Democrats Discuss: Right to work laws are wrong for Ohio

By Alex Jackson

The Russian scandal. The Syrian Civil War. Health care law reform. Amidst all the noise about our politics at the national level regarding President Donald Trump, it’s crucial that we don’t ignore policy that will significantly impact many Ohioans at the state level as well.

One piece of legislation that should not be overlooked is the “right to work” bill introduced by State Representative John Becker (R-65).

Becker’s proposed legislation would make Ohio a “right to work” state, meaning public employees would not be required to join a union. Proponents of right to work legislation claim that it gives workers the option to not pay membership dues to a union. This is a bogus claim considering current federal law already prevents workers from being required to join a union.

A state law allows for collective bargaining if a worker chooses. Therefore, a right to work law would accomplish nothing in favor of workers. If right to work laws were implemented, it would only discourage workers from joining unions and getting fair protections and benefits.

It’s clear why corporations oppose unions. Without union benefits, corporations would further profit at the expense of their workers. Unions provide workers with collective bargaining agreements for better wages, safer work conditions and benefits.

If the right to work bill, known as House Bill 53, makes it through the House and Senate, Governor John Kasich has not taken a firm stance on the issue. With this being said, we can’t count on the governor to veto this.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vocal opponent, stating, “in our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and collective bargaining.”

Right to work legislation is no friend of the working class, and HB 53 must be opposed in the state legislature before it passes any further. Call your state representative urging him or her to oppose this harmful bill.

This article originally appeared in The Post (http://www.thepostathens.com/article/2017/04/right-to-work-laws-ohio)

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