Center for American Progress

Ohioans Show Their Support for Collective Bargaining Rights

Ohioans Show Their Support for Collective Bargaining Rights

A referendum vote tomorrow on a law slashing public-sector worker collective bargaining rights will likely show how Ohioans, like the rest of Americans, are in favor of workers’ right to organize, says Karla Walter.

Read the full column (CAP Action)

Ohioans will vote tomorrow in a referendum on the fate of Senate Bill 5—a law that slashes the state’s public-sector workers’ collective bargaining rights. Polls show that Ohio voters will very likely reject the new law. That’s a prediction that shouldn’t be surprising: Americans consistently report that they support workers’ right to organize, and Ohioans are no exception.

S.B. 5 is an extreme attack on public-sector workers’ right to bargain collectively. It prohibits public employees, including teachers, police officers, and firefighters, from bargaining over many types of benefits, and even public safety concerns—such as appropriate staffing levels for police and firefighters. And it allows locally elected officials to unilaterally impose their side’s offer when labor and management cannot reach a deal—a provision prominent Republican opponent State Sen. Bill Seitz said was like “going to divorce court and finding out your wife’s father is the judge.”

Ohioans protested for weeks and successfully petitioned for a referendum on S.B. 5 after the state legislature passed the law by the slimmest of margins.


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Karla Walter

Senior Fellow, Inclusive Economy