Made in Ohio

Senator Sherrod Brown celebrates GateKeeper, unions
Melissa Topey
Mar 27, 2013


Given the topsy-turvy economy in recent years, it’s perhaps fitting that U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown used Cedar Point’s newly constructed roller coaster as a backdrop to his visit here Tuesday.    

“I am so proud of how much behind us is made in Ohio,” Brown said, the blue tracks of GateKeeper looming large behind him.


Brown supports marriage equality but hasn't signed the petition to put the the question on Ohio's election ballot. Find out why. Get the Q&A with Sen. Brown in today's Register. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy a Register daily at a newsstand near you. 


While the manufacturing industry in the Midwest has long been on the ropes, there are still moments of frenzied comeback.    

This point wasn’t lost on Brown, who expressed his pride in the work being done by one of the largest employers in this area.

In the quiet winter months, when construction elsewhere came to a standstill, GateKeeper’s construction brought jobs to Ohio-based businesses, including A.A. Boos and Sons, in Oregon, whose workers poured the concrete foundation and footers for GateKeeper. 

The steel work was done by Clermont Steel Fabricators, of southern Ohio, while Bert R. Witte Inc., of Amherst, did the carpentry work. Fremont-based S.A. Comunale handled the ride’s brake system and other aspects, while Sandusky-based

Lews Construction installed the fencing around the ride and Firelands Electric assembled the electrical systems.

“In Ohio, we know how to make big things by unions,” Brown said. “This is good quality work.”

Mark MaGee, an employee of A.A. Boos and Sons, thanked Cedar Point and Brown for supporting the unions.

“And letting us be a part of this installation,” MaGee said.

Brown has been a steadfast supporter of unions, fighting against a growing national trend in which some legislators are trying to break unions. Organized labor increases the living wage for the middle class. 

But essential to the equation is businesses, like Cedar Point, contracting with local unions on projects, Brown said.

Another union member at Tuesday’s gathering was foreman Gerald Newsome, a 10-year employee of Firelands Electric, a company that has a long-standing relationship with Cedar Point, working on rides such as Maverick, maXair and SkyHawk. 

For the community to flourish, it’s important to keep the playing field level, Newsome said. 

“It means area people working,” he said. “Especially in this case at the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, for people who have families.”

GateKeeper’s 4,164-foot track is now complete. The record-breaking $30 million coaster is on schedule for the May 11 opening day of Cedar Point’s 144th season.


Brown supports marriage equality but hasn't signed the petition to put the the question on Ohio's election ballot. Find out why. Get the Q&A with Sen. Brown in today's Register. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy a Register daily at a newsstand near you.



When will Brown promote unionizing the workers at Cedar Point and create a living wage for these below poverty victims?


Yes, lets get admission prices up to $100


Organized labor increases the living wage for the middle class

How does this happen??????



Please explain a "living wage". This term is widely used. Is it based on education, work ethic or other factors.

Who makes this decision? The government or the individual business ?

The Bizness

Don't you think that if you work 40 hours a week, you shouldn't have to be on food stamps anymore?

So I think that minimum wage should be at a level that if you are making it, and working 40 hours a week you can afford not being on government assistance. Right now that is not really possible for some.


Biz is right. Most people feel they should at least be able to pay the bills after working 40 hours. CP pays a living wage unless you are a seasonal employee because the rules are different for seasonal employers.

Sprinkles: as a businessman I am sure you know what a living wage is. It's self explanatory isn't it?


Does a living wage mean you should be able to support children with it? Or just yourself? Its a legitimate question. And what should that wage be? Does it vary from region to region?

The Bizness

A living wage is dependent on if you have children or not. If you do not then obviously you don't have the same expenses. This is reflected in the poverty levels established by the government.


So you are saying that a company should pay different wages, depending on whether the worker has children?

The Bizness

No. I think if a person lives on their own and makes a minimum wage working 40 hours a week it should be enough.


So what is that number? Right now min wage working 40 hours a week is about $15,000 a year.

The Bizness

Well say you have to pay $400.00 a month in rent so that would mean you would have $10,200.00 to spend still. Then let's say you have a utility bill for gas, water, and electricity at around $100.00 a month, that would leave you with $9,000.00. Now let's say you spend $60.00 a week for food, that would leave you with $6,120.00. Now if you had a car and insurance that money would nearly be gone.

Remind you that has no "fun" money and spending only $60.00 a week on food, while eating healthy would be just about impossible. All of your food would be processed, high calorie, low nutrition, which is why poorer communities tend to have higher obesity. That money would not allow you to buy things in your community either.

I can see that you will say $6,000.00 is a lot of money but in reality who puts all their money to necessities? How would anyone expect to save up for their children? If you don't agree that $15,000.00 a year is not enough to live on I guess we just will agree to disagree.


Minimum wage is a starting wage. Its what my 17 year old earns. Its what I earned at age 17. And it was $3.35 then. I didn't have children until I was earning more.

The Bizness



Do you realize there are many in the United States military that qualify for FOOD STAMPS? Why are you not complaining about that? My husband worked for the State of Ohio as full-time security for a military base and we were only 50$ from getting free lunches for my children. There are MANY MANY MANY people who work 40 hours or MORE and qualify for food stamps. I wonder how or why the president and others say the economy is recovering. I sure don't see it anywhere around here.

The Bizness

It is recovery, just not equally for everyone. I can say this though, when I graduated in college in 2009 almost not of my friends and I could find jobs. Right now however, we all are employed.

AJ Oliver

Please join me in urging Sen. Brown to publicly commit in advance to filibuster any attempt to cut social security or medicare.


In America, regardless of education or vocational, an adult that works 40hours per week should be able to pay their own way /everyday cost of living & be able to have a savings account. Sadly that's not America any more.

Really are you ...

I do not understand why these multimillion dollar companies that employ people from the middle class can not afford to increase the hourly wages for the people who make their company what it is. If they already are a multimillion dollar company, how many more millions do they have to make before they are a multimillion dollar company?

Really are you ...

In all honesty, people on the floor should at least make 1 penny for every second they work. That covers the workers physical labor, saftey awareness, and attention to detail for producing a quality product. That comes out to $36. an hour, or $74,880. a year. Companies are taking their product to China or Mexico to pay slave wages. Goodness! WWJT? Wake up America.