Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Big Day For Labor: Working People Win In Ohio

By Laura Clawson, cross-posted from Daily Kos

The fight to defeat Ohio's Issue 2 was one more look at what a determined mobilization of the 99 percent can look like. And holy crap, what a victory it led to: with 99 percent of votes reporting, the margin is 61-39. ModernEsquire notes that turnout was barely lower than in 2010, when Ohio was voting for both a governor and a senator, and just a handful of counties voted to strip collective bargaining rights from public workers—many counties that would be red in a partisan election voted no.
 * * *
It no doubt is the vehemence with which Ohio voters have rejected this bill, and President Obama has issued his congratulations to:
...the people of Ohio for standing up for workers and defeating efforts to strip away collective bargaining rights, and commends the teachers, firefighters, nurses, police officers and other workers who took a stand to defend those rights.
Unions poured immense resources into this, knowing it was do or die, that a win wouldn't turn around declining union membership and historically high anti-worker political power, but that a loss would cement those things and quite possibly help cost President Obama and Sen. Sherrod Brown the state of Ohio in 2012. And unions were facing off against massive right-wing spending, the full scope of which we may never really know, and a roster of dirty tricks.

We won. Unions won, working people won, the progressive movement won, Democratic prospects in Ohio in 2012 won. It's worth a celebration. It's worth honoring the tenacity with which the good guys fought this awful bill. It's worth looking at the snowplow driver or the city engineer down the street from you and remembering that they're not the enemy and that their fight is your fight. And it's worth as many reminders as it takes to get the pundits to realize the significance of this vote when they're assessing what went down in the 2011 elections. Then, as always, we get ready for the next fight. Because the Koch brothers and the Liz Cheneys and the John Kasichs and Scott Walkers and Rick Scotts aren't giving in just because they had it stuffed back in their face once. They want to drive us all so far into the dirt that we'll envy and turn on the person earning minimum wage for a full 40 hours a week, because he or she will look like a high-on-the-hog elite to us. And this fight remains about refusing to do that.


Post a Comment