Ohio voters open to "right-to-work" law: poll

CLEVELAND Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:18pm EST

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CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A majority of Ohio voters support joining neighboring Indiana as an anti-union "right-to-work" state, three months after Ohio voters supported labor by rejecting an anti-public union law, a Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday found.

Fifty-four percent of Ohio registered voters polled favored adopting a "right-to-work" law that would ban workers from being required to join a union or pay dues. Forty percent opposed it.

Indiana on February 1 became the 23rd state, and the first in the nation's Midwestern manufacturing heartland, to enact a "right-to-work" law, and supporters of similar measures in Ohio hope to put the issue to a vote as a proposed state constitutional amendment.

In November, Ohio voters rejected a referendum that would have limited collective bargaining rights for public workers in what was seen as a major victory for organized labor and sound defeat for Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich, who supported the measure.

However, support for a "right-to-work" law was strong among Republicans with 77 percent in favor, while 55 percent of independent voters supported a law and 61 percent of Democrats opposed it, according to the poll results.

"Many of those same independents who stood up for unions this past November ... are standing up to unions by backing 'right-to-work' legislation," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The Quinnipiac telephone poll of 1,421 registered voters was taken from February 7 to February 12 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Proponents of a "right-to-work" state constitutional amendment must collect about 386,000 signatures to put the question to voters in November.

About 13.4 percent of Ohio workers were members of unions in 2011, a larger percentage than in Indiana, where 11.3 percent were in unions, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, about 11.8 percent of workers were union members.

(Editing by David Bailey and Daniel Trotta)

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Comments (2)
jaavmickey wrote:
It should be right to work for less. This gives Ohio no additional rights and no additional work. No one is forced to join a union, I can promise you their are plenty of people working in ohio without the benefits (Health care, overtime, better wages)of a union. A union isnt some union boss in DC. UNION a: a confederation of independent individuals (as nations or persons) for some common purpose. The purpose would be better wages conditions and pay. Why would any working person be against that. Get away from (fox) pro corporate, anti union propaganda. As unions have declined in the past 30 yrs so have the middle class. Wake up people.

Feb 15, 2012 7:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
LibbyU wrote:
I see nothing wrong with this but I haven’t read and fact checked exactly what this would cover. This seems like it doesn’t eliminate unions and it gives those entering a job the choice of belonging to a union or not. Unions probably think this will hurt them but I think it could give a good balance and make Unions really look at the services they provide and make sure they are giving their members what they are paying for. People will join voluntarily if it’s an efficient union.

Feb 15, 2012 12:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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