Ohio Passes Anti-Union Bill

Bill in some ways harsher than Wisconsin's
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
Ohio Passes Anti-Union Bill
Protesters gather at the Ohio Statehouse to voice their opposition to Senate Bill 5 on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Ohio's House and Senate each passed a controversial bill yesterday that will in some ways limit the rights of public workers even more than Wisconsin's much-discussed law. As lawmakers voted on the bills, jeers from pro-labor protesters and chants of "Shame on you!" filled their chambers, the AP reports. The bill passed the House by a 53-44 vote, and the Senate by a narrow 17-16. Republican Gov. John Kasich will sign it before the end of the week.

The bill will affect 350,000 public workers, and will, among other things, remove their right to collectively bargain on any issue other than wages. Unlike Wisconsin's law, police and firefighters wouldn't be exempt. The measure has drawn thousands of protesters—though not nearly as many as came out in Wisconsin—and Democrats say they'll try to overturn the law with a November referendum. (More Ohio stories.)

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