Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’

Ohio SLD: Opponents to rail safety bill to appear in Columbus on Oct. 22; support needed

State Legislative Director Stu Gardner said that a hearing for opponents of H.B. 186 to appear before the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee has been scheduled.

Opponents are scheduled to give testimony at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 in Ohio Statehouse Room 114 in Columbus.

The opponent hearing before the committee was delayed at carriers’ request so that the carriers could bring in representatives from Washington, D.C., to testify and try to stop the bill’s passage, Gardner reports.

“We need a group of our supporters to attend this hearing in order to show the committee members we believe in all phases of HB 186,” Gardner said. “Let’s fill that hearing room with our activism and presence.”

H.B. 186 covers the following safety issues:

  • Two-person freight train crews
  • Proper walkways in railroad yard safety legislation
  • Railroad yard lighting safety legislation
  • Blocked crossings

Members representing SMART Transportation Division as well as representatives from the BLET provided more than two hours of proponent testimony last month to show state House Transportation and Public Safety committee members why the railroad safety legislation is deserving of their support.

Gardner suggests that Ohio members either call the offices or set up in-person meetings with members of the committee who are listed below.

Chairman:
Doug Green HD 66 (Mount Orab)
Phone: (614) 644-6034
Home Address: 708 S. High St., Mt. Orab, OH 45154

Vice Chairman:
Riordan T. McClain HD 87 (Upper Sandusky)
Phone: (614) 644-6265
Home Address: 469 N. 5th St., Upper Sandusky, OH 43351

Ranking Member:
Michael Sheehy HD 46 (Oregon)
Phone: (614) 466-1418
Home Address: 1129 Schmidlin Rd., Oregon, OH 43616

Juanita Brent HD 12 (Cleveland)
Phone: (614) 466-1408
Home Address: 16804 Glendale Ave., Cleveland, OH 44128

James M. Hoops HD 81 (Napoleon)
Phone: (614) 466-3760
Home Address: 195 Old Creek Dr., Napoleon, OH 43545

Stephanie Howse HD 11 (Cleveland)
Phone: (614) 466-1414
Home Address: 1220 Spring Rd., Cleveland, OH 44109

Don Jones HD 95 (Freeport)
Phone: (614) 644-8728
Home Address: 34755 Jones Rd., Freeport, OH 43973

Jeff LaRe HD 77 (Violet Twp.)
Phone: (614) 466-8100

Michele Lepore-Hagan HD 58 (Youngstown)
Phone: (614) 466-9435
Home Address: 562 Madera Ave., Youngstown, OH 44504

Susan Manchester HD 84 (Lakeview)
Phone: (614) 466-6344
(419) 303-2670
Home Address: 29249 St. Rt. 385, Lakeview, OH 43331

Gayle Manning HD 55 (North Ridgeville)
Phone: (614) 644-5076
Home Address: 9436 Foxboro Dr., North Ridgeville, OH 44039

Jessica Miranda, HD 28 (Forest Park)
Phone: (614) 466-8120
(513) 266-3937
Home Address: 11511 Oxfordshire Ln., Cincinnati, OH 45240

Michael J. O’Brien HD 64 (Warren)
Phone: (614) 466-5358
(330) 727-1097
Home Address: 1849 Edgewood St. NE, Warren, OH 44483

Thomas Patton HD 7 (Strongsville)
Phone: (614) 466-4895
Home Address: 17157 Rabbit Run Dr., Strongsville, OH 44136

Reggie Stoltzfus HD 50 (Minerva)
Phone: (614) 466-9078
(330) 936-6001
Home Address: 13789 Telpahak St SE, Minerva, OH 44657

The bill is sponsored by Ohio Reps. Mike Sheehy, a retired rail worker and member of the SMART TD Alumni Association, and Brent Hillyer.

 


See these related stories from SMART TD:

 

Safety over profit: Act now! Urge Ohio Transportation Committee to support 2-person crew bill!

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The first step in the process to mandate a minimum of two-person freight train crews in Ohio (H.B. 107) occurred Wednesday, March 29, when the Ohio Transportation & Safety Committee held its first hearing on the bill.

To make H.B. 107 a law in Ohio, we need TD union members, friends, family and anyone who cares about the safety of workers and the safety of our communities to click the link below to send a message to the members of the Ohio Transportation & Safety Committee, urging them to support this vital safety measure.

TAKE ACTION! Take a minute and click here to send a message in support of Ohio H.B. 107. Please share with friends and family to do the same!

TAKE ACTION IN YOUR STATE! Email us news of two-person crew or right-to-work (IS WRONG) legislation in your state to News_TD@smart-union.org.

TAKE ACTION to support H.R. 233, The Safe Freight Act, which would require a minimum of two-person crews on all freight trains operating in the United States. Click here to send a message to your U.S. House and Senate reps. in support of H.R. 233.

TAKE ACTION by calling members of the Ohio Transportation & Safety Committee (phone numbers listed below). Ask your Representatives to support H.B. 107 and thank the sponsors and co-sponsors for their support.

Ohio House Transportation & Safety Committee members (in order by district):

  • *Tom Patton (R – Dist. 7): 614-466-4895
  • *Stephanie Howse (D – Dist. 11): 614-466-1414
  • VC Dave Greenspan (R – Dist. 16): 614-466-0961
  • *Jim Hughes (R – Dist. 24): 614-466-8012
  • Alicia Reece (D – Dist. 33): 614-466-1308
  • Tony DeVitis (R – Dist. 36): 614-466-1790
  • *Mike Sheehy (D – Dist. 46): 614-466-1418
  • *Thomas West (D – Dist. 49): 614-466-8030
  • Candice Keller (R – Dist. 53): 614-644-5094
  • Nathan Manning (R – Dist. 55): 614-644-5076
  • *Michele LaPore-Hagan (D – Dist. 58): 614-466-9435
  • Chairman Doug Green (R – Dist. 66): 614-644-6034
  • Darrell Kick (R – Dist. 70): 614-466-2994
  • Larry Householder (R – Dist. 72): 614-466-2500
  • Terry Johnson (R – Dist. 90): 614-466-2124

*Denotes Sponsor or Co-sponsor of H.B. 107

SLB calls Ohioans to action on two-person crew bill

two-person_crewSMART TD Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner is calling members to action in response to the introduction of Senate Bill 229 (SB 229), the two-person crew bill introduced in the Ohio senate Oct. 14. The bill has been referred by the senate to the Public Utilities Committee.

“The call to action is this: I am requesting that every member in Ohio contact the Senators of the Public Utilities Committee and urge them to support SB 229,” Gardner said. “Email and call your state senator and tell them you want them to support SB 229 for the safety of our members and the general public that reside near the railroad tracks.

“Your message should be short and concise and to the point. We want them to understand that this is an important safety issue to you, your family and the public.

“I want you to understand that this is the first step. We want SB 229 to pass through this committee with a majority of votes. If SB 229 doesn’t get the majority of the votes in committee, it will die then and there.”

Click here to find your district.

Click here to find your Ohio senators and representatives.

Click here for a sample email that you can send to your senator.

Click on these links for documents to attach to your email:

Below are the members of the Public Utilities Committee and their contact information.

Senator Phone # Email Address Alt. Email Address

Cliff Hite
(R – Dist. 1)

614-466-8150 hite@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_01@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Ruby Marcum ruby.marcum@ohiosenate.gov
Kevin Bacon
(R – Dist. 3)
614-466-8064 sd03@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_03@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Caryl Philips caryl.philips@ohiosenate.gov
Bill Seitz
(R – Dist. 8)
614-466-8068 sd08@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_08@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Amanda Connell amanda.connell@ohiosenate.gov
Joseph Uecker
(R – Dist. 14)
614-466-8082 uecker@ohiosenate.com Senate_District_14@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Lindsay Riley  lindsay.riley@ohiosenate.gov
Bob Peterson
(R – Dist. 17)
614-466-8156 peterson@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_17@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Lucas Houghton lucas.houghton@ohiosenate.gov
John Eklund
(R – Dist. 18)
614-644-7718 Eklund@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_18@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Elizabeth Lust elizabeth.lust@ohiosenate.gov
Troy Balderson
(R – Dist. 20)
614-446-8076 balderson@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_20@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Sarah Huffman sarah.huffman@ohiosenate.gov
Sandra Williams
(D – Dist. 21)
614-466-4857 williams@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_21@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Brook Felts brook.felts@ohiosenate.gov
Tom Patton
(R – Dist. 24)
614-466-8056 patton@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District24@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Charles Trefny ctrefny@ohiosenate.gov
Tom Sawyer
(D – Dist. 28)
614-466-7041 tomsawyer@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_28@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Cindy Peters cindy.peters@ohiosenate.gov
Lou Gentile
(D – Dist. 30)
614-466-6508 sd30@ohiosenate.gov Senate_District_30@ohiosenate.gov
  Staff: Maria Haberman steven.blalock@ohiosenate.gov

Right-to-work proposal introduced in Ohio

no_rtwCOLUMBUS, Ohio – A Cincinnati, Ohio lawmaker introduced his plan to bring a right-to-work law to Ohio despite opposition from fellow Republicans.

The proposal from Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-Mount Lookout) would prohibit mandatory union membership at workplaces. The change would give employees the choice to opt out of unions and their dues. Twenty-five states have right-to-work laws, including recently passed proposals in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.

Read more from Telegraph-Forum

‘Right-to-work’ bill being drawn up in Ohio House

No RTWColumbus, Ohio – An Ohio lawmaker said he plans to introduce a “right-to-work” bill that would prohibit private-sector labor union membership as a condition of employment.

State Rep. Tom Brinkman said Wednesday that his bill, which he plans to introduce next month, would ban “closed shops” and forbid unions from charging “fair-share fees” to non-union workers at private-sector workplaces. The Cincinnati Republican said he intends to introduce the bill sometime next month.

The lawmaker said his legislation would not apply to public-sector unions, which were controversially targeted with similar restrictions by Senate Bill 5 in 2011 until Ohio voters rejected it.

Read more from Cleveland.com

Judge orders early voting hours be restored in Ohio

gavelJudge Peter Economus of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled Wednesday, June 11 in favor of a motion for summary judgment to permanently maintain the final three days of early voting.

“In-person early voting is restored on the three days immediately preceding all future election days for all eligible voters. Secretary of State Jon Husted shall be responsible for setting business hours for such voting to preserve the right of all Ohio voters to cast his or her vote with said hours to be uniform throughout the state and suitable to the needs of the particular election in question,” Economus said in the decision.

Earlier this year, Husted issued a directive setting uniform statewide early voting hours for the 2014 election that didn’t include any Sundays or the Monday before Election Day.

The court’s action follows a previous decision that restored early voting hours leading up to the 2012 election.

Secretary Husted said he would comply with the court’s ruling and hailed it as a vindication of his effort to impose uniform voting procedures statewide.

“I am pleased that the federal court has affirmed what I have long advocated – that all voters, no matter where they live, should have the same opportunity to vote. Thankfully, uniformity and equality won the day,” Husted said.

Secretary Husted had urged the legislature to pass a law setting uniform early voting hours statewide but got little interest from his Republican colleagues.

“This ruling shows how important these last three days are to ensure equal access to the ballot, and the hours set by Secretary Husted should reflect that,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said in a statement.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said 96,000 Ohioans cast their ballots during the final three days of early voting in the 2012 presidential election.

“This November and beyond, thousands more will be able to join them,” Schultz said.

The court case stems from a series of legislative actions last session when Republicans passed a far-ranging elections measure that reduced the early in-person voting period.

Ohio joins in the fight against right-to-work bills

05/02/13 UPDATE: Ohio right-to-work bills were considered “dead-on-arrival” as Senate Republic President Keith Faber rejected the bills last night in an after-hours press conference.

“We have an ambitious agenda focused on job creation and economic recovery, and Right to Work legislation is not on that list. After discussions with other leaders and my caucus, I don’t believe there is current support for this issue in the General Assembly,” Faber said. “The only purpose this discussion serves right now is to generate a bunch of breathless fundraising appeals from the Ohio Democratic Party.”

 

Original Story:

Ohio has joined Pa. and Mo. in the fight against right-to-work bills. Today, two Republican Ohio Representatives Kristina Roegner and Ron Maag submitted bills seeking to take away rights from unions and their members in Ohio.

Roegner’s bill goes after private-sector unions such as UTU-SMART while Maag’s bill focuses on unions of the public sector.

Ohioans are clearly against this type of legislation with 60 percent of Ohio voters having voted down similar legislation in Senate Bill 5 (SB 5) that was introduced in 2011. SB 5 almost cost Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich his job when he sought to make SB 5 law without allowing Ohioans to vote on it. Petitions and outcries were heard loud and clear in Ohio’s government and SB 5 went to the people to be voted on in November 2011 and was voted down.

Ohioans are still working on getting an amendment passed that would allow the people of Ohio to vote to remove a governor from office as a result of the SB 5 fiasco.

Kasich has refused to support any right-to-work bill since SB 5 failed and has instead remained focused on other legislation. Kasich has yet to weigh in on the new legislation that was introduced today.

Pennsylvania and Missouri are also facing similar bills in their respective Houses. Recently, the state of Maine rejected right-to-work bills in both the state House and Senate, effectively killing those bills.

Ohio voters restore collective bargaining rights

SB 5 Rally; Carl Morgano; Morgano, CarlVoters in Ohio overwhelmingly restored to public employees Nov. 8 their collective bargaining rights that a conservative majority in the state legislature – with support from Gov. John Kasich — chose to revoke earlier this year.

The mean-spirited legislative attack on collective bargaining rights was so repugnant to Ohio citizens that 1.3 million affixed their signature on petitions to place the law on the November general election ballot – a rare and not lightly taken action of direct democracy.

By nearly a two-to-one margin, Ohio voters overturned the law, sending it to the dust bin of political history, along with a strong message to conservative lawmakers that they best not again seek to trash workers’ rights to collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions.

The New York Times called the landslide vote “a slap to Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, a prominent Republican who had championed the law.” Vice President Joe Biden said, “Fundamental fairness has prevailed.”

The UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund played a meaningful role in overturning the law, with active and retired UTU members in Ohio helping to organize public demonstrations, circulating petitions to place the law on the November ballot, and assisting in voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives that involved knocking on doors and providing rides to the polls.

The phrase repeated to Ohio voters a million times over by UTU volunteers was, “Don’t let others decide your future.”

UTU Ohio State Legislative Director Glenn Newsom spent months visiting locals and directing mail and phone messages to active and retired UTU members about the importance of voting and encouraging others to vote for repeal of the law.

This was the second victory for the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund. In July, two anti-labor senators, who had voted in favor of a law similar to the one in Ohio, were removed from office in Wisconsin following a recall effort with strong UTU participation. Democrats and union leaders there now hope to channel momentum from the Ohio victory into an effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Against odds, labor sends loud message in Wisconsin

A coalition of labor unions and community groups didn’t take back the Wisconsin state senate from anti-union extremists Tuesday night, Aug. 9, but voters enraged over the extremists’ political agenda did unseat two of the six senators targeted for recall.

“Seeing that we were outspent three-to-one, that recall elections are rare in American politics and that our effort to change the face of the Wisconsin legislature only began a few months ago, contributors to the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund can be proud of the accomplishment of unseating two extremists, and, especially, the message the recall election sent anti-union politicians nationwide,” said UTU Alternate National Legislative Director John Risch.

The Wisconsin recall effort began after political extremists in that state legislature voted to curtail public-employee bargaining rights as a first step toward weakening labor-union power.

An anti-union agenda by political extremists in Ohio similarly energized labor and community groups there, culminating in a successful petition drive that puts the political extremists’ anti-union legislation to a direct voter referendum in Ohio in November.

And in Indiana, political extremists abandoned their effort to curtail public-employee collective bargaining rights after the pushback by labor and community groups began in Wisconsin and Ohio.

In all cases, the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund played an effective role.

In Madison, Wis., Tuesday, a voter told the Capitol-Times newspaper, “I think the fact that this election is going on right now is a victory in and of itself. We put [the anti-union lawmakers] on the hot seat. I would have liked to have seen us run the table on them, but this is okay for now.”

The UTU’s political consultant, Dean Mitchell, noted that the Wisconsin recall elections are a “test run for organized labor in expanding and improving its get-out-the-vote message and efforts ahead of the 2012 presidential election, where Wisconsin will be one of the swing states. The UTU can be proud that the two senators successfully recalled are from the two voting districts in the state with the most UTU members registered.”

UTU National Legislative Director James Stem said the extremist agenda in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states to privatize schools and weaken labor unions mirrors the efforts of extremists in Congress to fold Railroad Retirement into Social Security, privatize Social Security and Medicare, eliminate Amtrak and destroy organized labor.

 “The situation in Wisconsin allowed the UTU and other labor organizations to fine-tune our communication strategies,” Stem said. “We are very proud of the manner in which our active and retired members responded to our efforts. The UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund and the UTU PAC will continue to spearhead our efforts going forward to protect our collective bargaining rights and defend against these brazen attacks on the middle-class.

“We owe temporary Gov. Scott Walker a debt of gratitude for waking up the middle class to the battle being waged against them,” Stem said. “We will use the lessons learned in the Wisconsin recall to improve our efforts and communications in Ohio and in presidential and congressional elections in 2012.”

Collective Bargaining Defense Fund fuels another win

Sturdy confirmation of the value of the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund emerged from a Wisconsin vote tally this second week of July – the second of three heats in a race to unseat anti-labor senators in special recall elections.

Wisconsin voters, awakened to and energized against anti-labor efforts of political extremists in their state legislature, cast majority ballots for labor-friendly candidates in primary elections.

The primaries were in advance of Aug. 9 special elections to recall state senators who earlier this year voted to strip Wisconsin public employees of their collective bargaining rights.

As Wisconsin has an open primary and no party registration, the labor-friendly candidates (all Democrats) found themselves pitted against Republican political extremists who entered the Democratic primaries as sham Democrats. They had hoped to win the primaries and assure either their own victory or victory for the incumbents they would face when the recall elections are held Aug. 9. The sham tactics failed.

Indeed, Wisconsin voters knew the difference between the real labor-friendly candidates and the sham candidates because of shoe-leather exertions by union members in Wisconsin. They knocked on doors, handed out educational materials and urged voters to go to the polls. Those successful efforts – as well as the earlier successful petition drive to force the recall elections — were supported by the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund.

Legislative attacks on organized labor in Wisconsin – duplicated in Ohio, where organized labor’s counter offensive also is proving successful – is part of a more expansive effort among political extremists nationwide to destroy organized labor, fold Railroad Retirement into Social Security, privatize Social Security and Medicare, eliminate Amtrak and starve other public transit operations of funds.

The UTU’s political consultant, Dean Mitchell, said, “The UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund made a difference by working with the Wisconsin AFL-CIO on member-to-member communication. UTU members in Wisconsin were contacted through phone calls and special mailings, urging them to vote in the Wisconsin primary. UTU International President Mike Futhey also hosted a town hall meeting via telephone with UTU active and retired members in Wisconsin.

Mitchell has been coordinating a multi-state effort among UTU legislative directors to educate voters to the threat posed by political extremists and to energize UTU members and retirees and their families to be politically active.

That communication effort will be duplicated in advance of the Wisconsin recall elections Aug. 9.

In Ohio, the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund helped to fuel a petition drive that put that state’s anti-labor legislation on hold pending a voter referendum in November. The fund is also assisting with efforts in other states to block anti-labor efforts advanced by political extremists.

Activities fueled by the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund have spawned media attention, which in turn helps to educate large numbers of middle-class voters to the anti-labor agenda of political extremists.

As evidenced in the Wisconsin primaries, voters are expressing anger with the attacks on organized labor even though many have never belonged to a labor union. They recognize that today’s attacks on labor unions are a prelude to a future attack on the middle class in America.

To learn more about the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund, and how to contribute, click on the following link:

https://smart-union.org/collective-bargaining-defense-fund/
 

Are labor unions irrelevant and ineffective?

It is said by some opinion leaders and decision makers that labor unions are on the decline — that labor unions have become irrelevant in our society and ineffective in influencing public policy.

Recent events in Ohio and Wisconsin properly send such notions to the rubbish bin.

Recall that political extremists in both states used extraordinary tactics to muscle through legislation stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights.

It was the first step toward weakening the link between workers and labor unions – the first step toward privatizing Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Medicare, weakening workplace safety regulations, and returning to the days of take-it-or-leave-it offers by employers to their workers.

What union-busting lawmakers did not expect is the public backlash generated by organized labor and its members, whom they thought were so weak and irrelevant that they would retreat with barely a whimper.

Oh, yeah?

In the wake of the Ohio and Wisconsin assaults on collective bargaining rights, union brothers and sisters worked collectively and tirelessly to educate the media and the public – through, for example, the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund — about the assault launched by political extremists on middle-class values.

First by the hundreds, then the thousands, then the tens of thousands, and then by the hundreds of thousands did citizens respond to the messages of union brothers and sisters. The outrage initially was expressed in huge and loud rallies around the states. Then came the action.

In Ohio, UTU members joined with brothers and sisters in other labor organizations to launch a petition drive to put the union-busting legislation on hold pending a voter referendum in November. With Ohio State Legislative Director Glenn Newsom coordinating the efforts, members from 22 UTU locals in Ohio fanned out across the state seeking signatures on the petitions. They were joined by brothers and sisters from other labor organizations.

To succeed, 231,000 voter signatures were required. Five times that number — more than 1.2 million voters – signed the petitions.

You can be certain that the number of signatures obtained on these petitions is sending waves of remorse through the ranks of those who voted with the political extremists. After all, they, too, must face the voters.

In Wisconsin, meanwhile, petition drives coordinated by State Legislative Director Tim Deneen – and other labor organizations — are forcing many of the political extremists responsible for the anti-union legislation in that state to face recall elections in July and August.  By the scores – and of  this you can be certain — lawmakers in Wisconsin are discussing how to separate themselves from the anti-union political extremists facing recall, and regain the support of voters.

On July 5, International President Mike Futhey will hold, via telephone conference call, town hall meetings with Ohio and Wisconsin UTU members to discuss the next steps to ensure voter repeal of the Ohio legislation in November, and the recall of the anti-union Wisconsin lawmakers in July and August.

When union brothers and sisters act together in solidarity, organized labor proves not just to be relevant, but to be darn effective in influencing public policy.

Need we say more as to why UTU members should donate to the UTU Collective Bargaining Fund, and to the UTU PAC, which helps to elect and re-elect union-friendly lawmakers at the state and federal level?

Ok, we will say just a few more words: The jobs and economic futures you save through these actions may well be your own jobs and the economic futures of your families.

To learn more about the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund, click on the following link:

https://smart-union.org/collective-bargaining-defense-fund/

To learn more about the UTU PAC, click on the following link:

https://smart-union.org/td/washington/utu-pac/

Wisconsin decision will embolden extremists

MADISON, Wis. – A divided state supreme court here June 14 ruled in a 4-3 decision that the state’s controversial law revoking collective-bargaining rights for public employees may go into effect – overturning an injunction issued by a lower court.

This is important to UTU members for two reasons:

  • Political extremists in other states and in Congress will be emboldened by this decision, and that means a more concerted attack to fold Railroad Retirement into Social Security; privatize Social Security and Medicare, ending those programs as we know them; eliminate federal funding for Amtrak as a first step toward shutting it down; abolish income protection in railroad mergers, line sales and abandonments; and decimate workplace safety regulations and income.
  • The Wisconsin state supreme court decision would have gone the other way had a labor-friendly challenger to the incumbent won that seat on the court in a recent election. The challenger, written off early as unelectable, came within a few thousand votes of victory only because the state’s attack on collective-bargaining rights so enraged Wisconsin voters. Those voters became enraged because of a public outcry fueled by labor-union activism made possible by the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund and similar programs initiated by other labor organizations.

In fact, labor-union activism in Wisconsin generated such substantial support that many of the lawmakers who voted to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights now face recall elections this summer. The UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund will assist in educating Wisconsin voters and helping to energize them to go to the polls and cast votes to recall those lawmakers.

If the recall is successful, it is possible that the law will be changed by a more moderate Wisconsin legislature where many lawmakers who supported the anti-union measure are now rethinking their votes in light of the public outrage. In the Wisconsin House, language is being prepared for insertion in a budget bill to reinsert the collective bargaining language that was stricken under the leadership and bullying of political extremists.

Additionally, in Ohio, where the legislature passed a state law similarly curtailing public employee collective bargaining rights, the measure is now on hold and headed for a voter referendum in November because of labor-union activism made possible by the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund and similar programs by other labor organizations.

Voters across the nation are recognizing the threat posed to working families by political extremists intent upon dismantling government and turning back decades of progressive legislation.

Hundreds of UTU members and retirees, along with UTU locals and general committees, have made generous contributions to the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund.

More is needed. The Collective Bargaining Defense Fund is accomplishing what it was established to do.

Meanwhile, the UTU PAC is in need of additional contributions to help labor-friendly candidates challenge and defeat extremists in congressional and state elections in November 2012.

For more information on the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund, click on the following link:

https://smart-union.org/collective-bargaining-defense-fund/

For more information on how UTU members can join the UTU PAC, or increase their contributions, send an email to legis@utu.org, or click on the following link:

https://smart-union.org/td/washington/utu-pac/