YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Senator Sherrod Brown paid a visit to the Valley on Monday. Employees at Schwebel’s Bakery got to meet Brown and speak with him about the American Rescue Plan, which included pension recovery.

The senator said he was there to tour the facility and celebrate the pensions that the employees at Schwebel’s had earned. Their pensions were at risk back in 2018.

“You join a union, you pay dues. You negotiate union contracts, collective bargaining. You give up dollars at the bargaining table today in order to have health care and a pension,” Brown said.

Brown led efforts with the Butch Lewis Act. The act was included in the American Rescue Plan, which will restore more than 100,000 pensions for Ohioans, including for people right here in the Valley.

“Schwebel’s with this relationship with the union for generations now means that workers that put in 20 or 25 or 35 years can retire with dignity,” Brown said.

“Without your pension, you work for the rest of your life,” said John Howley, a baker and shop steward of BCTGM Local 19.

Howley said that with Brown’s efforts to get this pension plan secured for employees, he’ll be able to enjoy his future.

“It’s very good knowing that in the next, ya know, 15/20 years whenever you decide to retire, ya know, after you have that security blanket there, you can say, ‘Hey, ya know what? I’ve done enough. It’s time for my body to just relax a little bit and go and do what I gotta do,'” Howley said.

Like spending time with grandchildren, traveling and enjoying a work-free life.