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New Ohio right-to-work bills get the cold shoulder

Written By giroud on Monday, 6 May 2013 | 09:59

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Who supports the <="http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2013/05/here-we-go-again-ohio-lawmakers-make.html">“right-to-work” legislation unveiled in Ohio last week? Pretty much no one.

State Senate GOP leaders almost immediately pronounced the two separate right-to-work bills dead on arrival, saying they had no intention of wading in the anti-worker cesspool again. Less than two years ago Ohio voters overturned a right-to-work bill, SB 5, approved by legislators and signed by Gov. John Kasich (R).

The <="http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/05/house_gop_right_to_work_strate.html">Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported:
Senate President Keith Faber, of Celina, said in a statement … that the Senate's "ambitious" agenda is focused on jobs and economy, but not right to work legislation. "After discussions with other leaders and my caucus, I don't believe there is current support for this issue in the General Assembly," Faber said. 
And House Democrats, in the same article, agreed:
"This legislation is worse than Senate Bill 5," Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard, of Columbus, said. "It's not about making workers free. It's about taking their rights." 
Gov. Kasich, through a spokesman, already made it clear last week that he would not be supporting the measures put forward by Reps. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) and Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson). Rep. Maag’s bill would apply to public employees, while Rep. Roegner’s measure would apply to the private sector.

Outside the state capital, the views were the same. The <="http://www.toledoblade.com/Editorials/2013/05/05/Who-s-right-to-work.html">Toledo Blade, in an excellent staff editorial printed Sunday, chastised the effort to bring up such legislation again:
One of every eight Ohio workers belongs to a union—a share higher than the national rate. And despite assertions that right-to-work laws promote employment, Ohio’s jobless rate remains below the national average.
Nearly half the states—including, most recently, Michigan and Indiana—have right-to-work laws. Supporters say they make states more attractive to employers. But the greater weight of evidence suggests that such laws help depress wages, encourage employers not to offer health and retirement benefits, deny rather than promote workers’ rights, and aggravate income inequality.
Allowing workers to become free riders who need not pay for the wages, benefits, and workplace standards that union representation brings them will discourage union membership. That will tilt the labor-management dynamic in favor of employers, and threaten to roll back the gains achieved for workers through collective bargaining.
We laud all these voices for realizing what Ohio voters have known all along—right-to-work laws do nothing to help employees. Stand strong, Ohio!
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