Coalition Begins Initiation of Constitutional Amendment to End Forced Unionism in Ohio
COLUMBUS - The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law today submitted to the Ohio Attorney General, on behalf of liberty groups and business leaders, initial signatures and summary language to begin the process of adding protections against forced union participation to Ohio's Bill of Rights.
The Ohio Workplace Freedom Amendment, which would "guarantee the freedom of Ohioans to choose whether to participate in a labor organization as a condition of employment," will appear on the November 2012 ballot if 386,000 signatures are submitted by early July. Specifically the Amendment would provide that, in Ohio:* No law, rule, agreement, or arrangement shall require any person or employer to become or remain a member of a labor organization.
* No law, rule, agreement, or arrangement shall require, directly or indirectly, as a condition of employment, any person or employer, to pay or transfer any dues, fees, assessments, other charges of any kind, or anything else of value, to a labor organization, or third party in lieu of the labor organization.
The Amendment would not prevent any person from voluntarily belonging to or providing support to a labor organization, or apply to agreements entered into or renewed prior to the enactment of this section.
Similar worker protection is provided in 22 other states, primarily in the south and west. Ohio would be the first Midwestern state to pass such an Amendment. Backers of the Amendment, which was drafted by the 1851 Center, include many of those who successfully implemented the 21st Section to Ohio's Bill of Rights, the Health Care Freedom Amendment, as Issue 3 on November 8. If passed, the Amendment would be the 22nd section in Ohio's Bill of Rights.
"Ohio's current unemployment rate remains over 9 percent - - it's no coincidence that this rate of unemployment is much higher than in states that prohibit forced unionism, while private-sector job growth in those states has dramatically outpaced Ohio's," said Maurice Thompson, Executive Director of the 1851 Center. "This Amendment will make it clear that Ohio is a safe place to start, locate, or keep a business, and also a safe place to gain employment without being commandeered by powerful political machines."
Before circulators can begin gather signatures, the Amendment's summary must be approved as "fair and truthful" by the Ohio Attorney General, and its text as one subject by the Ohio Ballot Board. By law, the Attorney General and Ballot Board each have ten days to complete their respective processes.
Added Thompson "Ultimately, freedom to associate also means freedom not to associate - - it's time for Ohio to end labor conditions that compel its citizens to participate in highly-politicized labor organizations, or instead pay a considerable penalty."
Since the New Deal era, federal regulations have dramatically tilted labor markets in favor of unions, and have left little room for state autonomy. However, states are explicitly permitted to end forced union participation within their borders.
Read the Full Text of the Amendment here.
Questions? Read "Ohio Workplace Freedom Amendment Frequently Asked Questions"
The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law is a non-profit, non-partisan legal action center dedicated to protecting Ohioans constitutional rights and limiting government.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Press Release - this is huge!!!