Issues > Ohio Legislature: Workers’ and Unions’ Issues
Right To Work .... For Less - Legislation tabled within HOURS after being submitted
"Workplace Freedom" is a lie.
It means lower wages for everyone.
Don't Be Fooled
Protect Ohio's Middle Class
An irrational desire for union-busting drives some Ohio Republicans
By Thomas Suddes, The Plain Dealer
5.04.13 - No matter, evidently, that in 2011 Ohioans trounced a form of right-to-work, Senate Bill 5 (which also was a defeat for Republican Gov. John Kasich, who'd signed the bill).
Kasich would like to be re-elected next year. That'll be tougher if right-to-work chatter jogs the memories of the 61.6 percent of voters who killed SB 5, especially considering that Kasich won the governorship in 2010 with just 49.04 percent of the vote. Kasich hasn't joined the Roegner-Maag parade. And won't.
Within hours of Right to Work legislation submitted, Ohio Senate kills plan
- GOP legislators spell out three right-to-work options | The Columbus
- Ohio Senate tables proposed right-to-work bills | Toledo Blade
4.30.13 - Not unexpected, so called Right to Work legislation was submitted by two Kasich allies requesting co-sponsors:
- Right to Work - Public Sector - State Representative Maag (R)
- Right to Work - Private Sector - State Senator Kristina Roegner (R)
Right To Work intent is very misunderstood.
It is necessary that everyone knows what the consequences of this legislation will be.
It is just like Issue 2/SB5 - it will take away the rights of all Unions, not just public sector.
What is Right-to-Work?
These statutes are authorized by Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act and allow states to outlaw union shops which require all new employees to join the union after a minimum period after hire.
Right-to-Work laws are designed to financially cripple the union movement.
Federal law requires unions to represent nonmembers. For example, if a nonunion worker is fired illegally, the union must finance the expensive legal proceedings to defend him/her. Right-to-Work laws allow workers to enjoy a union's services without paying dues that cover the costs of union negotiations, contract administration and other union-provided job services.
Right-to-Work laws decrease wages for everyone.
Because workers' organizing rights are diminished in states with Right-to-Work laws, an average worker earns about $7.131 a year less than workers in free bargaining states ($30,656 versus $37,787). Across the nation, union members earn $9,308 a year more than nonunion members ($41,652 versus $32,344). Clearly, these laws only provide a right to work for less.
Right-to-Work laws especially harm people of color.
People of color generally benefit the most from union membership. On average, Hispanic union members earn 50% ($224) more each week than nonunion Hispanics; African-Americans earn 31% ($156) more each week if they are union members.
Right-to-Work states have more poverty, higher infant mortality rates and poorer schools.
Right-to-Work states have a poverty rate of 13.5%, compared with 12.2% in free bargaining states. The infant mortality rate is 7.94% higher and the uninsured population rate is 15% higher on average in Right-to-Work states. And Right-to-Work states spend on average $1,680 less per pupil in elementary and secondary schools. The lack of spending results in lower teacher salaries and student test scores - average teacher salaries are $6,943 lower and composite ACT scores are 3.55% lower in Right-to-Work states.
Right-to-Work laws endanger workers' physical security.
A union weakened by Right-to-Work laws has less power to act as a force for safer working conditions. More workplace deaths and injuries occur in states with Right-to-Work laws. According to calculations from Bureau of Labor statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 41% higher in states with Right-to-Work laws. And injured workers in those states have fewer benefits to help them recover physically and financially. In 1996, workers compensation benefits were 50% lower in Right-to-Work states than in free bargaining states.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
In our glorious fight for civil rights,
we must guard against being fooled by false slogans as 'right-to-work.'
It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.'
Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining....
We demand this fraud be stopped.
WHAT WILL 'RIGHT TO WORK' LAWS DO?
- Allows more government interference with freedoms of private businesses by restricting their right to negotiate with their employees.
- Takes away ability to negotiate fair contracts between employers and employees elected representatives.
- Takes away collective bargaining rights by employees elected representatives who bargain in the best interests on behalf of all employees.
- Gives politicians the final say and too much power on important issues - i.e. staffing, safety equipment, training.
- Allows employees who don't pay dues to receive same benefits as those employees who do pay dues.
- Tilts the balance even more toward big corporations by taking away the voices of every day workers - i.e. police, firefighters, teachers, nurses - to have a collective voice within their workplace.
Does this sound all too familiar?
'Right To Work' is Issue 2/SB 5 in disguise.
The attack on middle class workers and our families continues.
WHO IS BEHIND 'RIGHT TO WORK' LEGISLATION?
- ALEC - American Legislative Exchange Council -- a group that believes in limited government, free markets and federalism which equates to shipping jobs overseas to a country with the cheapest labor costs and the least (if any) environmental and worker protections.
- Corporate super PACs that have unlimited funds from anonymous donors - $44 million was spent by such PACs in Wisconsin over governor's recall.
- Wealthy special interests who give millions in campaign contributions - i.e. Koch Brothers, two billionaire brothers who have given millions to Wisconsin's Governor and other like-minded governors.
- Ohio Governor John Kasich who attacks Ohio's workers with legislation such as Issue 2/SB 5 and supports changes to workers compensation laws that will hurt injured and sick workers.
- Those supporting 'Right To Work' legislation are - once again - framing their argument in terms of "taxpayers versus unions" and talking about the "balance" between the two.
Just like Issue 2/SB 5, 'Right To Work' is another extreme policy
legislators are attempting to pass into law.
Don't be fooled by what three simple words say: 'Right To Work'.
You already have a right to work!
Don't make your right to work a right to work for less!
Click on articles below for more information on this issue:
Notre Dame Profs Dismantle Indiana Study Committee's “Report”
in favor of 'Right To Work'
University of Notre Dame, Professors Barbara Fick and Marty Wolfson
The compensation penalty of “right-to-work” laws
Economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz
HB 484 - Governor Kasich finds Federal funding he likes...ironic it is jobs related
5.24.12 - HB 484 is an interesting piece of legislation that has passed the Ohio House and is now in the Ohio Senate. This bill would encourage employers to cut employees' hours to keep more workers employed rather than laying off employees. In return, affected employees would receive unemployment benefits that would compensate them for their reduced hours and benefits that would bring their pay and benefits back up to their original level as full-time employees. The Ohio Senate may vote on it in the Fall or sooner.
Known as work sharing or short-time compensation, it has been in existence nationally for about 30 years -- twenty-five states have already approved work-sharing legislation. It would be a new practice in Ohio if the legislation passes the Ohio Senate. It is becoming much more popular because the Federal government will provide Federal funding to states where work-sharing legislation is law.
When Ohio's unemployment rate was at a post-recession peak of 10.6%, a similar work-sharing bill never made it out of committee in 2010. Currently, Ohio's unemployment is 7.4% (based on figures released last Friday). Now that the Federal government is paying for the program, Ohio's majority Republican legislators are now interested. The bill's sponsor is State Representative Mike Duffey (R-Columbus).
In February, President Obama signed into law The Middle Class Relief and Job Creation Act -- this Act allows the Federal government to fund unemployment benefits for employees involved in work-share programs. The Act provides the Federal government to pick up the tab for up to three years -- ending in 2015. In addition to paying benefits and pay, $100 million has been set aside to cover administrative costs to states to run the program. Employees would be able to receive work-sharing subsidies for a year.
If the Ohio Senate passes the bill, Ohio could save more than $71 million a year in unemployment insurance costs in addition to the other provisions of the Act. If the Senate does not pass the legislation, Ohio would save only half the amount of $71 million in unemployment insurance costs, would be required to pay administrative costs versus the Federal government paying the administrative costs and would receive only two years of funding versus three years.
There are many supporters -- including the mostly liberal Policy Matters Ohio, the mostly conservative Ohio Chamber of Commerce and several labor Unions -- that have embraced the general concept. However, there is a provision that requires companies with Union representation to have Unions sign off on the work-sharing concepts before implementing the programs. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce does not agree with this provision. In addition, not all Unions are in favor of a job-sharing concept overall.
There are many safe-guards in place to ensure companies do not hire two part-time employees to replace one full-time employee. Companies are encouraged to participate in the program, but it is totally voluntary. Supporters of job-sharing programs believe it curbs joblessness since employees are not layed off and provides stability as valued employees may have hours/benefits cut short term, but still receive full pay/benefits through a job-sharing program. Those who do not believe job-sharing programs are beneficial to companies and employees are of the opinion that such Federal subsidies would only prop up dying businesses, the funds could be better spent on not raising corporate taxes to encourage business growth which would lead to hiring more employees and provide on-line training for those employees whose jobs are being fazed out.
Article rewritten in part from Sunday Plain Dealer - May 20, 2012
Work-sharing legislation would keep more Ohioans employed, backers say - Olivera Perkins, Plain Dealer Reporter
Fair and Acceptable Income Required (FAIR) Act would stop wage discrimination
Senators Turner and Tavares Introduce FAIR Act to Stop Wage Discrimination
Bill would update state laws to address wage gap and add employee protections
5.22.12 - COLUMBUS – Today, State Senators Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) and Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) introduced the Fair and Acceptable Income Required (FAIR) Act to update state laws that protect Ohioans, particularly women, from wage discrimination.
“It is unthinkable that in this day and age women in Ohio make only 77 cents for every dollar made by a man. Without question, equal work deserves equal pay. At a time when women are increasingly responsible for the economic security of their families, ensuring that they earn a wage commensurate with their work—and on par with a man’s—is absolutely critical.”
The FAIR Act would strengthen Ohio’s wage discrimination laws by requiring employers—if a claim is filed against them—to substantiate pay differences for causes other than seniority, merit, or quantity or quality of employee production with legitimate, job-related or skill-based reasons. It would also prohibit retaliation against workers who discuss salaries with colleagues or raise concerns about wage inequality, and prevent wage discrimination based upon sexual orientation.
Current law provides that an employer may not base differences in pay on race, color, religion,sex, age, national origin, or ancestry, but has proven far from effective in closing the wage gap between men and women in Ohio.
“While the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 improved some laws that govern pay discrimination, more must be done to close the wage gap and increase the economic security of women,” said Senator Tavares. “Fair pay would help close the wage gap and increase women’s economic security.”
According to the National Women’s Law Center, in 2010, women working full time, year round typically had lower earnings than men ($35,284 compared to $45,859) and were more likely to live in poverty (15.2 percent of Ohio women compared to 11.6 percent of men).
This gap remains even when accounting for personal choices, industry, and educational attainment. At a time when women are becoming increasingly important to the economic security of their families, the continued lack of income fairness places hundreds of thousands of Ohioans at risk.
“I stand firmly with Senators Turner and Tavares in the fight for equal pay for women,” said Minority Leader Kearney. “This is not a man versus woman issue. This is a right versus wrong issue. It is time that we close the gap and give women the pay that they rightfully deserve.”
Republicans ready to attack Ohio's sick and injured workers
Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Republican Attempt to “Double Down” on SB 5,
Attack Workers and Bureau of Workers Compensation
One Year After SB 5, Republicans Set To Continue Assault on Working Families
4.17.12 – Less than one year after Gov. Kasich began his war on workers with the unfair, unsafe SB 5, Republicans are again poised to continue their assault against working class Ohioans. In anticipation of the introduction of Republican legislation to weaken the rights of sick and injured workers, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern released the following statement:
“A little more than one year after Gov. Kasich started his war on the working class with SB 5, Republicans are poised to continue their attacks by reducing the rights of injured and sick workers. It’s as if Republicans learned nothing from the 2.1 million Ohioans that overturned their last assault on the middle-class.
“Just yesterday, the Governor promised that he would not move forward with these attacks on workers and the Bureau of Workers Compensation without significant input from all parties involved. But less that one day later, Republicans have set a new record in broken promises by pushing forward on this radical, anti-worker legislation without involvement the very people it harms. Republicans should focus on creating jobs instead of further harming injured workers.”
Over a year ago, Mary Taylor showed interest in “reforming” the Bureau of Workers Compensation. Taylor indicated the Administration had interest in tackling the Bureau of Workers Compensation after the state completed its two-year budgeting process. [Dayton Business Journal, April 14, 2011]
In late 2011, Kasich claimed that reforms to the Bureau of Workers Compensation would only proceed with collaboration between all parties. In multiple instances, Kasich said that for “major reforms” to proceed, the state would need “both labor and management to sit down…” [Dispatch, November 17, 2011]
Issue 2/Senate Bill 5 - REPEALED! We'll remember EVERY November!
With a HISTORIC vote, the referendum on Issue 2/SB5 was resoundingly defeated statewide by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin!
Issue 2 was SOUNDLY defeated in Erie County because of YOU! The official final count in Erie County on Issue 2:
- NO - To reject/repeal SB5 - 17.905 votes - 66.24%
- YES - To retain/approve SB5 - 9.126 votes - 33.76%
The message to the Governor and the Republican legislature was loud and clear: Governor Kasich and the Republican legislature went too far -- Ohioans will not be bullied into accepting extreme legislation as public policy. By using our citizens' veto, Ohioans spoke with our own individual vote! THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
THANK YOU for your time, commitment, support and hard work in defeating Issue 2/SB5 at the polls! This major victory could not have been accomplished without YOU!
Let's not forget the politicians who looked to strip away worker rights with the stroke of a pen with Senate Bill 5/Issue 2. Below is a list of Senators and Representatives who voted YES on SB5/Issue 2. Remember their names for the 2012 elections.
- Kevin Bacon (R-3),
- Bill Beagle (R-5)
- Gary Cates (Appointed to new position after YES vote)
- David Daniels (R-17)
- Keith Faber (R-12)
- Karen Gillmor (Resigned for new position after YES vote)
- Cliff Hite (R-1)
- Shannon Jones (R-7)
- Kris Jordan (R-19)
- Frank LaRose (R-27)
- Peggy Lehner (R-6)
- Larry Obhof (R-22)
- Tim Schaffer (R-31)
- Jimmy Stewart (Appointed to new position after YES vote)
- Mark Wagoner (R-2)
- Chris Widener (R-10)
- Tom Niehaus (R-14)
- John Adams (R-78)
- Richard Adams (R-79)
- Ron Amstutz (R-3)
- Marlene Anielski (R-17)
- Nan Baker (R-16)
- Troy Balderson (Now in Senate)
- Peter Beck (R-67)
- Terry Blair (R-38)
- Lou Blessing (R-29)
- Terry Boose (R-58)
- Andrew Brenner (R-2)
- Danny Bubp (R-88)
- Jim Buchy (R-77)
- David Burke (Now in Senate)
- Jim Butler (R-37)
- Bill Coley (Now in Senate)
- Courtney Combs (R-54)
- Timothy Derickson (R-53)
- Mike Dovilla (R-18)
- Mike Duffey (R-21)
- Anne Gonzales (R-19)
- Bruce Goodwin (R-74)
- Cheryl Grossman (R-23)
- Bob Hackett (R-84)
- Christina Hagan (R-50)
- David Hall (R-97)
- Bill Hayes (R-91)
- Michael Henne (R-36)
- Richard Hollington (R-98)
- Jay Hottinger (R-71)
- Matt Huffman (R-4)
- Al Landis (R-96)
- Ron Maag (R-35)
- Jarrod Martin (R-70)
- Jeffrey McClain (R-82)
- Todd McKenney (R-43)
- Bob Mecklenborg (Resigned)
- Craig Newbold (R-1)
- Bob Peterson (R-85)
- Kristina Roegner (R-42)
- Cliff Rosenberger (R-86)
- Margaret Ann Ruhl (R-90)
- Kirk Schuring (R-51)
- Barbara Sears (R-46)
- Lynn Slaby (R-41)
- Robert Sprague (R-76)
- Peter Stautberg (R-34)
- Gerald Stebelton (R-5)
- Andy Thompson (R-93)
- Joseph Uecker (R-66)
- Lynn Wachtmann (R-75)
- Ron Young (R-63)
- William Batchelder (R-69)