By John Carr, IAM Eastern Territory Communications Director
More than 100 union members, families and representatives braved subfreezing temperatures and strong winds Tuesday at IAM Local 1943 in Middletown, OH to rally against so-called “right to work” proposals. The anti-worker laws are under consideration in the U.S. Congress, the Ohio General Assembly, as well as several Ohio townships and city councils.
“It’s an attack on the voice of workers that puts more money in the hands of corporations,” said Neil Douglas, President and Directing Business Representation of Local 1943. “We can’t have that, and we’re going to oppose it at every level.”
Local 1943 members are employed at AK Steel, Pilot Chemical, RMB Trucking and Cummins Bridgeway.
“Right to work, sisters and brothers, is wrong,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga, “It’s wrong because in states that have right-to-work laws, workers earn $600 less a month than in states like Ohio. Right to work is wrong because workplace fatalities are 49 percent higher in right-to-work states. Right to work is wrong because educational attainment drops and poverty levels rise.”
Lori Kakaris, chair of the Local 1943 Women’s Committee says she would have struggled to raise her children without a strong union contract.
“A good union contract that provided me with wages and benefits in order to provide a home and better life for my kids,” said Kakaris. “Right to work is nothing but an attempt by corporate-driven greed to take that away from working families like mine all across the U.S.”
Middletown Vice Mayor Dora Bronston attacked the very idea that right to work is meant to help workers
“How can it help us if we can’t pay our bills, if we can’t put food on our tables?” asked Bronston. “It reduces our buying power and to me, right to work is wrong. It hurts our local businesses. I’m here as a councilperson to encourage and compel people to come into Middletown and open businesses, but less wages for workers means that less spending will be at our local business level. That hurts us all.”
“Union members and working families know when they are under attack,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “They aren’t fooled by the misleading label of right to work, they know it is corporate greed run amuck, and an attack on their hard earned wages, and benefits. Today, and every day going forward, we’re here to say ‘No! Right to work is wrong for me, wrong for Ohio and wrong for every worker in the U.S.”
TAKE ACTION: Ohioans can reach their House Member by dialing toll-free 844-213-8172 and telling them “Right To Work Is WRONG!