Election Day in Ohio Is a Test for Labor Unions Nationwide

By Trumbull, Mark | The Christian Science Monitor, November 8, 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Election Day in Ohio Is a Test for Labor Unions Nationwide


Trumbull, Mark, The Christian Science Monitor


Election Day: Ohio Gov. Kasich signed a law curbing the power of public sector labor unions in March, but an ensuing outcry led to a referendum on the law being placed on Tuesday's ballot. 

Ohio voters are casting ballots today on a question of nationwide significance: whether public-sector labor unions should have their power curbed in an era of fiscal austerity.

The ballot measure, called "Issue 2," represents a referendum on a law already passed by the Ohio legislature and signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich on March 31. Once the law was passed, labor unions mounted a drive for signatures to challenge the law by referendum. Implementation of the law has been put on hold pending the outcome of Tuesday's vote.

Although motivated by opposition to the law, the ballot measure is set up so that a "yes" vote would leave the law intact, while labor union supporters are urging Ohioans to vote "no."

The vote comes as states and localities nationwide are wrestling with tight budgets, and as some other states have moved to curb union bargaining power. Notably, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislature there passed labor restrictions despite weeks of protests by Democratic lawmakers and union supporters.

Moves on union-related matters such as public-employee health- care costs and teacher tenure have also cropped up in states as diverse as Massachusetts, Indiana, Nevada, and Florida.

Amid a nationwide focus on such questions, the Ohio referendum could send important signals. Polls taken before the vote suggest that a majority of Ohioans side with the view of labor unions. And a majority of voters in one poll say they disapprove of Mr. Kasich's performance as governor.

If the Ohio vote goes labor's way, it won't necessarily signal a nationwide change in momentum on the issue. For one thing, the labor movement has stronger roots in Ohio than in many other states. Also, the Ohio law represents just one approach to placing new limits on public-sector unions - an approach that many state voters found distasteful. (The law effectively eliminates the right to strike, for example.)

But a "no" vote on the law would provide a big boost to organized labor, with a win that could help energize its union ranks nationwide.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Election Day in Ohio Is a Test for Labor Unions Nationwide
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?