Rekindling the raw emotion of Senate Bill 5 from 2011, two House Republicans plan to introduce bills today that would "eliminate compulsory unionism in Ohio." If enacted, the two bills would make Ohio a right-to-work state in both the public and private sectors by prohibiting mandatory participation in a union or payment of union-related fees as a condition of employment.
Rekindling the raw emotion of Senate Bill 5 from 2011, two House Republicans plan to introduce bills today that would “eliminate compulsory unionism in Ohio.”
If enacted, the two bills would make Ohio a right-to-work state in both the public and private sectors by prohibiting mandatory participation in a union or payment of union-related fees as a condition of employment.
In November 2011, voters overwhelmingly rejected Republicans’ effort to sharply limit collective bargaining for public employees by overturning Senate Bill 5 — a referendum that might still have political ramifications for Gov. John Kasich.
Kasich has since refused to support any right-to-work efforts in Ohio — a bid to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot is proceeding slowly — and Democrats were quick to pounce on news of the new bills. But Kasich wouldn’t commit one way or the other on the latest GOP effort.
“There have been 300 bills introduced so far this year,” said Rob Nichols, Kasich’s spokesman. “ We don’t weigh in on all of them, and it would be premature to do so on these.“The governor has a big agenda that’s moving through the legislature, and he continues to work on it.”
State Reps. Ron Maag of Lebanon and Kristina Roegner of Hudson will hold a news conference today announcing their intentions.
“This means simply that employees would be free to choose whether or not to join a labor union,” Maag said in his letter seeking co-sponsors, noting that approval of his bill would make Ohio the 25th right-to-work state.
“I strongly oppose this deceitful, misleading, so-called right-to-work agenda that will hurt every community in Ohio,” said Ed FitzGerald, the Cleveland Democrat and Cuyahoga County executive who could be his party’s challenger against Kasich next year. “My promise to Ohio’s working and middle-class families is that they will never have to fear these kinds of attacks if I am their governor.”
Asked if he backed the bill, Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, said, “I’m supportive of any member putting in any bill that they want to put in. Nothing further.
“We will obviously visit with the Senate and governor’s office to see if they have any support for it. That would be a key question, as far as I’m concerned, with what we do.”
Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, said he hasn’t heard of any plans to introduce a right-to-work bill in the Senate.“It’s news to me,” he said of the House proposal. “We consider things when they pass the House and come over to the Senate.”
Dispatch Reporter Jim Siegel contributed to this story.