Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gov. Kasich’s Union Busting Bill Repealed In Ohio

Congratulations to the people of Ohio following the repeal of Republican Gov. John Kasich’s union-busting bill. Like Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Kasich was determined to strip unions of their rights to collectively bargain and strike. Ohioans handed him an overwhelming defeat and asserted the right of organized labor to stand up for its interests:

A year after Republicans swept legislatures across the country, voters in Ohio delivered their verdict on a centerpiece of the conservative legislative agenda, striking down a law that restricted public workers’ rights to bargain collectively.

The landslide vote to repeal the bill — 62 percent to 38 percent, according to preliminary results from Ohio’s secretary of state — was a slap to Ohio’s governor, John R. Kasich, a prominent Republican who had championed the law as a tool for cities to cut costs. The bill passed in March on a wave of enthusiasm among Republicans fresh from victories at the polls. A similar bill also passed in Wisconsin.

The vote gave a new lease on life to public sector labor unions in Ohio, which had been under tremendous pressure to get the bill repealed. Failure would have brought not only the loss of most of their bargaining rights, including the right to strike, but would also have called into question what had long been their central strength — their ability to organize and deliver votes.

...“Attacking education and other public employees is not at all what the public wants to see,” said Karen M. White, political director of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest public sector union. “It should resonate with politicians that they’ve gone too far.”

...“What we were actually fighting for was our livelihood,” said Monty Blanton, a retired state employee and union worker who said he spent 14 hours a day knocking in doors in southeast Ohio in the last month. “We’ve been to places you had to get to with a four-wheel drive.”

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