Legislative & Political Update

Ohio Members, Activists Succeed at Repealing Anti-Union Law

Journal: Issue 4 - 2011

Ohio members turned out in force in late October to canvass union members to support the repeal of the anti-worker measure known as Senate Bill 5. In a huge win for workers’ rights, Ohio voters repealed the bill by a margin of 61% to 39%.

In a major victory for workers’ rights, on November 8th, Ohio voters repealed the controversial anti-union measure known as Senate Bill 5, and in so doing, “delivered a forceful message that Gov. John Kasich’s anti-worker agenda is destined to fail,” said Ohio Administrative District Council Director Ken Kudela. Ohio members swung into action right after the bill’s passage in March 2011, working first on gathering enough signatures to force a ballot question – activists needed 231,000 names and ended up getting 900,000 – and then on the repeal itself. If allowed to stand, Senate Bill 5 would have compromised the collective bargaining rights of hundreds of thousands of state workers, from firemen to teachers, with an excellent chance that “BAC and the rest of the building trades would be next on the chopping block,” said Kudela.

IU President James Boland said of the history-making vote, “The rights of workers to organize, form unions and bargain collectively are mainstays of a free and democratic society; we thank our brothers and sisters across Ohio who collected signatures, rang doorbells and made telephone calls and who stood together to say, ‘enough is enough’ to politicians that try to trample our rights and balance budgets on the backs of working people.”

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