Ohio union leaders speak out as Illinois threatens to enter Right to Work fray county by county

Labor supporters monitor Right to Work battles
(PR NewsChannel) / February 11, 2015 / COLUMBUS, Ohio 

Local 18 logoKentucky legislators have company as Illinois seeks to become the latest state to vote in Right to Work legislation at the county level.

Newly elected Republican, Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois, has called for local voters to “decide for themselves” and begin to enact “Right to Work zones.”

Seemingly inspired by recent developments in Kentucky, Rauner is looking to circumvent the heavily Democratic state legislature in order to let Right to Work take root in Illinois.

Ohio has, so far, fought off Right to Work, but the county-by-county efforts are troubling.

“We’re watching what’s happening in Kentucky and now Illinois,” said Pat Sink, Ohio’s International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18’s business manager. “We need to stay vigilant because these anti-union forces will stop at nothing to destroy unions and the protections for workers.”

Last December, Kentucky began enacting Right to Work legislation on a county-by-county basis. So far, five counties have passed Right to Work ordinances, with several more expected to follow suit in the coming months.

In response, nine labor unions filed a lawsuit in Kentucky federal court to stop the legislation. The unions maintain that any Right to Work initiatives passed in this manner would be illegal and violate the National Labor Relations Act.

Ohio’s IUOE Local 18, which covers the four northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Pendleton, believes their fellow unions are on the right track.

“It’s important that we stop this type of legislative overreach,” said Sink. “These types of laws can have long-lasting implications and passing them, even at the local level, can have a crippling effect on the middle class citizens of Illinois and Kentucky.”

Sink questions whether such efforts will stand up in court. Even still he says, it shows how opponents refuse to give up.

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.

Direct link:  https://prnewschannel.com/2015/02/11/ohio-union-leaders-speak-out-as-illinois-threatens-to-enter-right-to-work-fray-county-by-county/

SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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