( Photo: AFL-CIO ) Final GOTV push, No on 2, Columbus Ohio, November 8, 2011. (l. to r.: JW Johnson, Managing Dir, Leg. and Govt. Affairs, TWU; Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO; Dean Hubbard; Theotis James, In’l. Rep., AFL-CIO)
Ohio voters came out in full force Tuesday to repeal the Ohio law, SB5, which would have practically eliminated public sector collective bargaining in the state.
In the most closely watched election since Tea-Party billionaires and their political hired hands launched an all out assault on workers’ human rights last winter, Ohioans resoundingly rejected SB5 by a 61-39 percent margin.
Last night’s victory was the culmination of a massive grassroots effort, coordinated by We Are Ohio, to repeal the law that was rammed through Ohio’s legislature this past spring, despite massive protests. In a matter of weeks, activists collected nearly 1. 3 million signatures, five times the number needed to place the repeal referendum on the ballot.
TWU members were at the core of a broad national coalition that petitioned, canvassed, phone banked and volunteered in Ohio to ensure SB5 would be repealed.
The people of Ohio have fired a shot that will be heard around the country. They have let it be known that working people and the 99% will not stand aside and watch as oligarchs try to steal their hard-won rights in a quest for total control of our democracy.
So thank you Ohio, from everyone in the labor movement and from all Americans of conscience. And thank you to TWU members for keeping the faith, standing strong and winning this fight for all of us.
(l. to r.: Carl Martin, JW Johnson, unknown, Robert Gless, all of TWU)