Craig: "Right To Work" Is Wrong For Workers, Wrong For Ohio
Says HB 377 will make Ohioans poorer, sicker and less safe
December 02, 2015
[ Hearcel F. Craig Home | Hearcel F. Craig Press ]

House Democratic lawmakers this week pushed back against House Bill 377, saying passage of the so-called “right to work” legislation will lead to lower wages, more workplace accidents and deaths, and an overall race to the bottom that will harm Ohio’s working families. Introduced by Republican Tom Brinkman, HB 377 would effectively weaken collective bargaining rights in the state by outlawing what are known as fair share fees, or costs stemming from the collective bargaining process that typically brings higher wages and better benefits for all employees, union and non-union alike.

“Right to work has been proven to drive down wages and cut benefits for hardworking folks,” said Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus). “We cannot continue to play politics at a time when too many families struggle to make ends meet. By saying ‘no’ to right to work, we can get back to finding ways to create real, quality jobs for middle class Ohioans.”

National studies show that workers in states with so-called right to work restrictions have a 36 percent higher chance of dying on the job and are stuck in more low-wage occupations than workers in free-bargaining states like Ohio. The Economic Policy Institute calculates that workers in states with right to work restrictions earn $1,540 less a year, while U.S. Census Bureau data shows that median family income is at least $6,000 less compared to other states.

A study by The National Education Association also reveals that right to work states invest some $3,000 less per-pupil for public education than their free-bargaining counterparts. Children and families in so-called right to work states are also more likely to lack health care coverage, especially through work, according the The Kaiser Family Foundation.

Ohioans rejected the same so-called right to work restrictions as an initiative on the general election ballot in 1958 by a similar vote percentage that ultimately defeated Senate Bill 5 in 2011. No state has ever instituted so-called right to work through a ballot initiative process.

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