Biggest Rallies Yet Against SB 5 in Ohio
Published 03 Mar, 2011
Chanting “Kill the Bill,” an unprecedented number of workers and community members rallied in Ohio as the protests against a bill that would strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights continued to swell.
The biggest crowds yet, nearly 20,000, gathered at the Ohio statehouse in Columbus on Tuesday Feb. 22 as the state legislature held another hearing on Senate Bill 5 that would end collective bargaining for transit workers, teachers, nurses and other public workers.
The politically motivated attack on Ohio’s workers has sparked a massive showing of unity and solidarity from both public and private sector workers, union and nonunion workers. TWU members have joined the protests alongside firefighters, construction workers, steelworkers, autoworkers, clergy and community activists. The rallies began early last week with several hundred participants and have grown each day with crowds at the statehouse reaching into the thousands.
The bill backed by the recently elected Republican Governor John Kasich is a draconian attempt to take away workers’ ability to have a voice on the job and human right to have a union. The bill would limit the power of workers by making strikes by public workers illegal, eliminating arbitration for police and firefighters, ending mandatory sick days, weakening seniority rules, and slashing pay and benefits. This proposal is being done under the guise of cost saving, but is really nothing more than an ideologically driven assault on working families.
As people in Ohio struggle to find jobs and keep up on mortgage payments, Gov. Kasich has turned down millions of dollars in funding for high-speed rail, costing Ohioans jobs, investment and 21st century transportation options. Kasich has shown his disregard for making Ohio work for the people.
Similar anti-worker legislation has been introduced around the country and sparked a movement to defend workers’ rights, inspired by the historic protests in Wisconsin. Workers and their supporters are holding solidarity rallies around the country this week- check out a list of events.