Unions protest West Chester's right-to-work move

Posted at 10:26 AM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 10:27:18-05

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- West Chester Township might become a so-called "right to work" community, and union members aren't happy about it.

Township staff and legal counsel are working a resolution that would bar private companies and their unions from forcing workers to join unions or pay dues, the Journal-News reports.

Labor unions say right-to-work laws weaken their bargaining power and lead to lower wages and benefits, while employees who don't pay union dues still benefit from the collective bargaining agreements the union negotiates on their behalf.

Previously, only states could pass right-to-work laws, but a recent appeals court ruling opened up the ability to cities and limited home rule townships.

Mark Welch, president of West Chester Township's board of trustees, argued businesses would rather move to places with right-to-work laws.

"I think we should move ahead on this as quickly as possible and give potential manufacturers that are looking at Ohio or looking at the region, another reason to come to West Chester," he said at a meeting Tuesday night.

A large number of union members showed up at the meeting to protest the resolution.

Ohio has no statewide right-to-work law, while 26 states do.

Read more about West Chester's movement to become a right-to-work township at the Journal-News, a WCPO media partner.