Loss of free unions is massive blow to our freedom

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Only three years after inept oversight of Wall Street bankers and multinational corporations, military adventurism in Iraq, and Bush-era tax cuts had led to the greatest economic collapses since the Great Depression, Gov. John Kasich and the Republicans have worked diligently to blame that collapse on anyone but themselves.

Now in a blatant attempt to destroy public service unions (which, coincidentally, tend to not support Kasich and his cohorts), the governor has pushed through Senate Bill 5, which severely restricts the rights of police, firefighters, teachers and other public service workers to bargain collectively on the conditions of their employment. It completely bans arbitration in matters where negotiations fail.

As some public service professionals have succinctly put it, “It replaces collective bargaining with collective begging.”

Email newsletter signup

I doubt if pleading on one’s knees would have much effect on Kasich and company, well known for compassionate conservative statements, which sound remarkably like, “Get on the bus or we’ll run you over.”

Of course Kasich would like us to believe this is a economic issue, not a political one and this is the only measure that will stop those rascally public employees from bankrupting Ohio.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. As reported recently in the Herald-Dispatch, public employees have already saved taxpayers over $1 billion since 2008 by giving up raises and modifying benefits.

Meanwhile his financial supporters, many of whom shall remain nameless (they remain nameless because it’s almost impossible to find out who they are) pay for flashy, misleading commercials attacking the unions.

Let me remind you of something said by Ronald Reagan in his election campaign of 1980: “Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”

Please vote “no” on Issue 2 and repeal Senate Bill 5.

Merlyn Marten