West Chester Twp. became a lightning rod earlier this year after elected officials there expressed an interest in becoming a “Right to Work” place, following a federal court ruling that said they could.
Hundreds of union workers from throughout the region flooded the township hall on two occasions to oppose the move. The trustees put the matter on hold pending a motion for a hearing in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that could have overturned the lower court.
The Sixth Circuit on March 6 denied the hearing request, clearing the way for local jurisdictions — not just states — to adopt the designation.
West Chester Twp. trustees have said they are still considering whether or not to reopen the issue. They are hoping a newly introduced piece of state legislation will pass, making the whole state a “Right to Work” place.
“It goes back to workers’ choice for me,” West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch previously told this media outlet. “If the individual has a choice then they can determine whether or not or how much of dues they want to pay. If you ask me, being a business guy, competition makes us better, it makes us work harder, it gives us a better product, better services… I think workers choice is a good thing, so if they (the state) do it we don’t have to.”
Matthew Bashaw, an instrumentation electrician from Dayton, said he hopes events like Tuesday’s rally lead others to believe that “Right to Work” is wrong for working people.
“If there is to be a middle class in the future, this has to be voted down,” Bashaw said.
“Right to Work” is “an attack on the voice of workers and the workplace,” Douglas said. “It puts more money in the hands of corporations and takes the … collective, elected democratic voice of workers away and that’s just absolutely horrible. We can’t have it and we’re going to oppose it at every level.”
Those levels, protesters said, include a bill in the U.S. Congress and two separate pieces of legislation introduced by the Ohio General Assembly, plus several townships and city councils supporting “Right to Work.”