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Entries in Union Rights (2)

Tuesday
Nov082011

Ohio Voters Repeal Collective Bargaining Rights Law

Hemera/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Voters in Ohio have handed a victory to public employees after repealing a collective bargaining law that limits union rights.

The law, supported by Republican Gov. John Kasich, would have banned public employee strikes and required higher contributions for health care and pensions. It would have also eliminated seniority-based promotions.

Despite Kasich's appeal to the public that the law was needed to save the state money, voters sided with union leaders, who said the law was a threat to public safety and middle-class workers.

In another key issue facing Ohioans, voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday night that exempts citizens from any national health reform mandate. However, officials say the vote could be invalidated by a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Where Are the Dems? Wis. Lawmakers Avoid Vote to Cut Union Rights

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The top Senate Democrat in Wisconsin said Thursday that he and the other state lawmakers who participated in a mass exodus from the state to avoid a contentious Senate vote on slashing union rights "hope we are in a place that is hard for them to find."

After Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, called the Democrats' departure "disrespectful," Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, a Democrat, told ABC News that "it's the governor that has been disrespectful to the workers for trying to pass this so quickly.

"This kind of major legislation needs to have the proper consideration and not [be] railroaded through," he said.

His colleague, Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach, would only say that all 14 legislators were together and in "a very cold place."

Erpenbach told ABC News that Walker left them "no option" and that the group left around 9 a.m. Thursday.

"I went home, kissed my wife and kids and got in my car drove off," he said.

His comments came shortly after Walker, a Tea Party-backed Republican, released a written statement blasting the Democrats for hightailing out of the Capitol.

"I am calling on Senate Democrats to show up to work today, debate legislation and cast their vote," Walker said. "Their actions by leaving the state and hiding from voting are disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of public employees who showed up to work today and the millions of taxpayers they represent."

The 14 lawmakers left to force a postponement of a Senate vote that threatened to curb unions and public worker pensions. Without their votes, the 33-member chamber was left one person short of the 20 members required for the Senate to open business.

Erpenbach accused Walker of "throwing a bomb out there and waiting to see what happens."

"We won't come back until the governor agrees to sit down and meet with people who don't see eye-to-eye with him and discuss better ways of helping the people of Wisconsin," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio