Posted by | March 30, 2011 22:45 | Filed under: Top Stories

An Ohio bill that would remove collective bargaining rights for public workers first passed the Ohio House today, and then the state’s Senate, and is likely to be signed by Governor John Kasich.

The Ohio House has approved the controversial Senate Bill 5, which once enacted would significantly change collective bargaining laws in the state. The vote was 53-44 following nearly 4 hours of floor speeches.

Opponents of SB5 in the gallery shouted “Shame on you!”, and greeted the legislators with a slew of boos. House Speaker William G. Batchelder repeatedly banged on his gavel. Unable to restore order, he asked the state highway patrol to control the crowd in the gallery, which was estimated at about 700.

Chalk up one more state, the traditionally labor-friendly Ohio, as one that is taking away rights from middle-income Americans.

The Republican-dominated Senate voted 17 to 16 in favor of the bill Wednesday evening, hours after the House passed it, 53 to 44, with 5 Republicans joining 39 Democrats in opposition.

Republicans applauded the bill, saying Ohio’s deficit-plagued state and local governments could no longer afford the costs that public-sector unions extracted in collective bargaining. But Democrats criticized the legislation, saying it effectively eviscerated public employees’ bargaining rights and would make it harder for them to stay in the middle class.

The bill would bar public employees from striking and would prohibit binding arbitration for police officers and firefighters. It would allow bargaining over wages, but not health coverage and pensions and would allow public-employee unions to bargain only when the public employer chose to do so.

Eyes were on Wisconsin because Democrats leaving the state raised the state’s media profile. But Wisconsin was only the beginning of the movement to take away decades of workers’ rights that is sweeping the red states.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.