December 2, 2011: Anti-union politicians tried to ram through the worst union-busting law in Ohio’s history.
They failed—thanks to the hard work of thousands of working people. I’m proud to say my local played its part.
The law, Senate Bill 5, aimed to eliminate binding arbitration for public sector unions, and tie 50 percent of teacher pay to test scores—all while our anti-union governor is giving tax breaks to his corporate pals.
The legislature passed the bill in the spring. But then we put it up to a citizens’ veto.
Our first hurdle: we had to collect 231,149 signatures in 90 days. We ended up getting 1,298,301 voters to sign the petition.
Our next hurdle: go out and talk to the public about why they should oppose this law.
We made phone calls. We knocked on doors. We rallied. Politicians have been blaming unions for years, and trying to divide pubic and private sector workers. But almost every Ohio voter has a teacher, firefighter, or cop in the family.
It didn’t matter if you were a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent—most of the voters I talked to said the new law wasn’t fair. The voters vetoed the bill by 61 percent!
When labor mobilizes, we can win. Let’s not stop now.
By Nick Perry UPS Part-Timer TDU International Steering Committee Local 413, Columbus, Ohio
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