The situation is very fluid, shifting daily, but House Republicans had the votes to pass the vicious anti-worker bill SB 5 today. Organized labor, meanwhile, has built a massive coalition of community, religious, academic, retiree and allied groups to oppose the legislation and has already announced its intention to immediately mount a campaign to put the bill on the November ballot as a referendum.

While we won’t really know the total damage that SB 5 will do until we can see the entire bill, with amendments, we do know that it is a massive corporate attack on the right of public workers to bargain collectively. Among other things, SB 5 would;

• End the right of public workers to bargain collectively over most issues, including health care, safety and pensions.
• Outlaws strikes by public workers.
• Imposes “merit pay” on public workers, meaning bosses can pay those they choose more, while paying others that don’t “suck up” less!
• Sets up a “right to work” (for less) situation for public workers in Ohio, ending closed shops, and thus, the power of workers to bargain effectively.
• Sets up procedure to end union representation, by 30% of a shop petitioning to decertify a union.

Gov. Kasich and Ohio Republicans sold this outrageous attack on community standards, union representation, by stating that it was needed to “balance the budget.” However, just prior to putting SB 5 forward they had OK’d a huge set of tax cuts for corporations. Questions on why they’ve continued giving away public funds when there is such a crisis, requiring the elimination of basic human rights to solve, have gone unanswered by GOP spokesmen.


All Ohio unions, and a massive coalition of community, faith and pro-justice groups have united in a push to immediately mount a huge campaign to put SB 5 on the November ballot. To do so will require a huge, united campaign. It will require the collection of over a quarter million signatures of Ohio voters, from 88 counties.

“We need all the help we can get,” stated Jeanette Mauk, Ohio AFL-CIO Field Director. “To get this on the ballot, then win this battle for justice, will require a huge effort. Anyone wanting to help can find work in this fight!”


All this week rallies are being organized at the statehouse. Please come down and support workers fighting for justice, join the rallies!


Jeanette is heading up a drive to create Labor Action Teams, that will help spearhead the fight against SB 5. To join a LABOR ACTION TEAM, you can email , contact Jeanette at 614-224-8271 (ext—7144), or can just pop into to the Ohio AFL-CIO office at 395 E. Broad St., Columbus.


PHONE BANKS are now set up and running Monday-Saturday (9am-7pm) at the Ohio AFL-CIO offices, 395 E Broad St. If you can volunteer for a hour, longer, we’ve asked folks to call Scott (614-259-8146), or just come down to the office and help out. The calls are running overwhelmingly against SB 5, in support of workers, families and communities.


To receive TEXT messages from the Ohio AFL-CIO on the fight against SB 5, folks can text “ohaflcio” to 313131


Forty three years ago on April 4 Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while leading a fight to support striking Memphis sanitation workers. Those workers were fighting, using their right to bargain collectively, and to strike if they are treated unfairly, both rights now being taking away from Ohio public workers by Republican legislators. Dr. King gave his life for the rights of all working folks!

On April 4 in Columbus a program has been organized at the King Arts Complex, 867 Mt. Vernon Ave., with speakers, music and faith leaders. Please pass the word and attend this event.


An extremely important TOWN HALL MEETING as been organized by Democratic legislators opposed to SB 5. Those initially sponsoring the Columbus event are STINZIANO, CELESTE, GARLAND & HEARD.

We need to pack this important, first of its kind, event! Please let your friends, family, co-workers know about this event, and SHOW UP, HAVE YOUR SAY! Its extremely important that we have a huge turnout to show that these legislators have our STRONG SUPPORT for voting for worker’s rights, for our communities, and against SB 5!