Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s union busting tactics have galvanized fire fighters across the state to lead efforts to repeal SB5 legislation that strips collective bargaining rights away from public employee workers.
Ohio fire fighters are fighting back with a renewed sense of solidarity.
IAFF locals in the Cleveland area – Cleveland Local 93, Euclid Local 337, Cleveland Heights Local 402 and Mentor Local 1845 have re-affiliated with the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters.
OAPFF President Mark Sanders heralded the return as great news coming at a pivotal time for fire fighters.
Under SB5 legislation, management can refuse to negotiate workplace issues, including safety, deployment and operations.
Fire fighters are leading efforts to prevent the legislation from becoming permanent law by putting the bill up for public referendum in November and are currently collecting signatures for a petition to allow the vote.
“With all of the challenges we face with the current governor and his regime, now more than ever it is important to show solidarity. Our brothers and sisters have shown that we will continue to stand together as Ohio fire fighters to defeat attacks against our careers and families,” says Mark Sanders, president of OAPFF on the group’s website.
Mark Horton of OAPFF says standing united is essential as fire fighters continue to battle the political challenges ahead.
“We don’t stand as just one individual, but as one unit,” he says. “We are one in solidarity in this fight.”