Columbus, OH - Beginning at 10:00 a.m. March 2, over 25,000 laborers, firefighters, police, students, and community activists gathered around the State Capitol here to protest against Senate Bill 5, which eliminates collective bargaining rights for over 300,000 public sector workers. The "Rally to Save the Middle Class" had workers expressing their anger at Governor John Kasich's blatant attempt to bust unions.
"They've gone too far and now it's time to fight back" said a worker when asked about why he was attending the demonstration.
Speakers, many from the Service Employees International Union, denounced the bill for attacking workers while doing nothing to solve the $8 billion dollar budget deficit that Republicans claim the bill is supposed to address. They pointed out that if collective bargaining was the problem, so-called 'right-to-work' states wouldn't be having large budget deficits.
Today, the Republicans rammed through SB-5 with a 17-16 vote in the Senate. Earlier, the Republicans pushed through SB-5 in a senate committee by removing a dissenting Republican senator. Six Republicans voted against the proposed law; a couple of publicly denounced the vote. Gov.Kasich's union-busting bill will now head to the Ohio House of Representatives, while workers and students continue to protest at the State Capitol building.