Smith: "Right To Work" Is Wrong For Workers, Wrong For Ohio
Say HB 377 will make Ohioans poorer, sicker and less safe
December 01, 2015
 
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House Democratic lawmakers today 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.


“A healthy middle class is the most important component to a growing economy. What the Ohio GOP either fails to understand or refuses to acknowledge is that right to work laws harm the middle class,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income in the states with right to work restrictions is $6,437 less than in other states.  If the middle class incomes are falling, then Ohio’s economy is failing too. Right to work is wrong in Ohio because it’s bad for Ohio families and therefore bad for Ohio’s economy.”


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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