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Young Worker—Battling Ohio’s Anti-Union Offensive

September 19, 2011

James Jette, a member of the 38th Convention’s young member contingent, is in Vancouver to get some ideas on how to get his young co-workers to “take some ownership” in the union. A 10-year member of Columbus, Ohio, Local 1466, Jette works in the store room at American Electric Power.

Jette sees high stakes for unions in the state’s capital city.  He has been actively involved in the fight to overturn anti-union Senate Bill 5.  The bill would limit collective bargaining to wages and hours of employment, bar bargaining on health care, privatization of government work, minimum staffing rules and other items. Says Jette:

A lot of people who didn’t think that politics matters are really seeing that it affects us.  There’s a mix of Democrats and Republican union members, but everyone is uniting against SB 5. If we lose, this [attack on collective bargaining] it will snowball.

A lot of young people don’t know anything about unions, says Jette, whose father is a Local 1466 retiree. “We will be door-knocking and be putting more boots on the ground to defeat SB 5.”

 

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