Victory for Unions

by Mark Wilson

Ohio Governor John Kasich’s plan to strip union members of most of their collective bargaining rights didn’t just fail. It failed spectacularly. Issue 2, a referendum to continue or repeal the anti-union bill signed by Kasich in March, died with over 60% of voters telling it to take a hike.

Issue 2 was a big deal not just for Ohio, but for the rest of the country. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s successful bid last year to cut off collective bargaining power appeared to be the beginning of a trend. If they can destroy unions in liberal Wisconsin, thought Republican legislators and governors, then we can do it anywhere!

Unfortunately, Issue 2’s failure appears to speak less to pro-union sentiment in general than it does to pro-police and pro-firefighter sentiment. As The Washington Post observed, even Walker’s Wisconsin bill made exceptions for police and firefighters. It’s disheartening to think that if Ohio’s bill were only about, say, teachers and non-emergency public officials, it might have succeeded. Because, after all, who needs teachers?