Ohio union groups optimistic as National Labor Relations Board addresses work-around for anti-union laws

Labor leaders in Ohio continue to monitor Right to Work developments around the nation
(PR NewsChannel) / April 27, 2015 / COLUMBUS, Ohio 

NLRB PlaqueWith presidential announcements and state-level Right to Work developments taking center stage in the battle for workers’ rights, one recent development has Ohio labor supporters optimistic for nationwide Right to Work reform.

Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it was opening a discussion to address whether the agency should adopt a rule that would allow unions to collect fees from nonmembers during grievance procedures.

According to its website, The National Labor Relations Board “is an independent federal agency that protects the rights of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions.”

If adopted, the rule would be the first step in taking on Right to Work laws at the national level.

In Ohio, a state that’s had its own battles with the controversial anti-union legislation, labor supporters are praising the NLRB for opening up the discussion.

“The current rule has been in place since the late 70s, so it’s refreshing to see the NLRB is considering changing its stance on the issue,” said Pat Sink, Ohio’s International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18’s business manager. “With enough support, we could see Right to Work laws take a hit nationwide.”

There are currently 25 states with Right to Work laws enacted.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in Right to Work states is 11.8 percent less than states without the controversial legislation. The Corporation for Enterprise Development reports that nearly 26 percent of jobs in those states are considered “low-wage occupations,” roughly 8 percent higher than non-Right to Work states.

For Ohio’s IUOE Local 18, a union that has worked tirelessly to educate voters on the dangers of Right to Work, getting the message out on the legislation’s true impact has been top priority.

“We’ve found that educating people on Right to Work and the intentions behind it ultimately leads to the downfall of the movement,” said Sink. “By shedding light on the negative repercussions the legislation would bring, we can help fight it off where it counts, with the people.”

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/2015/04/27/ohio-union-groups-optimistic-as-national-labor-relations-board-addresses-work-around-for-anti-union-laws/

SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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