Right to Work takes center stage in Toledo mayoral race
Addressing the crowd in a forum held at the downtown branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, the Toledo Blade reported that some candidates took a stand on incumbent Mayor Mike Bell’s refusal to take sides on the issue.
“We have to keep an open mind to what is going on so you can be extremely competitive as a city,” Mayor Bell was quoted as saying in the Toledo Blade.
In sharp contrast to Mayor Bell’s lack of clarity, other candidates were more than willing to voice their opposition of Right to Work.
“I will do anything in my power to defeat the effort to bring Right to Work to Ohio and any public official who supports it or can’t stand against it,” said Anita Lopez, current Lucas County auditor and Democratic candidate for mayor.
Hardly alone in the criticisms of Right to Work, Lopez was joined by independent Councilman D. Michael Collins in slamming the Republican efforts.
“Right to Work is, in my opinion, not the solution because the union is not the problem,” said the councilman as reported in the Toledo Blade.
Not every candidate was against Right to Work, however, with Michael Konwinski, Libertarian and independent Opal Covey, each endorsing it.
Even so, the high profile focus on such an important issue has left labor groups optimistic for the future.
“It’s refreshing to see this critical issue taking center stage across the state,” said Pat Sink, IUOE Local 18’s business manager. “While we’re disappointed that Right to Work didn’t earn unanimous condemnation, we’re strengthened by the passion that auditor Lopez and councilman Collins brought to the fight.”
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 designed to educate voters on the issue.
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