Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ohio’s Attack on Public Sector Workers

The Ohio state senate is attempting to eliminate collective bargaining rights for 40,000 state employees and severely reduce the rights for local government employees like firefighters and teachers. SB5 would repeal Ohio’s 27-year old collective bargaining law, allowing local governments to impose compensation and benefit cuts, abolish seniority-based raises and job security, and hire permanent scab replacements if they decide to strike.

Ohio has an $8 billion budget hole, like most states, and like most states is trying to blame public sector workers for the shortfall. Public employee unions have already been giving away concessions left and right, accepting furloughs, wage freezes and benefits cuts, naively believing that this would get the ruling elite to back off and leave them alone. Now it is clear that they will accept nothing less than the complete destruction of unions. Gov. Kasich even said that if SB5 fails to pass, he will ban all public employees from striking.

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