brown

0:42:40 to 0:43:00( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: if the bird died due to toxic gas, the workers got out of the mine. he had to depend on himself. he had no union strong enough or a government which cared enough to protect him in those days. as we celebrate workers memorial day, we look back at the progress we made as a country. this year is the 100th anniversary of the triangle

Sherrod Brown

0:43:01 to 0:43:24( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: shirt ways factory fire in new york. that tragedy claimed the lives of 146 workers, 123 women, 23 men while they labored in sweatshop conditions in this textile plant in new york city. they were mostly young immigrants who came to this country in pursuit of a better life. instead they were killed because

Sherrod Brown

0:43:25 to 0:43:48( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: of the workplace in an incredibly unsafe conditions in that workplace. that tragedy marked a significant turning point in the struggle of advanced worker rights and safety in the country. the day after the fire, 15,000 shirt way workers walked off the job. a 52-hour week they were demanding. nearly 20 years later in 1930

Sherrod Brown

0:43:49 to 0:44:09( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: ohio experienced its deadliest mine explosion in our history in athens county. methane gases were ignited by a short circuit between a trolley wire and rail killing more than 80 men. in 1984 thousands of workers stood up to the electric auto light company in toledo, ohio, workers recognized they were underpaid and undervalued.

Sherrod Brown

0:44:10 to 0:44:30( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: they went on strike, clashed with members of the ohio national guard. the so-called battle of toledo resulted in two deaths and 200 injuries. the strike brought together union brothers and sisters across the city fighting for middle-class fights.

Sherrod Brown

0:44:31 to 0:44:52( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: similar fights generated a new momentum across our country. ultimately we know what happened. it's why we have a 40-hour workweek. it's why we have a minimum wage. it's why we have collective bargaining rights. congress passed the national labor relations act, the wagner act in 1935 which guaranteed workers the right to form a union and bargain collectively. the labor standards act passed in 1938.

Sherrod Brown

0:44:53 to 0:45:13( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: it established a minimum wage, guaranteed overtime pay for certain jobs, established record keeping standards, created child labor protections. we know in osha, signed by a republican president in those days, republicans worked with

Sherrod Brown

0:45:14 to 0:45:34( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: democrats to increase worker safety standards and actually to help workers join the middle class. the osha established 41 years ago, in that year in 197038 workers died on the job in this country every day. we have cut that worker death rate by two-thirds. not just because of osha, but certainly in large part because

Sherrod Brown

0:45:35 to 0:45:56( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: of osha. but the deaths in the workplace continue not with the frequency of 100 years ago or even 50 years ago prior to osha, but they do continue. last week a mine accident claimed the life of a man who was killed while working in a mine in eastern ohio in salem.

Sherrod Brown

0:45:57 to 0:46:18( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: this past year i received a letter from crystal of adams county who lost her husband terry in a construction accident. he was a father of five. he was killed due to a lack of safety lighting during his night-time shift. his widow said in her letter the circumstances of his death were completely preventible.

Sherrod Brown

0:46:19 to 0:46:40( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: there is no lighting where my husband lost his job. you never realize how important those things are until it happens to you. the case of garment workers it was fire safety. in the case of mine workers like jason it was the unsafe conditions too often found in mines. in the case of terry and other construction workers, it was basic safety lighting.

Sherrod Brown

0:46:41 to 0:47:03( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: we ask our workers to build our roads, to make our cars, to produce our energy to serve as the backbone of our nation's economic competitiveness. we should to more to protect them while they do so. mr. president -- madam president, last month i had a roundtable meeting with a group of -- of workers in columbus,

Sherrod Brown

0:47:04 to 0:47:26( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: the state house square in episcopal churchill right off the square. we were talking about workers right. i had a police officer, a firefighter, nurse, these were public employees, but they have rights as we're seeing all too often in this body an assault on

Sherrod Brown

0:47:27 to 0:47:48( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: union rights and an assault on nonunion workers right far too many times. we must stop these blatant efforts to strip teachers, sanitation workers and firefighters the right to collectively bargain. it's been a right in this country for 75 years since the wagner act in the 1938 labor act. it's been a right for workers

Sherrod Brown

0:47:49 to 0:48:09( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: that has created a middle class, that has brought up living standards not just for living workers who do organize and bargain collectively, but it has brought up the living standards for white collar workers an blue collar workers, for management and labor throughout this society it has created a much more prosperous society.

Sherrod Brown

0:48:10 to 0:48:31( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: "the new york times" had an article written last week by someone who said when we fail at war in a battle, we don't turn around and blame the soldiers. we give the soldiers better equipment to do their jobs. so why when -- when our public education system sometimes fails, it's not what we want it

Sherrod Brown

0:48:32 to 0:48:52( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: to, why do we blame the teachers? why don't we instead give the teachers a better ability to do their jobs? better tools to do their jobs? why don't we do the same with firefighters, police officers and others instead of blaming these workers and public employees. in my state the governor signed legislation just a month or so

Sherrod Brown

0:48:53 to 0:49:14( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: ago that stripped these public workers of collective bargaining rights. and i think in this society with this kind of pressure on -- on the middle class the last thing we should do is strip anybody of their rights that enable them to make a decent living to put food on their table to have a decent pension, a decent health care

Sherrod Brown

0:49:15 to 0:49:38( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: especially in their retirement. madam president, it makes no sense to me as we honor workers and workers memorial day that was last -- that was commemorated last week that we would ever move in the wrong direction when it comes to workers' rights, when it comes to -- to building a prosperous middle class. madam president, i -- i yield

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