Ohio Group Pushes for Right-to-Work Law

Wednesday, 22 Feb 2012 05:01 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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An Ohio group wants a right-to-work amendment on the state’s books, just a few months after voters repealed a controversial collective bargaining law. Ohioans for Workplace Freedom said it will gather signatures to have a proposed amendment put before voters, the Dayton Daily News reports.
 
A similar law was signed in neighboring Indiana last month, and was the first right-to-work law signed in the Rust Belt, whose workers are traditionally represented by unions. Supporters of right-to-work laws say the legislation frees employers from restrictive wage scales and could lead to more jobs.
 
However, opponents say the laws, which already are on the books in 22 other states, have resulted in lowered wages.
 
The Ohio right-to-work group hopes to have the issue on the ballot either this November or next year, and says recent polling by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute shows Ohioans will favor a right-to-work amendment.
 
The group wants to collect signatures from about 600,000 registered voters, but only needs a minimum of 386,000 valid signatures to get the issue on the ballot. The Ohio secretary of state’s office last week approved Ohioans for Workplace Freedom as a single-issue political action committee.
 
Tim Burga, chief of staff of Ohio AFL-CIO, along with other labor leaders, opposes the proposal, calling the issue “right to work for less,” citing a recent New York Times article that reported six of 10 states with the highest unemployment rates in the country have right-to-work laws.
 
Gov. John Kasich’s office did comment on right-to-work legislation, but a spokeswoman said the governor is “open to additional strategies” to create jobs.

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