Ohio union eyes Wisconsin as ‘Badger State’ enters Right to Work fight

Right to Work opponents in Ohio monitor developments, express concern over developments in neighboring Wisconsin
(PR NewsChannel) / December 9, 2014 / COLUMBUS, Ohio 

Local 18 logoAs the Right to Work battle simmers in Ohio, it’s become a front burner issue in neighboring Wisconsin with an announcement that a new Right to Work advocacy group has formed to challenge local unions and workers.

The group, Wisconsin Right to Work, is attempting to make changes to state laws that will ban businesses and unions from making workers pay union dues.

“Wisconsin’s public employees have already demonstrated their strong desire for their right to choose as evidenced by the sharp decline in enrollment in the teacher’s unions since the passage of Gov. Walker’s budget repair bill,” said Lorri Pickens, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Work, in a statement.

Pickens was also the former director of state operations for the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.

In nearby Ohio, where the Right to Work fight has been waging for years, union supporters worry that some may actually believe that this group has employees’ best interests in mind.

“Time and time again we’ve witnessed big business pushing this type of Right to Work legislation, “ said Pat Sink, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18’s business manager. “It’s a thinly veiled attempt to weaken unions so businesses can have the upper hand when it comes to their employees.”

Following Wisconsin Right to Work’s announcement on Monday, State Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) promised to introduce a new Right to Work bill.

“It’s the right direction to go,” said Kapenga in an interview with twincities.com. “I’m convinced this is a very important piece of continuing growth in the state.”

As Right to Work continues to make its way back into the national conversation, Ohio labor groups are doing their part to combat the divisive agenda.

“We continue to see Right to Work become a focal point around the nation,” said Sink. “That’s why it’s so important to remain vigilant in defending the middle class and uncovering the misconceptions behind this legislation.”

Opponents of the recent Ohio Right to Work effort, including the “Workplace Freedom” bills, contend that the initiative’s true purpose is to kill unions and worker protections, ultimately leading to a weaker middle class.

By stripping workers of their rights and freedoms, business owners would be free to lower worker pay, reduce worker benefits and ignore worker rights.

Whether Republicans utilize “Paycheck Protection,” “Workplace Freedom,” or other Right to Work tactics, opponents remain dedicated to ensuring the voting public knows the underlying nature behind the GOP’s divisive agenda.

For more information about Right to Work in Ohio, please visit www.protectohiosmiddleclass.org

Direct link:  https://prnewschannel.com/2014/12/09/ohio-union-eyes-wisconsin-as-badger-state-enters-right-to-work-fight/

SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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