An Ohio state legislator introduced a So-Called “Right to Work” bill to the General Assembly in mid-February.
State Rep. John Becker (R-Cincinnati), with 12 Republican co-sponsors, brought forth House Bill 53, on February 13, that if passed, would make Ohio the nation’s 29th So-Called “Right to Work” state.
So-Called “Right to Work” laws prohibit worker security agreements between labor unions and their employers and strip workers of protections afforded by unions. The bill makes it optional for workers protected by a union contract to pay for the expenses that a union incurs while guaranteeing the rights of all employees.
HB 53 eliminates the “fair share” fee individuals who directly benefit from union negotiations are currently required to pay to the union to cover just the cost of contract representation. It does not require a person to join a union.
Becker’s bill essentially forces dues-paying union members to subsidize services to non-union employees and could cost union thousands of dollars in fees, while hurting workers even more.
According to the AFL-CIO website, workers living in states with So-Called “Right to Work” laws make $6,109 a year (12.1 percent) less annually than workers in other states. People living in So-Called “Right to Work” states are more likely to be uninsured. Those same states spend less on educating their children and have higher poverty and infant mortality rates than states without Right to Work laws.
So-Called “Right to Work” laws also lead to less safe working conditions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website says the rate of workplace deaths is 49 percent higher in states with So-Called “Right to Work” laws.
Despite the dangers this bill poses, Beck thinks the time is right to attack workers.
According to multiple media reports, Becker said, “The momentum is moving in our favor. I think it’s no longer a question of if Ohio becomes a right to work state but when it becomes a right to work state.”
Becker introduced the same legislation during the last session, but as the Dayton Daily News reported, the bill “failed to gain traction.”
Gov. John Kasich has repeatedly said a So-Called “Right to Work” law is not on his agenda.