CFL News
November 09, 2011

Chicago unions help Ohioans defeat anti-union law

Union members from across Chicago helped working men and women in Ohio stand up and repeal SB5, a law passed earlier this year that strictly limits collective bargaining rights


A member of IUOE Local 150 makes get-out-the-vote calls to Ohio union members on Issue 2Voters in Ohio overwhelmingly rejected SB5 on November 8, sending a clear message to Governor John Kasich that right-wing attempts to limit collective bargaining rights for nurses, teachers, fire fighters and other public servants are unacceptable and won't be tolerated.  In Chicago, union members from dozens of local unions joined the effort at the Chicago Federation of Labor's phone banks, helping get out the vote in what was a landslide 2 to 1 margin of victory.

Volunteers in Chicago made more than 70,000 calls in the days leading up to Tuesday's Election Day from three different locations in the Chicago area.

"Talking to Ohioans about repealing Senate Bill 5 made me hopeful that we, as union members and Americans, are turning a corner and rediscovering the role collective bargaining rights play in ensuring economic justice and a strong middle class,” said Joe Healy, a member of the Laborers who has phone banking in Chicago.  "The enthusiasm among both the callers and the people we called was outstanding.  We knew we were doing important work, and we are confident it will pay off.”

“There is a war brewing from across the country,” said Robert Reiter Jr., secretary-treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor, at a get-out-the-vote rally in Columbus.  “It is for the soul of this nation.  The war is everywhere but the frontline is right here in Columbus, Ohio."

“We need you to win here in Ohio.  Wall Street bankers, billionaires and right-wing politicians think they Union members call Ohioans to get out the votehave pulled off the perfect crime,” added Reiter Jr.  “They drove this country into a ditch through their greed and recklessness.  Now that they have been bailed out, they have put our fingerprints at the scene of the crime.  The economy wasn’t wrecked by teachers, firefighters, nurses and social workers.”

Working men and women from across the country pitched in on this effort, the result of which received national attention.