Workers Pack Statehouse In Protest Of Union Bill


UPDATED: Friday February 18, 2011 12:23 PM

More than 1,000 workers were at the Ohio Statehouse on Thursday to protest Senate Bill 5.

If approved, the bill would overhaul collective bargaining, 10TV's Danielle Elias reported.

Supporters of the bill spoke on Tuesday. Thursday's testimony before the senate committee was from those opposing the bill.

Firefighters, police officers, corrections workers and educators from around Ohio showed up to protest a bill they call a "union buster."

If the bill passes, collective bargaining by unions, which became law in 1983, could come to an end.

"We work hard to help the community," said Mark Harrington, who opposes the bill. "Our goal is to be strong and be well. It's only fair to collective bargain."

Ohio is facing an estimated $8 billion deficit, and Gov. John Kasich has said union labor costs must be reined in.

"We think some of the cities and the state will go bankrupt if we don't find a way to get around some of the union contract," said S.B. 5 supporter Pearl Pullman.

Kasich has expressed support for the bill in concept, but he also signaled he might offer his own plan that could go even further, including banning public employee strikes.

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February 15, 2011: Unions Protest 'Collective Bargaining Killer'