The Ohio state senate has voted to ban strikes by public workers and establish penalties for those who do participate in walkouts. Unionized workers can negotiate wages, hours, and certain work conditions, but not health care, sick time, or pension benefits. The bill passed despite the opposition of six Republicans. The bill is not yet law, but that is just a formality: the state house is even more heavily Republican, and the GOP governor is a strong advocate of the bill. Ohio has officially fallen into the red column for the foreseeable future.
As I explained in my previous blog, this fight is labor’s last stand, yet unions have not pulled out all their stops. And the national Democratic Party has practically stood down.
Also today came news that the self-exiled state senators from Wisconsin may be forced to return. The future is very grim.