Ohio ramps up fight to repeal SB 5

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Despite polls showing the public is strongly on their side, opponents of SB 5, the union-busting law on the Nov. 8 ballot as Issue 2, give no signs of overconfidence as mobilizations to reach voters have grown throughout the state.           

Boosted by the latest Quinnipiac poll showing voters favor repeal by a 57 to 32 point margin, they have scheduled phone banks, precinct walks, marches and rallies every day until the election. 

"We cannot sit on our laurels," said Jeanette Mauk of We Are Ohio, the labor-community coalition leading the fight. "We've done a great job so far bringing the message to Ohio families on how Issue 2 will hurt our communities if it passes. We aren't going to let up now!"

In anticipation of a massive last minute TV blitz by the corporate right-wing backers of the law, We Are Ohio is strongly encouraging early and mail ballot voting.

Last week thousands participated in marches to local Boards of Election in a number of cities where they voted against the Issue.

The annual Hilltop Parade in this working class section of Columbus took on a pronounced political flavor Oct. 23 as marchers carried "Vote No on Issue 2" signs, handed out flyers and shouted to the crowds lining the streets.  They were greeted with cheers, thumbs up and spontaneous chants of "No on 2!"

An astonishing 25,000 participants took part in a conference call held by the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) last week to organize opposition to Issue 2.  The spirited discussion was led by Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga, with Ohio ARA Director Norm Wernet moderating. 

Burga is scheduled to lead a Get Out the Vote mobilization starting at the Firefighter's Union Hall in Columbus on the Saturday before election.

"The fight against Issue 2 is a tough struggle," he said, "but it's given us an unprecedented opportunity to discuss with folks the importance of collective bargaining to our state and how organized labor has positively impacted the lives of regular people."

Photo: Labor activists in Cleveland rally Oct. 29 before heading out in a get out the vote door knocking campaign urging voters to vote No on Issue 2 in order to repeal SB 5. Tim Wheeler/PW.

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