Columbus, OH Takes Center Stage in Next Big Union Fight

by
February 22, 2011

By Lee Ross, FOXNews

The next focus of demonstrators protesting collective bargaining reforms should be Columbus, Ohio where thousands, if not tens-of-thousands, of protestors are expected to gather Tuesday and shout their views about a controversial bill that puts labor unions in the crosshairs of a determined governor intent on salvaging his state’s financial situation.

The protests should look and sound much like the ones from Madison, Wisconsin that have gripped the nation in the recent days and marries an uncomfortable economic reality with political opportunity.

“It’s to put our children first. It’s to do the things without regard to political considerations and try to serve the public,” Ohio Governor John Kasich told FOX News late Monday afternoon from the same building where demonstrators will rally Tuesday. “And if we get that done; we balance our budget–$8 billion in the hole–without a tax increase and we’ve cut taxes on income taxes, that’s going to send a message to the rest of that country that if they can do it [in Columbus], they can do it in their state and they maybe, guess what, they might actually be able to do something like this in Washington.”

While the broad pictures of Wisconsin and Ohio are similar with declarations of impending economic disaster and cures of pension and collective bargaining reform, a closer look at the proposals in both states reveal a significant difference.

The Wisconsin reforms don’t cover all public employee unions. Firefighters and police officers, for example, aren’t on the hook in the Badger State but all unionized state and municipal employees in Ohio are subject to the reforms proposed in Senate Bill 5, which would strip the collective bargaining rights of all public workers.

To read more, visit: http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/02/21/columbus-takes-center-stage-next-big-union-fight

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