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Legislators, Faith, and Labor Leaders Work Across State Lines to Fight Attacks On Workers

Last weekend, members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, local clergy and labor leaders were joined by Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor to protest attacks on workers’ rights in Ohio similar to those that have sprung up in numerous states this year.

The town-hall style gathering in Cleveland focused on the recent passage of Senate Bill 5, which stripped collective bargaining rights for public sector employees in Ohio. Senator Taylor is one of the Wisconsin 14 who crossed state lines earlier this year in an effort to prevent Governor Scott Walker from passing similar legislation in Wisconsin.

Speaking to the breadth of attacks on workers’ across the country, Taylor told those in attendance, “This is not a Wisconsin fight. This is not an Ohio fight. This is a fight for everybody.”

The event was held as the movement to repeal Senate Bill 5 is gaining momentum. Thousands of volunteers are currently collecting petition signatures to send a repeal vote to the ballot in November. Meanwhile, a poll conducted this week shows Ohioans favor repeal of the law by 18 points over supporters, 54-36.

The sentiment in Ohio echoes public opinion in a number of other states where lawmakers have attempted to attack fundamental workers’ rights, including a recent poll from Michigan showing that 60 percent of voters favored strong protections for public sector collective bargaining rights.

While conservatives have tried to advance an costly attack on workers in the states, more and more state legislators are standing in solidarity across state lines to fight back. So far, more than 450 legislators representing all 50 states have signed open letters in support of working people. The efforts of legislators, along with labor leaders and thousands of workers and activists, have helped turn the tide against the corporate-backed attacks on the rights of workers. While some lawmakers have capitalized on political opportunism to ram through anti-worker legislation, it is clear that public opposition to these extreme measures is mounting in Ohio, Wisconsin, and across the nation – and that efforts to turn them back are gaining momentum.

Full Resources from this Article

Legislators, Faith, and Labor Leaders Work Across State Lines to Fight Attacks On Workers

We Are Ohio – Repeal SB 5
Reuters – “Most Ohio voters want to repeal union curbs: poll”
Progressive States Network – Open Letter in Support of Working People

This article is part of PSN's email newsletter, The Stateside Dispatch.
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