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Steven Greenhouse writes: "The two houses of the Ohio Legislature approved a far-reaching bill on Wednesday that would hobble the ability of public-employee unions to bargain collectively and undercut their political clout."

Firefighter union supporters watch a broadcast of the Ohio House debate on Senate Bill 5 at the Statehouse in Columbus, 03/30/11. (photo: Matt Sullivan/Reuters)
Firefighter union supporters watch a broadcast of the Ohio House debate on Senate Bill 5 at the Statehouse in Columbus, 03/30/11. (photo: Matt Sullivan/Reuters)


Ohio Lawmakers Pass Anti-Union Bill

By Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times

31 March 11


RSN Special Coverage: GOP's War on American Labor

The two houses of the Ohio Legislature approved a far-reaching bill on Wednesday that would hobble the ability of public-employee unions to bargain collectively and undercut their political clout. They sent the bill to Gov. John R. Kasich, a Republican, who lawmakers said would sign it in the next few days.

The Republican-dominated Senate voted 17 to 16 in favor of the bill Wednesday evening, hours after the House passed it, 53 to 44, with 5 Republicans joining 39 Democrats in opposition.

Republicans applauded the bill, saying Ohio's deficit-plagued state and local governments could no longer afford the costs that public-sector unions extracted in collective bargaining. But Democrats criticized the legislation, saying it effectively eviscerated public employees' bargaining rights and would make it harder for them to stay in the middle class.

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