Local group wants to put right to work on the ballot

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Voters may get to decide if Ohio should become a right to work state if a grass roots organization has its way.

Ohioans for Workplace Freedom has launched a petition drive to try and get a right to work issue on the ballot no later than November of 2014.

Organizers of the initiative insist right-to-work is a non-partisan issue.

Proponents of the measure say it will benefit Ohio's economy, but union supporters say it will drive down wages an hurt the working class.

Chris Littleton with Ohioans for Workplace Freedom says the right-to-work initiative is totally different from the ill fated Senate Bill 5 which would have restricted the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

"The singular thing that this deals with is the ability for a worker to choose whether or not they're going to pay dues to a union as a condition of their employment," said Littleton.

Littleton says its not about trying to bust the unions.

"This does not inhibit or change in any way existing contracts, it doesn't change standards or terms of anything at all. It doesn't change anything in the workplace, it doesn't change the ability to unionize. None of things are addressed," he said.

Xavier University political science professor Mack Mariani says following the defeat of SB 5 and the 2012 election the issue has become a political hot potato.

"Like they say once burned twice shy. I think the SB 5 debacle really hurt the republicans politically over the last year....year and a half," said Mariani.

Mariani says right to work is supported by plenty of conservatives.

"Conservatives who ordinarily support Republicans, who want to see more policy victories than they're seeing. I mean they look at Indiana that has a right to work law. They look at Michigan that has a right to work law," he said.

In our commitment to balanced news FOX19 reached out to Rob Richardson Jr. with the International Laborer's Union to get his side of the story.

"This has nothing to do with freedom. This is all about crushing the voice of workers and trying to crush organized labor," said Richardons. "It's a race to the bottom, again, we're trying to reward those who pay the least amount to their workers and I don't think that's a good model for Ohio."

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