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The United Steelworkers Union Calls The Repeal Of Ohio Senate Bill 5 On Election Day A Citizens’ Victory For ‘All’ Ohio Voters Who Stepped Forward To Defeat A Direct Attack On Collective Bargaining For The Middle Class

Published Thursday, November 10, 2011 2:00 pm
by USW National News & WNYLT Staff

(PITTSBURGH) - The United Steelworkers (USW) Union says it was the 99% that stood up and fought back with votes against the millions of dollars that was poured into the State of Ohio by the 1% on Election Day, and that Ohio was among a number of other states to declare this election as a turning point in protecting Good Jobs, Working Families and Workplace Rights.

USW President Leo Gerard said: “Active and Retired Steelworkers Union Members, joined their neighbors and ‘all’ Working Families to reject the anti-Worker Issue Two on the ballot in support of Firefighters, Teachers, Nurses, Bus Drivers, Bridge Inspectors, Social Workers and other Public Employees.  It was a citizens’ victory for ‘all.’  We stood together, Public and Private Sector – Union and non-union – to start a new direction and declaration to the extremist politicians that Ohio voters reject their agenda.  Now we’ve got to prepare for tomorrow’s victories and build a future for an America that works for ‘all’ of us.”

USW Members gathered at election watch events and Union Halls in Columbus, Cleveland, Canton and Cincinnati to celebrate the moment with other Union Members, students, families and friends.  Ohio voters struck down Senate Bill 5 passed and signed by Republican Governor John Kasich after being placed by petition on the ballot as Issue 2.  The Anti-Worker Law was killed by a stunning margin of a 61% to 39% vote.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State, voter turnout was 46%, which was said to be the highest off-year participation in 20 years.  The vote against Issue 2 was more than 2.1 million and significantly higher than the 2010 vote that put Governor Kasich into office.

S.B. 5 would have stripped Collective Bargaining Rights from nearly 350,000 Ohio Public Employees that give Teachers a ‘voice’ in the classroom, Home Health Care Workers a Living Wage, Firefighters and Police Officers a say in staffing and response times for emergencies.

“Despite what some Ohio State Politicians claimed, it was never about money,” said USW District 1 Director Dave McCall, adding that more than 10,000 volunteers had collected 1.3 million signatures to place Issue 2 on the ballot. “It was about Governor Kasich’s revenge agenda against Working People.  Steelworkers ran phone banks, hand billed public places and work sites, recruited friends and neighbors to get out the vote and solidarity worked.”

USW International President Gerard, meanwhile, cited Election Day wins in other states too, including:

  • Voters sent a wake-up call to anti-Worker politicians in Michigan by voting to recall state Representative Paul Scott (Republican-Grand Blanc) - the first recall since 1983.
  • In Arizona, a recall of GOP State Senator Russell Pearce, the architect of a repressive Immigration Law, was beat by fellow Republican Jerry Lewis who doesn’t support an immigration crackdown.
  • Maine voters rejected a voter suppression law by a 16% margin – rejecting a same-day registration ban.
  • Democratic Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear won re-election overcoming a tough economy in a conservative state to sail to a second term in office.
  • Also in another special election in Wisconsin, Democrat Jill Billings has won the 95th Assembly District with a whopping 72% of the vote.
  • Iowa Democrat Liz Mathis won Senate District 18, 56% to 44%, keeping Democrats in control of the State Senate.

The United Steelworkers represent 850,000 Members in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, and is the largest Private Sector Union in North America, representing Workers in a wide diversity of industries. For more on the USW, go to


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