Ohio Pushes Back Against Union Busting

Ohioans overwhelmingly rejected Issue 2, a ballot referendum on Senate Bill 5, a union-busting bill that restricts collective bargaining rights for more than 360,000 public employees and slashes benefits. The measure is almost identical to Wisconsin’s union-busting bill and this defeat will no doubt be seen as the first in a string of challenges to the hard-right turn many states took as a result of the November 2010 midterm election.

Labor wasted no time in celebrating the victory, issuing a statement declaring success and promising more battles. “One message rang loud and clear tonight in Ohio and across the country: those who spend their time scapegoating workers and pushing a partisan agenda will only strengthen the resolve of working people, said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “From the very beginning, itís been clear that Gov. Kasich, and indeed many politicians, were pushing an agenda that was about politics, not about solving our nationís problems or creating jobs.”

SB 5 had come to define Republican Gov. John Kasich’s first year in office, and for that, he can’t be feeling good. With three years left in his term, he became the public face of the showdown between middle class Americans and the flood of corporate cash behind the measure. For his part Kasich promised to “take a breath” and “listen to the people” but was quick to add he still needed to “lead.”

What that means after tonight’s loss though remains unclear. Not all of the bill is dead, and some of it was popular among Ohioans, including provisions that required public employees to contribute to their health care and pension benefits.

With this victory in hand sights now set on Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker faces a recall election in response to his agenda.

And then it’s on to 2012.

For other election night coverage, click here.

Photo from crazy-jake via flickr.

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Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

I felt lucky to work in a company that was Union, the large majority of workers would not give up their Union.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm4 years ago

Well, Nancy……U worked in a unionized company for 31 years as a technician and as a manager. I dint see anything like that. Yes there were struggles between the two at times. That happens in every organization. Most of the time it was a lack of good communication of the goals and the lack of listening to better ideas from one side or the other.

Sounds like you worked in a shitty place is all.

Nancy L.
Nancy L.4 years ago

I never hated a job more in all my years than the one where I was forced to be in a union. All day was spent working against our bosses in stead of with them to make things better. Never again.

Ira L.
Ira & Ellie L.4 years ago

So proud of Ohioans! So disgusted with Kasich. Wish we could recall him!

Linda E.
Linda E.4 years ago

Congratulations Ohio!
In solidarity with you

Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

Yep! Corporations are not paid by the Government? They just get huge tax breaks, and sometimes cash back by the Government. But those dern Unions.

Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

When someone states that others (who don't agree) just 'don't understand' I think maybe they are the ones who don't understand.

A large part of Union's consist of safety. That goes back to the 20's in the coal mines, then the factories, check out the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The BP oil disaster would probably have been averted and all those men would not have died if they hadn't outlawed the unions who would have done those safety inspections. The airline control towers would not have had only one man working alone asleep on duty as planes come in to land. There are more examples.

Then we all know that unions gave us the 8 hour day, 5 day workweek, decent wages and benefits. Check out how companies treated their workers before Unions. History, it's on record.

Patrick F.
Patrick f.4 years ago

Jeffrey W. I see your point but this is why I support union reform, which means no political contributions of any kind, not just for unions but for businesses as well.

Edith B.
Edith B.4 years ago

Good for the people of OHIO!

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K.4 years ago

Frances C is right, people who worked hard also fought hard for worker rights, in an era where workers were exploited by the companies.

We can't go backwards, like the republicans want. They want to take away the rights of workers, women, children, the poor, the elderly, the sick.

If they have their way, only money will buy rights.

Vote Democratic.