As the debate rages and commercials begin to saturate the airwaves throughout Ohio concerning State Issue 2, the November referendum on the state’s new anti-collective bargaining law, I find it rather ludicrous that Republicans throughout the state and nation are blaming governmental unions for the financial disaster politicians have created in this country during the past decade. For all the good that unions have done this past century, all workers should be eternally grateful.
Trade unions and guilds date to 14th century Europe where they were outlawed until the mid 19th century, when they rose to power during the industrial revolution because of the severe working conditions workers had to endure in order to make a meager living. To understand why unions, both governmental and private sector are needed, one need only look back in history to the time when employees worked twelve or sixteen hour days, six or seven days a week and children worked in coalmines and factories. Unions are responsible not only for better working conditions and workplace safety but also for health care and retirement benefits.
The real reason why Republicans are so adamant in their attempt to outlaw unions is that they contribute great sums of money to political campaigns, mainly benefiting that of the Democratic Party. Republicans know that if they can cut off major funding to Democrats from the various unions, they will have a huge, inequitable financial advantage in nearly all future elections. To blame our teachers, police and firefighters for the financial catastrophe our politicians and Wall Street have created is asinine.
Steven H. Spring