Sutton challenges DeWine’s So-Called ‘Right to Work’ stance

Richard Cordrary and Betty Sutton

Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidate Betty Sutton called out Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike DeWine’s stance on So-Called “Right to Work” in a June 6 interview with the Youngstown Vindicator.

Sutton told the Vindicator DeWine’s statements during a late May press conference “opened the door to this idea of turning Ohio into a Right to Work state.” She pointed out that Republican governors in Michigan and Wisconsin gave statements similar to DeWine’s and then later signed So-Called “Right-to-Work” initiatives into law.

Betty Sutton

Betty Sutton

During a May 29 press conference, DeWine was asked about his stance on So-Called “Right to Work” as a ballot initiative in 2019. Instead of denouncing the efforts by a few members of Ohio’s Republican Party, DeWine talked around the question.

Earlier this year, State Rep. John Becker (R-Cincinnati) proposed six amendments to Ohio’s Constitution that, if approved, would have repealed Prevailing Wage, made Ohio a So-Called “Right to Work” state, prohibited state and local governments from withholding union dues, ban Project Labor Agreements and require public unions to conduct annual recertification votes.

While past legislation against Prevailing Wage and So-Called “Right to Work” stalled in committee, Becker proposed a ballot initiative to get his constitutional amendments directly in front of voters.

When asked if he would support Becker’s statewide ballot referendum to make Ohio a So-Called “Right to Work” state, DeWine said, “I haven’t even looked at the ballot language.”

Mike DeWine

Mike DeWine

DeWine’s non-committal continued during a recent interview with The Plain Dealer. DeWine once again refused to say he was against So-Called “Right to Work” legislation. Instead, Ohio’s current Attorney General only said that matter is, “Not on our agenda at all.”

The response by DeWine prompted a quick response from Sutton, a staunch advocate of labor. Unlike DeWine, Democratic governor candidate Richard Cordray and Sutton have both publicly stated their opposition to any So-Called “Right to Work” efforts.

During her interview with the Vindicator, Sutton said she believes DeWine should have gone on record stating he’s against the referendum idea. Further, if DeWine is elected governor and the state legislature passes a So-Called “Right to Work” bill, Sutton wanted DeWine to indicate now that he would veto such a bill.

So-Called “Right to Work” laws make it optional for workers protected by a union contract to help pay for the expenses that a union incurs while guaranteeing the rights of all employees. They restrict freedom of association by prohibiting workers and employers from agreeing to contracts that include fair share fees, forcing dues-paying union members to subsidize services to non-union employees.

If a So-Called “Right to Work” law is enacted in Ohio, unions would take a major financial hit, as non-union represented individuals would no longer pay fees to the unions who represent them at the bargaining table.

The Cordray/Sutton ticket has received the endorsement of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council, along with other Ohio building and construction trades councils and many affiliated local unions and district councils.

For more information on the CBCTC’s stance on So-Called “Right to Work,” please visit this page.

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