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Latest News - February 2012

February 19, 2012
'Right to Work' poll favors ban on forcing union dues
Source: The Daily & Sunday Jeffersonian
By: Marc Kovac Capital Bureau

COLUMBUS -- Backers of a constitutional amendment to make Ohio a "Right to Work" state weren't surprised by the results of a new poll released last week.

Chris Littleton, a founding member of the Ohio Liberty Council who is among supporters of the initiative, said the findings of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Tuesday were what he expected -- 54 percent of respondents favoring a ban on forcing workers to join a union or pay dues, versus 40 percent who said the opposite.

"I think the average person understands personal and economic freedom, and everybody values … freedom of choice in the workplace," Littleton said, adding of the poll, "It's certainly not an anomaly."

But union groups said the poll showed only that Ohioans don't fully understand the implications of Right to Work. And They voiced confidence that, once the details are explained, voters would quash the issue the same way they did Senate Bill 5 last year.

"Once they had the facts in hand, they made the right decision," said Mike Gillis, spokesman for the AFL-CIO of Ohio. He added, "it's clear that Ohioans don't really understand what the Right to Work law is, especially given the results from last year's vote on Issue 2."

Connecticut-based Quinnipiac regularly gauges Ohioans' opinions of candidates and issues. It surveyed 1,421 registered voters over the past week on Right to Work, Gov. John Kasich and other issues. The results have a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.

Among the findings:

• A majority of Ohio voters (55 percent) support a ban on smoking in vehicles in the presence of children younger than age six.

• Kasich's approval ratings ticked up, with 40 percent supporting his work in office, versus 46 percent who do not. Those numbers were 36 percent and 52 percent, respectively, in Quinnipiac's October poll.

• Forty-nine percent of voters oppose limiting the school year between Labor Day and Memorial Day, with 40 percent who support the move.

• Fifty-three percent of respondents support increasing the interstate speed limit to 70 mph, with 13 percent who want an even higher limit and 31 percent who want a lower one.

Right to Work

On Right to Work, a majority of Republicans (77 percent) and independents (55 percent) support the proposed constitutional amendment. Sixty-one percent of Democrats oppose it.

The poll question was phrased in relationship to Indiana, which recently became the 23rd state in the country to implement Right to Work laws.

"In the SB 5 referendum, independent voters, who are generally the key to Ohio elections, voted with the pro-union folks to repeal the law many viewed as an effort to handicap unions," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a released statement. "The data indicates that many of those same independents who stood up for unions this past November on SB 5 are standing up to unions by backing 'right-to-work' legislation."

The constitutional amendment is being backed by Tea Party and like-minded groups, via a campaign titled Ohioans for Workplace Freedom (online at

Members have already received approval from the Ohio Ballot Board and the attorney general's office to begin collecting signatures to place the amendment before voters.

They'll need about 386,000 valid names to qualify for the ballot. Littleton says he hopes to complete the drive in time for the November 2013 general election.

"I do not think it will be done for the November election [this year]," he said.



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