Oregon labor supporters savor win as governor drops Right to Work ballot initiative | BH Courier

Oregon labor supporters savor win as governor drops Right to Work ballot initiative

(PR NewsChannel) / March 10, 2014 / SALEM, Ore.
Oregon State Seal

Oregon State SealOregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has struck a blow to the controversial Right to Work movement by reaching a deal that drops an upcoming ballot initiative.

The deal, which abandons twelve ballot initiatives in total, cancels an initiative that would have subjected Oregon’s public sector to the prospect of Right to Work laws. The “Statesman Journal” reports that by reaching the deal, Gov. Kitzhaber avoids the “looming fights between unions and business interests.”

The win in Oregon has given union leaders across the nation a victory they can savor as they fight their own battles.

“It’s refreshing to see Oregon take a step back from Right to Work legislation,” said Pat Sink, Ohio’s IUOE Local 18 business manager. “Taking Right to Work off the table will allow workers across the state to focus on other issues and provides an example for other states to follow.”

 In a press release announcing the deal, Gov. Kitzhaber also shared in the optimism of the moment.

“This is an unprecedented moment in Oregon’s long history of ballot measure politics,” said Kitzhaber. “Over the last three years, we have shown time and time again that no matter how wide the ideological divide might be people on different sides of issues are able to come together for the greater good of Oregon and our citizens.”

With Oregon savoring the recent developments, union leaders in states like Ohio are doing everything in their power to win their own Right to Work fight.

“We’ll continue to make sure Right to Work and labor issues are at the forefront of voters’ minds,” said Sink. “As long as we educate voters to the dangers of this controversial movement, we’ll ensure that we have a chance to defeat it once and for all.”

Opponents of the recent Ohio “Workplace Freedom” bills 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.

Whether Republicans utilize “Paycheck Protection,” “Workplace Freedom,” or other Right to Work tactics, opponents have remained dedicated to ensuring the voting public knows the underlying nature behind the GOP’s divisive agenda.

For more information about Right to Work in Ohio, please visit www.protectohiosmiddleclass.org.

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