Anti-union bill draws protests in Ohio

Updated

In 2011, Ohio Republicans, a little too excited after their 2010 victories, pushed their luck and paid a price. Gov. John Kasich (R) and GOP state lawmakers pushed through SB 5, curbing the rights of public-employee unions – and almost immediately thereafter, Buckeye State voters undid it.

At the time, far-right activists were pushing Kasich and his party for an anti-union “right-to-work” measure, and the governor basically told conservatives that after the public backlash to SB 5, they’d have to wait. “You know, you go out deep-sea fishing, you catch a lot of sharks,” Kasich said in early 2012. “We’ve caught ‘em. Once in a while the shark eats you, OK?

Republicans apparently believe the sharks have swam away.

The Ohio Capital Blog posted this video yesterday from a hearing on the “right-to-work” proposal, where the argument began on a contentious note, and will likely intensify as it proceeds.

What’s more, the AP reported today:

Labor backers are making clear their opposition to a pair of bills aiming to strip Ohio unions of their power to compel membership and automatically collect dues.

Hundreds showed up Tuesday at the Ohio Statehouse, where the first – and probably the last – hearing was being held on right-to-work legislation proposed by Republican state Reps. Kristina Roegner and Ron Maag…. The so-called “Workplace Freedom” bill would apply to private-sector unions. A companion measure would apply to public-sector unions.

It’s too soon to say how this will turn out, but for Ohio Republicans to pursue this less than two years after voters overwhelmingly rejected an anti-union measure on the statewide ballot certainly takes chutzpah.

Update: As the fight unfolds in Ohio, it’s worth keeping in mind that these GOP proposal will have their committee hearing “but that doesn’t mean the legislation is on the move.”

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Anti-union bill draws protests in Ohio

Updated