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Leader Heard's Statement on the First Hearing of So-Called "Right to Work" Legislation

June 4, 2013
Democratic Newsroom

Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) joined with protestors to speak out against House Bill 151 and House Joint Resolution 5, both of which work to remove workers’ rights to collectively bargain.

“Democrats stood with working and middle class Ohioans less than two years ago when we overwhelmingly rejected similar legislation, and we will continue to stand together and fight off these extremist attacks on Ohio’s working families,” said Leader Heard.

Hundreds descended on the Ohio Statehouse today as HJR 5 and HB 151 received their first hearing in the House Manufacturing and Workforce Development Committee. HB 151 is a bill that would hurt private sector employee’s ability to collectively bargain, and HJR 5 is a resolution to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to make Ohio a so-called “right to work” state.

“I sincerely hope that my friends across the aisle heard the millions of Ohioans who stood up and spoke out during senate bill 5, and that this will be the only hearing on these anti-workers’ rights bills,” Heard said. “We have watched in other states as so-called ‘right to work’ legislation was quickly and quietly rammed through in the middle of the night, and we will work tirelessly to prevent Gov. Kasich from doing the same thing to Ohio’s working families, in an attempt to appease the extremist right wing.”

Ohioans rejected similar legislation, Senate Bill 5, in 2011 by an overwhelming 62 percent of the vote statewide. Yet, House Republicans continue attempts to hurt hardworking, middle class Ohioans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, workers in so-called “right to work” states earn $6,437 less in annual, average household income compared to states without laws that weaken collective bargaining.