Ohio labor supporters emboldened by West Virginia labor groups’ Right to Work stand

State labor unions continue to pay attention to labor fights across the country
(PR NewsChannel) / February 25, 2015 / COLUMBUS, Ohio 

Workplace Freedom OhioWith Right to Work fights routinely taking place in state houses and appellate courts, it can be a welcomed change of pace when it happens where it counts…with the people.

Last week in West Virginia, hundreds of labor supporters demonstrated outside of the state Capitol in the middle of a snowstorm to protest several anti-union bills in the state legislation.

Four days later, State Senate President Bill Cole (R-Mercer), citing time restraints, indicated Right to Work could be stalled until the next legislative session.

“There’s no sense in starting down that road if both houses aren’t ready to take it on,” Cole said.

Many in the labor communities, especially in neighboring Ohio, have credited the protests as a driving force behind tabling the issue.

“When more than a thousand people show up in a driving snow storm to protest an issue, it sends a message,” said Pat Sink, Ohio’s International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18’s business manager. “The state legislature now has proof that this is an important issue with voters, and they should take a cautious approach when handling it.”

Organized by West Virginia Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall), the “Show Up, Stand Up” rally was created to give “hardworking West Virginians” the opportunity to demonstrate at the Capitol and “stand up to the West Virginia GOP’s attack on hardworking West Virginia families” to prove that state labor supporters won’t take this fight sitting down.

“It was very emotional to see so many concerned working men and women who braved the cold and fought the elements to come down here because of the extreme agenda that the new Republican majority is pushing,” said Delegate Mike Caputo (D-Marion). “It shows there is deep concern about what is going on.”

In battleground states like Ohio, the message has resonated loudly.

“This is exactly what we hope to see,” said Sink. “All of the work we do exposing the dangers of Right to Work is in hopes of a situation just like this. When ordinary people stand up for what they believe in and make the government take notice.”

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/2015/02/25/ohio-labor-supporters-emboldened-by-west-virginia-labor-groups-right-to-work-stand/

SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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