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Major labor victory in Ohio

Issue 2 defeated, anti-collective bargaining Senate Bill 5 repealed

By staff |
November 10, 2011
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Columbus, OH - Unions won a major victory in Ohio with the repeal of Senate Bill 5 (SB5). Ohio Governor Kasich lost this round when his union-busting bill stirred thousands of grassroots labor activists and their allies to organize the electoral repeal of the legislation. 2 million Ohioans came out and voted against Senate Bill 5, winning a huge victory for working people. Nearly two-thirds of voters rejected Issue 2, the referendum on the proposed law.

A problem for the Republicans as the next election approaches is that more people voted against Issue 2 than voted for Republican Governor John Kasich in 2010.

SB 5 planned to severely restricted collective bargaining rights for firefighters, teachers, nurses and other public employees. The bill made striking illegal and restricted union bargaining rights to a couple of items. The bill also eliminated safe staffing minimums, putting both workers and the public in potentially dangerous situations. Working class people overwhelmingly opposed this attack.

SB 5 was another attempt to balance the state budget on the backs of workers here in Ohio. Governor Kasich, former CEO of the big Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs, wanted to take away the rights of workers, claiming the need for concessions due to the bad economy. At the same time Kasich defends the bonuses paid to his Wall Street buddies with taxpayer bailout monies. SB 5 was just another attempt by the 1% to bust up unions.

While this is a major victory, the fight in Ohio is not over. Kasich is already hinting at breaking up SB 5 into smaller portions and passing each one individually, making it hard to repeal multiple sections thru ballot voting. Governor Kasich will not stop his attacks on the working class of Ohio and the working people will not stop fighting back.