Ohio Anti-Union Law: Residents Repeal Law that Limits Collective Bargaining

Ohio residents voted overwhelmingly to repeal the state’s law limiting collective bargaining and other union tactics.

The law, which went into effect in March, was rejected Tuesday by a 2 to 1 margin.

Unions poured $24 million into campaign efforts to strike down the law affecting the state’s estimated 350,000 unionized public workers, according to reports.

The law quickly became the source of controversy by banning strikes for Ohio’s firefighters, police officers, teachers and other public union members. It also set new minimum employee contributions for healthcare and retirement.

Gov. John Kasich said the union-limiting measure was a way for Ohio to save money by placing a cap on spending, according to reports.

Union supporters praised Tuesday’s vote while Kasich vowed to revisit the issue down the road.

"Ohio’s problems developed over time because too many people cared more about popularity than about making the tough and sometimes unpopular choices Ohio needed," said Kasich.

State Republicans said they would attempt to bring back parts of the bill next year, according to reports.

Union officials maintain the repeal of the law should show politicians that residents support collective bargaining and other measures on the ballot.

"Ohio sent a message to every politician out there: Go in and make war on your employees rather than make jobs with your employees, and you do so at your own peril,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Since the union-limiting law did not take effect before it was repealed, Ohio’s current laws will remain intact.

The results in Ohio could also have implications across the country as politicians eye national elections in 2012.

The Obama administration opposed the stricter laws announced in March and praised there repeal Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. Republican presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, have expressed support for limiting public unions’ power.

It is unclear what effect the Ohio vote may have on other states, like Wisconsin, that are grappling with union-related issues.

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