Perspective: Right-to-Work: has-been before it ever-was

9:42 AM, May 4, 2013   |    comments
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Ohio Republicans are presently a splintered, disconnected family. Some members are not talking with each other.

The latest proof comes in the comically embarrassing episode surrounding maverick proposals that Ohio become the 25th right-to-work state.

Two Republican representatives, Hudson's Kristina Roegner and Lebanon's Ron Maag, rolled out what they termed "Workplace Freedom" proposals last week.

Republican leaders were blindsided and aghast. The measures would mean public and private workers could not be compelled to join unions or pay dues.

But the far-right lawmakers behaved as if the issue could be addressed in a political vacuum. Governor John Kasich's wounds from the Senate Bill 5 trouncing have barely healed.

Facing reelection next year, the Governor is choosing to sidestep needless controversy. He does not want to rekindle the same passions.

The proposals were like waving a red cape in front of a bull. Democrats and unions rallied and sent out fundraising pleas to fight the controversial proposals.

The measures were introduced. And Republican leaders quickly pulled the plug on them. Now you see them. Now you don't.

Senate President Keith Faber summarily kicked them to the curb, declaring they did not fit in with the present leadership goals of job creation and economic recovery.

But whether you embrace right-to-work as liberating or think it's just naked union-busting, it is a subject that will likely be raised sooner or later.

Neighboring states Michigan and Indiana have adopted it. Not surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal last year reported right-to-work states are growing faster and creating more jobs, virtually all new plants being built by big automakers are going to right-to-work states.

Roegner and Maag would no doubt argue there is a thoughtful discussion that could and should be had. But their go-it-alone kamikaze style of introducing their proposals makes it less likely to happen anytime soon.

WKYC-TV

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