With midterm elections solidifying GOP control in many of the nation’s Right to Work battleground states, labor supporters are gearing up for the inevitable: battles over Right to Work.
Union leaders in Ohio are reaching out to counterparts around the country.
“After the elections it was clear that Right to Work was going to be something more and more people would have to deal with,” said Pat Sink, Ohio’s International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18’s business manager. “As the GOP continues to push this movement, we’ll begin to see more voters learn about unions through negative and misleading information.”
While Gallup polls recently suggested roughly 71 percent of Americans support for Right to Work laws, opponents of the controversial legislation maintain that number isn’t accurate.
“From what we’ve witnessed, when the public is educated about the dangers of this type of legislation, they quickly align themselves against it,” said Sink. “It’s only when we allow the GOP to control the message that we begin to lose ground.”
Despite Right to Work advocates claiming otherwise, in two of the most high profile battleground states, Ohio and Wisconsin, Republican Governors have chosen not to pursue the legislation for fear of alienating voters.
Still, with New Mexico, West Virginia and Kentucky also in the Right to Work fray, labor supporters know they have their work cut out for them.
“All around the country unions and labor supporters are determined to fight this thing,” said Sink, whose local represents a part of Kentucky. “If we continue to educate voters and do our part to stand against Right to Work, I’m confident that we can beat these types of 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.
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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