Report: Workplace Freedom strategy ‘rally’ confirms GOP plans to push Right to Work agenda

Right to work proponents share talking points and tactics as opponents secretly listen in
(PR NewsChannel) / June 24, 2013 / COLUMBUS, Ohio  
Credit: Politico

Photo Courtesy: Politico

It was billed as a rally of sorts for right to work supporters to energize their agenda where they heard from members of the Mackinac Institute in Michigan who disclosed the path that led them to victory in that once heavy union state.

What they didn’t know is that among the crowd were members of an undisclosed Ohio union who attended to discover what their opponent is up to.

According to the union members, they called union members “free riders” and compared them to “oppressed immigrants who need to flee oppression.”

Attended by roughly 50 people, event organizers clearly expected a larger turnout as they delayed the start of the event in hopes people would stream in late. They had enough food to feed at least three times the number that showed up.

They encouraged supporters to call their state representatives and put them on notice: there would be consequences if they did not back right to work initiatives. Speakers talked about targeting lawmakers who did not do what they wished and those who did not would face a campaign to remove them from office, with the goal of getting someone elected who was sympathetic to their cause.

“Perhaps one of the most surprising developments from the rally was how far they feel their own Republican governor has fallen out of favor with right to work supporters,” says one of the union members who attended. “They claimed they had lost the support of Gov. Kasich entirely because the governor, they say, is asking donors to refrain from contributing to any right to work groups. They talked about doing what they could to make sure he loses re-election.”

Said the other union member:  “It’s shocking how far they’re willing to go to get this agenda passed. The fact that they’re willing to throw members of their own party under the bus for not cooperating should speak volumes to how dedicated they are to push this through.”

And it’s not just union members who walked away with those feelings.

“The entire tone of the meeting was one of fervent determination,” said one civic leader. “I was amazed at what they’re apparently willing to do to accomplish their agenda. I find it astonishing.”

Noting the similarities between Michigan and Ohio, the Mackinac Institute representatives explained the path Michiganders used to victory. They said they got legislation introduced by two freshman legislators. They said unions were caught off guard.

“This lack of foresight, followed by overestimation of their support is what the Mackinac members ultimately believe sealed the victory for them,” the union infiltrator reported.

“The most important thing to take from this newfound information is how dangerous ignorance and overconfidence can be,” said Pat Sink, IUOE Local 18’s business manager. “That alone is why we’ve fought to stay ahead of the curve from the beginning and why we’ll continue to push for support until we’ve shut the door on right to work supporters once and for all.”

Opponents of the Right to Work bills, sometimes called Workplace Freedom, have long believed that the initiative’s true purpose is to kill unions and worker protections, leading to a weaker middle class.

Organizers of the event also reported that they lack the number of signatures necessary to get the Right to Work legislation on the ballot, but the union members say it was unclear whether that information was accurate or simply a ploy to motivate the crowd to work hard to pass Right to Work in Ohio.

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SOURCE:  Friends of Ohio

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