Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), whose attempt to strip tens of thousands of public employees of their bargaining rights in 2011 failed, lashed out last week at the state’s 10,000 child care and home care workers when he issued an executive order stripping them of their collective bargaining rights.
AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall said:
Gov. Kasich has repeatedly targeted Ohio workers since taking office, and he’s continuing that pattern today. A loss of collective bargaining rights will mean lower-quality child care available to parents, and the loss of thousands of jobs that are largely held by women and minority workers now. This is another mean-spirited attack on working people that will hurt our families and our communities.
The child care workers provide home-based care for some 20,000 children. The home care workers who provide care for adults—including many seniors and people with disabilities—are members of SEIU 1199, and the union’s president Becky Williams said:
By stripping collective bargaining rights from home care and child care workers, Kasich is effectively attempting to silence thousands of low-wage workers, women and people of color from their ability to advocate for their clients and preserve quality care and services to the children, seniors and people with disabilities in our communities.
The workers voted for union representation after former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) issued executive orders in 2007 and 2008 granting the workers collective bargaining rights.
In 2011, Kasich championed legislation (S.B. 5) that would have eliminated collective bargaining rights for public employees. But voters overwhelmingly overturned the law that fall. Political observers said Kasich’s move was designed to reinforce his anti-union, extremist credentials in the Republican presidential race in which the Koch brothers have promised to invest nearly $1 billion.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said:
Unfortunately, this is yet another example where Ohio workers and families are used as pawns in the world of presidential politics. They should not have to pay the price for John Kasich's need to compete with the likes of Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal.