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Government & Politics

Union Dues Bill Gets First Hearing

Becker standing
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Rep. John Becker (R-Cincinnati) testifies before the House Finance Committee on his bill before a room packed with union members who oppose it.

Members of the Ohio House came back to work for their first day since the election to face a room packed with opponents of a bill on public employee unions. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the bill may not go far, but union members were determined to show their opposition.

Republican John Becker of Cincinnati says his bill only puts into state law the US Supreme Court Janus decision ending the forced collection of union dues from public employees.

“This is simply right to work, where the employees have the choice to join a union. It does nothing to abolish unions or any kind of union busting.”

Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters president Mike Taylor says the turnout for this first hearing was a show of force by opponents of so-called right to work laws.

“Absolutely. All these people were here – we just went through this in 2011.”

That’s when unions and voters defeated the public employee collective bargaining reform law known as Senate Bill 5. Outgoing Gov. John Kasich has said a right to work law isn’t needed, and incoming Gov. Mike DeWine said he would veto one.