In an editorial titled “Don’t Pick a New Fight: After Repeal of Senate Bill 5, Ohio Doesn’t Need Another Labor Battle,” the editors of the Columbus Dispatch, a newspaper not known for its support of labor unions, have publicly discouraged the members of the Ohio House from passing HB 377, which would impose “right-to-work” restrictions on private-sector unions in Ohio.
Here are some highlights from the editorial:
“Pragmatically, it is hard to believe this bill stands a chance. The temperature of the state hasn’t changed much since 2011, when Senate Bill 5 took a drubbing, 62 to 38 percent, in a ballot referendum.
“Legislative leaders already are said to be cool to the bill. They realize little would be gained by handing organized labor such a golden issue at a time when Ohio’s job numbers are up, the nation is entering another presidential cycle with Ohio as a battleground state, and Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, is fighting for a spot on the presidential ballot.
“Kasich repeatedly has said Ohio does not need a right-to-work law. A referendum on H.B. 377 would certainly fire up the Democratic base for the November 2016 election.
“More than 100 union supporters packed hearing rooms and hallways at the Statehouse on Tuesday as a House committee convened the first hearing on the right-to-work bill.
“Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, a longtime supporter of right-to-work, acknowledged that the S.B. 5 defeat has left a lingering caution to move a similar measure and assured Ohioans that, ‘If we do anything with this bill, it’s going to take a long time.’
“But union supporters aren’t buying this. They have seen right-to-work laws in other states suddenly taken from the legislative back burner, voted on and signed into law by governors.
“Indeed, this was the case in Ohio with Senate Bill 5, which took barely 60 days from start to finish. Introduced on Feb. 1, 2011, it was swiftly passed and signed by Kasich on March 31.
The complete editorial is available at: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2015/12/04/1-dont-pick-a-new-fight.html.