Gov. John Kasich has stripped child care and adult home care workers of collective bargaining rights they have enjoyed as a result of an executive order issued by his predecessor, Democratic Gov.Ted Strickland, seven years ago.

Kasich’s actions follow a 2011 attempt to eliminate collective bargaining rights for the state’s public employees.

That proposal, S.B. 5, was defeated in a referendum after unions, including IBEW, engaged in a grassroots campaign to educate voters about the damage that would be done to public services if public workers were disempowered on the job.

Kasich’s latest move will affect 20,000 workers who provide home-based care for children.Workers who provide care for adults—including many seniors and people with disabilities—are members of SEIU 1199. The union’s president Becky Williams said:

By stripping collective bargaining rights from home care and child care workers, Kasich is effectively attempting to silence thousands of low-wage workers, women and people of color from their ability to advocate for their clients and preserve quality care and services to the children, seniors and people with disabilities in our communities.

AFL-CIO Now says political observers say Kasich’s move “was designed to reinforce his anti-union, extremist credentials in the Republican presidential race in which the Koch brothers have promised to invest nearly $1 billion.” Kasich is considering a run for the White House.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said, “Unfortunately, this is yet another example where Ohio workers and families are used as pawns in the world of presidential politics.They should not have to pay the price for John Kasich’s need to compete with the likes of Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal.”


Photo used under a Creative Commons license for Flickr user SEIU International.