State Rep. John Becker is planning another round of attacks on unions and workers. If successful, it would effectively shut down both public and private sector unions in Ohio.
Becker outlined his plan in a recent co-sponsor letter, describing six constitutional amendments that he would like to put in front of Ohio voters. The amendments read like a Christmas wish list for the anti-union crowd:
- implement so-called “right-to-work” laws for the private and public sector
- repeal prevailing wage laws
- prohibit government employers from withholding union dues
- prohibit unions from spending on political activities
- prohibit contracts that require union labor
- require annual public-sector union re-certification.
Becker introduced a much simpler “right to work” bill back in February that focused only on screwing over employees and unions in the public sector. That bill was referred to committee, but never got a hearing or a vote. And it’s very possible Becker’s latest anti-worker scheme will suffer the same fate. But at this point, with this political climate, I wouldn’t rule anything out.
It would be easy to dismiss Becker and his horrible plan to squeeze every anti-worker law ever concocted into a set of constitutional amendments. After all, Ohio Republicans, from the Governor’s Office on down, have been saying that so-called “right to work” is not on the agenda.
But keep in mind that it’s been seven years since Kasich and Ohio’s Republican legislators took a severe beating from organized labor during the 2010 fight of Senate Bill 5. GOP elephant logo aside, that’s a long time in state politics.
With Kasich focused on the 2020 election, his party chairman ousted in a Trump-themed coup, a leadership battle brewing in the Ohio House, and GOP primary races turning into Trump vs No-Trump cage matches, all bets are off.
During this tumultuous time of political transition, I think we’d all do well to remember the advice of one of America’s greatest Latino American hip hop groups, Cypress Hill: “When the s*!t goes down… you better be ready”
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