Ohio labor unions watchful as Right to Work controversy goes global
“You can learn from mistakes, missteps or successes and wherever Right to Work and labor is an issue, we’re paying attention—even if it’s a half a world away,” says Pat Sink, Ohio’s IUOE Local 18 business manager.
Business leaders in Australia have fought to make the workplace their biggest battleground in the upcoming federal election. Some say they’re trying to weaken labor unions.
In an article on The West Australian’s website, business leaders blame the productivity issues currently plaguing Australia’s economy on unions, citing an overwhelming amount of control coupled with an underwhelming desire to partner with business leaders and work together to find a solution.
“While the details in Australia are different than the Right to Work issues in Ohio, they’re blaming unions, and by extension, union workers for most of the workplace problems,” says Sink. “It’s a form of union bashing and some of the core issues are the same.”
“It’s vital that we keep apprised on the debate and the arguments being made because there may be some issues that are relatable to Ohio.”
Sink says Right to Work opponents have become hawks; keeping an eye out for any viable strategy that can be used to counteract opponents tactics.
“Our eyes are wide open to the international implications of workplace reform and worker rights,” said Sink. “It would be foolish for us not to be aware of the multitude of strategies incorporated by both sides of the conflict.”
To fight those trying to push the Right to Work agenda, the IUOE Local 18 union-backed advocacy group Keep Ohio’s Heritage has been running ads, most recently in Dayton, Toledo, Cincinnati and Youngstown.
(Watch the video online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Sf5IqqAHI&feature=youtu.be
Right to Work opponents contend that the initiative’s true purpose is to kill unions and worker protections, ultimately leading to a weaker middle class.
By stripping workers of their rights and freedoms, business owners would be free to lower worker pay, reduce worker benefits and ignore worker rights.
For more information about Right to Work in Ohio, please visit http://www.protectohiosmiddleclass.org