Last week, Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township in Clermont County) provided a layout on how Ohio can implement Right to Work through six constitutional amendments. With the failure of Senate Bill 5 still fresh in mind, the GOP-controlled legislature has decided to leave the decision entirely to voters.
The six proposals would fully implement private and public-sector Right to Work, eliminate the prevailing wage and required union dues, ban project labor agreements and require union recertification.
Right to Work is not a new concept to Ohio, nor has it gained any favor in recent years. Gov. John Kasich remains hesitant to fully support any measure despite a party majority.
“I don’t have [workers] say, ‘Well, you know, if you only had Right to Work.’ I just don’t hear anything like that,” said Kasich. “We have a pretty good labor climate here. You’re not seeing a rash of strikes.”
Even with all odds in their favor, Ohio Republicans will not be using their power to push these constitutional amendments into place. In 2011, a very similar Senate Bill 5 was passed through a GOP-controlled Senate. Republican leaders ultimately were embarrassed after a 62% disapproval vote by state residents.
“Nobody wants a repeat of SB 5,” said Becker. “There’s just a lot of fear involved.”
As far as labor supporters are concerned, Becker and the rest of the GOP have plenty to be scared of.
“It’s hard to understand why representatives put these bills up knowing the support isn’t there,” said Richard Dalton, business manager for Ohio’s International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18. “Voters have already had their say on Right to Work, and our team is ready to help them defeat it again.”
Right to Work is a series of laws which ultimately hurt, and even destroy, crucial union powers. Workers can forego becoming a union member and paying dues while unions are required to provide them regular benefits and services.
The goal is to save money spent on bargaining and allow employers to invest it back into the company. However, studies have shown this rarely works as planned. Money stays at the top and, without union representation, wages sink, industries growth slows and overall employee welfare hits rock bottom.
“Ohio’s citizens have seen all they need to from neighboring Right to Work states,” said Dalton. “When the time comes to decide on this measure, workers and voters need to make their voices heard.”
For more information on Right to Work in Ohio, visit: http://protectohiosmiddleclass.org
SOURCE: Keep Ohio's Heritage
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