Ohio voters to decide fate of union law

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Ohio voters now have a choice to make,” Mr. Mauk said in a statement. “We can keep the unfair, unsustainable policies that are bankrupting our communities, or we can change direction and give them the tools they need to create jobs and get spending under control.”

The clearance of the referendum for the ballot came as the head of the AFL-CIO met in Columbus with community organizations, religious groups and representatives from the Ohio Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka would not say how much money the nation’s largest labor federation planned to spend in the ballot effort, only that the organization planned to devote resources and people to help repeal the law.

“This is a battle of over the conscious and the moral character and the direction of the country,” Mr. Trumka told reporters. “And we think that the people in Ohio and the people in America think that people like Gov. Kasich is going in the wrong direction — that he overreached, that he used a tough budget time to try to scapegoat public employees and try to destroy a ladder into the middle class.”

The state’s labor groups have turned to their members to help pay for the repeal campaign.

Ohio’s largest teachers union agreed in May to a one-time $54 dues increase. The move by the members of the Ohio Education Association was expected yield an additional $5.5 million.

The Fraternal Order of Police also anticipated raising $1 million from their roughly 200 local lodges around the state. And the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters asked its 9,600 members to voluntarily kick in $100 for the repeal effort.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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