1.3 Million Ohioans ask Governor “Can You Hear Us Now?”
Published 30 Jun, 2011
A semi-truck stuffed with petitions delivered nearly 1.3 million signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State on June 29 in order to put union busting SB 5 up for a citizen’s veto. Thousands of Ohioans marched through the streets of the capitol in the People’s Parade to deliver the signatures, which were over five times the number needed to get the bill on the ballot for a public referendum.
The 1,298,301 signatures send a powerful message that Ohioans are fed up with the attack on the middle class and the human rights of workers. The grassroots groundswell to repeal the unpopular SB 5 swept across the state as people collected signatures on sidewalks and doorsteps and in union halls and churches. Once the signatures are verified, the bill will be placed on the November ballot for the people to overturn.
TWU members in Ohio have been active in the movement to repeal SB 5, collecting thousands of signatures and registering hundreds of new voters. TWU locals in Ohio and International staff worked together to train petitioners and organize events and canvassing. Local 1 from Akron, OH sponsored regular petition circulations, even gathering 315 signatures during one afternoon in the pouring rain. For weeks Local 208 in Columbus, OH held tabling and other petition events. Railroad Locals like 2019 also gathered hundreds of signatures. The TWU members who spent evenings and weekends working to stop SB 5 were a vital part of the effort to prevent this devastating bill.
The drive to repeal SB 5 is being coordinated by We Are Ohio, a diverse coalition of Ohio workers, community groups, citizens and people of faith. They are pushing back against Gov. John Kasich and the right-wing state politicians who have overstepped and gone too far in the politically driven effort to take away the collective bargaining rights of public workers. Kasich is now one of the two most unpopular governors in the country, along with anti-union Governor Scott of Florida.
Ohioans will now shift their energy to mobilizing voters to vote SB 5 down.