Ohio Senate Passes Union-Busting Bill to Kill Rights to Bargain, Strike

While Wisconsin Dems have dug in their heels and protesters have gotten nationwide support, Ohio sneakily dealt a blow to labor yesterday. The OH State Senate passed a bill that not only strips public employee unions of their bargaining rights, but obliterates their right to strike. Using the deceptive Walker “budget cuts” tactic, it was narrowly passed 17-16, affecting a larger population than Wisconsin that has long been a union stronghold. The vote now goes to the House, where Republicans hold a majority and union members are not optimistic. WSJ:

"We're expecting it to pass," said Jason Perlman, a spokesman for the Ohio AFL-CIO. But, he added, "We are hopeful those in the Ohio House will see this bill is nothing more than an attack on the middle class."

Republican lawmakers say worker pay and benefit cuts are needed to offset projected budget shortfalls. "If we're going to grow in Ohio, we cannot raise taxes," Republican state Sen. Keith Faber said Wednesday.

Tax the poor, let the rich run free: typical GOP “budget cuts.” Yesterday, in advance of the vote, upwards of 8000 people gathered in Capitol Square to protest the bill, which would affect over 400,000 firefighters, police officers, teachers, and other state and local government workers. "Some state leaders have gone too far," said US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis last night, in a conference call the Communications Workers of America. "Budget sacrifices are one thing, but demanding workers give up their rights as union members is another."

Read more at the WSJ.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at March 3, 2011, 4:01am

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