The collective bargaining protests continue, this time in Columbus, Ohio.
Staffing Talk was on the scene in downtown Columbus on Tuesday, and we took lots of pictures. The news out of Columbus today is that senators have approved the Ohio Senate Bill 5 measure to remove collective bargaining rights from 350,000 public employees.
The Republican-controlled Senate approved the measure 17-16 to ban public workers from striking or negotiating benefits, including health care, sick time, and pension benefits.
Republican State Sen. Shannon Jones, sponsor of the bill, said at the hearing early Wednesday that the bill is necessary to help state and local governments control costs:
“We cannot restore our economy and create jobs if we keep raising the tax burden on Ohioans, and the only way to get that under control is to limit the growth of government,” said Jones.
Thousands of state workers, teachers, firefighters, police and other public employees gathered outside the Statehouse on Tuesday in protest of the bill, screaming and chanting “Kill the bill!”
Kevin West, a firefighter from the Cumberland Trail Fire Department in St. Clairsville, Ohio, told the Associated Press that he and his men have been traveling to the Statehouse in protest since last week.
“We’re here for one simple mission, and that is to say no to Amendment Bill Five,” he said.
“These are hard working people who would take care of our government officials in the event they are needed; it’s sad to me that the government officials don’t want to take care of them,” said Seth Riddlebarger, a councilman in the Southeastern Ohio city of Logan. “One of the best signs I saw yesterday said ’9/11′s hero’s are 2011 zero’s.’ In my opinion that sums up this Senate Bill 5.”
Check out the pictures below!
Photographs taken by Frank Lanza