Most Ohio voters want to repeal union curbs: poll

CHICAGO Wed May 18, 2011 1:14pm EDT

Bradley Combs of Cincinnati holds a sign during a rally opposing Senate Bill 5 that would weaken unions, at the state capitol in Columbus, Ohio, February 22, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Munden

Bradley Combs of Cincinnati holds a sign during a rally opposing Senate Bill 5 that would weaken unions, at the state capitol in Columbus, Ohio, February 22, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Munden

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Most Ohio voters want to repeal a controversial state law limiting public sector worker union rights, a poll found on Wednesday.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that 54 percent of Ohio voters surveyed said the law should be repealed, compared with 36 percent who said it should be kept.

The bill was passed by the Republican-dominated legislature March 31 and signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich the next day. Opponents are collecting voter signatures to get the measure, which has not yet taken effect, on the November, 2011 ballot for possible repeal.

"Although it is a long way until November when opponents of (the law) hope to ask voters to overturn it, at this point there is strong support for repealing Gov. Kasich's signature plan," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The poll found that 53 to 36 percent of those polled believe the governor's proposals are unfair to people like them, which is identical to a March 23 poll.

The gender gap over the measure is large -- with 49 percent of men and 58 percent of women backing repeal.

Approval of Kasich's job performance rating has gone up among independent voters and Republicans and down among Democrats, compared with the March survey. Overall, Ohio voters disapprove of his job performance by 49 to 38 percent, compared to 46 to 30 percent disapproval in March.

While massive protests in Wisconsin earlier this year grabbed national attention, Ohio is more important to the union movement. It has the nation's sixth largest number of public sector union members, twice as many as Wisconsin.

Ohio's law prevents public workers from striking and abolishes automatic pay increases, replacing them with merit or performance pay.

One of the biggest problems for unions has been a change that does away with binding arbitration in contract disputes, letting the legislative body choose their own offer if negotiations fail. Opponents say this effectively ends collective bargaining altogether, since the employer will always win.

Quinnipiac, based in Hamden, Conn., surveyed 1,379 registered voters from May 10 to 16. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune)

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Comments (6)
Hedonikos wrote:
Ohioans voted the conservatives in. Let them wallow in their filth. Until they grow a collective brain and realize that conservatives are just greed and power hungry who listen only to the wealthy, they will just have to sit in dullard incomprehension. Don’t try to repeal the law. THat is just treating a symptom. Kill the disease. It is conservatism. It will kill a nation.

May 18, 2011 12:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Hedonikos wrote:
Ohioans voted the conservatives in. Let them wallow in their filth. Until they grow a collective brain and realize that conservatives are just greed and power hungry who listen only to the wealthy, they will just have to sit in dullard incomprehension. Don’t try to repeal the law. THat is just treating a symptom. Kill the disease. It is conservatism. It will kill a nation.

May 18, 2011 12:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KenBradshaw wrote:
I don’t think this is true. I suspect whoever did the survey wants it to be true and slanted the survey towards that. Even the direction of the governor’s approval ratings indicates this is not so.

I appreciate and understand the importance of polls, but I would go with my gut here and say I think the state voters will uphold this.

May 18, 2011 12:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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