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2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

Labor Union Launches New Website to Encourage Worker Safety

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Summit County Board of Elections
UAW official Wayne Blanchard discussed the many manufacturing plants in Ohio and Indiana which pivoted during the pandemic to make hand sanitizer and ventilators.

Ohio union leaders marked Labor Day today with a call for better conditions for workers and a new website to help them secure work safety, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.   

Wayne Blanchard, assistant UAW director for Ohio and Indiana, was among those participating in a virtual roundtable. He pointed out that many manufacturing plants in this region had made materials for healthcare workers and the public during the pandemic.

“We got Local 1588 in Delaware, Ohio – it’s a PPG facility. They started [making] hand sanitizer down there, because we had a shortage of hand sanitizer in the United States. Local 292 in Kokomo, Indiana, is a GM facility. They converted over in three weeks to build ventilators.”

Along with the virtual Labor Day event, the AFL-CIO unveiled a new website, titled “Am I Safe At Work?,” which details how workers can advocate for safer working conditions amid the pandemic.

Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro called on everyone to start with something simple: wearing a mask.

Labor Union Launches New Website to Encourage Worker Safety
DiMauro on wearing a mask

“It’s not about politics; it’s about honoring our neighbors. Especially those healthcare workers, and people that are now working at our schools as they’re starting to open, and people who are working in transportation and in our grocery stores and all across our economy. If we’re going to build the economy back better, we have to make sure that we get this virus under control.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated.