July 15, 2011: This spring politicians passed the worst anti-union law in Ohio history.
But we aren’t hanging our heads low. Teamsters are working with other unions and community groups to repeal the new law through a citizen’s veto.
Senate Bill 5 eliminated binding arbitration for public sector unions, and makes 50 percent of teacher pay based on test scores—all while our anti-union governor is giving tax breaks to his corporate buddies.
Packing the Senate
We fought hard to stop the bill from being passed. On the first day of hearings on SB-5, I piled into the Senate chambers with firemen, police officers, teachers, and fellow Teamsters. We spilled into the hallways.
We rallied and marched through the streets of Columbus. But the corporate politicians rammed it through anyway.
After the bill was passed, we only had 90 days to get 231,149 to get a repeal of the new law on the ballot this fall.
At the teachers’ union hall, truckloads of blank petitions would show up and Teamsters were there to unload them. I spent eight hours with another Teamster brother unloading tens of thousands of petitions—only to see other union members pick them up as fast as we could unload them!
On June 29, we marched to the Secretary of States office to hand over the petitions. It was amazing how many people showed up on a weekday—there were bagpipes and a Harley squad.
Then the final count was released: we collected 1,298,301 signatures! We beat the number of signatures needed by a million.
The politicians thought they could ram through this massively-unpopular bill and take away our union rights. But now the people of Ohio will get to decide this fall.
By Nick Perry, UPS Part-Timer Local 413, Columbus, Ohio.