Just hours after a three-part strategy was unveiled to make Ohio a “right-to-work” state, GOP leadership in the Senate killed the idea.
Senate President Keith Faber said in a statement Wednesday evening that the Senate’s “ambitious” agenda is focused on jobs and economy, but not right-to-work legislation. Faber continued his statement by declaring that there is “no current support for this issue in the General Assembly.”
Ron Maag and Kristen Roegner, both Republican House Representatives, introduced the pieces of the “Workplace Freedom” legislation that would ban compulsory union payments in the public and private sectors, and a joint resolution that could place the issue on November ballots. The controversial measures reaped co-sponsorship from 15 House Republicans, a quarter of the caucus.
However, the proposals fired up Democrats and labor groups, who pinned the GOP bills as another assault on workers and vowed to fight them.
Current law gives employees the option to turn down union membership, but requires them to make fair-share payments to the union for representation and other benefits. These sister bills would make it so employees do not have to pay dues to unions, period. The new legislation would also aim to strip the fair-share requirement and leave it up to unions whether or not to provide benefits to non-union, non-paying employees.
“These three pieces of pro-worker legislation are designed to secure Ohioans’ freedom in the workplace,” Roegner said. “We are standing up for working Ohioans because we believe that every employee should have the right to choose for themselves whether to join a union or not.”