Senator Sherrod Brown used his time at Tuesday’s CARES hearing to push Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the issue of low wages for food, health care and guardians who were deemed “essential” During the coronavirus pandemic.
“An employee of an Ohio grocery store told me recently,” I don’t feel safe at work and they don’t pay me much. I don’t feel essential, I feel exhaustible, “said Brown, a leading member of the Senate. said in his opening speech.
The Ohio Democrat also asked Mnuchin if he thought the workers’ wages were fair.
“The workers who made our country work during this public health emergency – the workers we call essential workers – are often the lowest paid. They put their lives on the line to run our country, they are always worried about paying do you think that is fair? Asked Brown.
The Secretary of the Treasury did not respond directly despite Brown’s pressure on the matter. The legislator then repeated his question, adding: “They do the laundry, they are caretakers, they prepare our food”.
“I just want to thank all of our workers,” started Mnuchin, before Brown cut him off.
“Thanking is great,” said Brown. ” Is it right? “
“I don’t know which specific workers you’re talking about,” said Mnuchin.
“One of the best things people can do is support the pandemic pay for these workers,” said Brown. He then criticized the White House’s efforts to reopen the economy, saying that people would die if they were forced to return to work without protection.
“How many workers should give their lives to increase our GDP by half a percent? The president says, “Reopen the slaughterhouses,” but says nothing about slowing the chain, nothing about protective gear, “said Brown.
“No worker should give his or her life to do so, senator, and I think your qualification is unfair,” said Mnuchin, adding that “we do not intend to send someone back to work without protection.”