Ohio Anti-Union Law Tougher than Wis. Measure

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As the battle to implement a new anti-union law continues in Wisconsin, Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich signed a similar, more stringent bill into law on Thursday.

Like the Wisconsin law, the Ohio measure severely curtails collective bargaining rights of public employees.  

However, the Ohio law goes a step further by also eliminating bargaining for police and firefighters.  The law also grants city councils and school boards the right to "impose their side's final contract offer when management and union fail to reach a settlement" the New York Times reported.

"There is a reason that the union bosses opposed these changes -- because it strips power from the union leaders and returns it to the taxpayers and workers," Kasich said in an e-mail.  "Union reform empowers taxpayers and levels the playing field."

Meanwhile, Democrats and lawmakers have launched a campaign to get the bill overturned through a voter referendum.

"We believe Senate Bill 5 is an anti-worker piece of legislation," said Dennis Willard, a spokesman for Ohio affiliates of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union.

"What's at stake is the ability for workers to stand up for themselves on the job and have a place at the table when it comes time to discuss workplace safety and other personnel matters," he said.

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