Saturday, March 19, 2011
Fighting for Workers' Rights
Joe Schiavoni has been in the Ohio Senate for a little more than two years, but SB 5 has been his first major battle, and he’s gained statewide and national visibility for leading the first to protect collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. His passion for the rights of working people is clear, as is his desire to develop into an effective political leader. He’s still learning, and the SB 5 battle has provided some frustrating lessons in what it means to be a member of the minority party.
While we can probably expect more anti-worker bills, such as one to limit overtime, the fight over SB 5 isn’t over, and it probably won’t be for a while. The Ohio House held hearings last week, and it’s put the discussion on hold for the week ahead. If the bill passes by April 6, opponents could pursue one or more ballot initiatives to overturn or limit its effects for the fall, 2011, election. A petition would also stop the bill from being enacted until an election. No one seems to know yet exactly what petitions will be put forth or whether they will be proposed for the 2011 or 2012 elections. But as Schiavoni explains, this battle isn’t over.