Six Anti-Union Amendments Proposed to Ohio’s Constitution

Six anti-union measures to amend Ohio’s constitution could be on the statewide ballot in 2020.

State Rep. John Becker (R-Cincinnati) proposed six amendments to Ohio’s Constitution that, if approved by voters, would repeal prevailing wage, make both the public and private sector So-Called “Right to Work,” ban Project Labor Agreements, prohibit state and local governments from withholding union dues and require annual public-sector unions to conduct annual recertification votes.

Becker has a history of attacking union workers. In June 2016 and February 2017, he proposed bills to make Ohio a So-Called “Right to Work” state. Neither piece of legislation received much support from his colleagues and stalled in committee.

With a jurisdiction that borders Michigan, affiliated members of the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council are aware of the damage these issues will inflict upon working men and women and their families.

The Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council is staunchly against Becker’s proposals, which if passed, would lead to lower income, less jobs and unsafe working conditions for its members. These measures will also hurt apprenticeship recruitment and reduce the number of highly skilled and highly trained building trades members at a time when the industry is suffering from a lack of skilled workers.

Making Ohio a So-Called “Right to Work” state will force dues paying union members to subsidize services to non-union members and could cost unions thousands of dollars in legal fees, lead to lower wages and unsafe working conditions.

Repealing prevailing wage will result in a reduced paycheck, weaken apprenticeship program and could lead to out-of-state contractors winning more bids, which will result in less jobs for Ohio’s building trades members.

The elimination of PLAs will also open the door for non-union contractors to bid on jobs and similarly, result in fewer jobs for building trades members.

Prohibiting governments from withholding union dues requiring public sector union members to annually vote to grant their union permission to negotiate their contract are simply union busting measures.

Becker, during a January 23 press conference, said he wants these measures on the statewide ballot in November 2020, but it is unclear if he has the support to do so. In order to get the measure on the statewide ballot, the issues would have to pass a super-majority in the House or obtain enough petition signatures of registered voters.

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