Right to Work

Once again, a bill that would allow Ohioans to opt out of union representation for public sector jobs has been introduced at the Ohio Statehouse.

Republican Rep. John Becker says unions wouldn’t have to represent government workers under his plan, “The major provision, of course, is just an opt-out for public sector employees that they don’t have to join a union if they don’t want to and would not have to pay any type of dues.”

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The crowd that gathered in the committee hearing room, the overflow room and Statehouse hallways was reminiscent of Senate Bill 5, the law aimed at public sector unions. Ohio voters overturned it back in 2011.  The bill Republican Representative Tom Brinkman is sponsoring would prohibit requiring employees of private companies pay union dues. Brinkman said the so-called "Right to Work" legislation is needed because the Buckeye State is losing private sector jobs to other states that have it.


Ellen Belcher, who's filling in for Emily McCord, interviews Richard Vedder, the author of a new study advocating that Ohio become a "right to work" state. Next year Ohioans could vote on whether employers can require their workers to join a union to get and keep their jobs.