Ohio’s turn to revolt: Thousands flood statehouse over anti-union bill

The massive, government-crippling protests in Madison, Wisconsin have now spilled over into Ohio, where over 5,000 rallied Thursday in opposition to a bill that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for state workers.

Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 is essentially the same as what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed, and it seems to be recieving about the same response. Just last week, more than 800 people showed up to protest the bill while it was still in committee, packing out the statehouse in a show of numbers that Thursday’s demonstration easily topped.

The collective bargaining power of unionized workers is a key bullwark for American laborers, who’ve often been forced to organize throughout US history to force management into offering better pay, health insurance, greater job security, vacation time or even maternity leave. Without collective bargaining, the power of unionized workers would be reduced to their last and most extreme tool in their set: the general strike.

Teachers in Wisconsin showed earlier this week what that may look like, with more than 1,100 of them calling in “sick” and not showing up for work for one single day, to emphasize their importance in the education system.

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