Senate Bill 5 is dead. The Republican-backed limits on collective bargaining for 360,000 public employees in Ohio were squashed by voters through a resounding defeat of Issue 2. Vaughn Flasher, campaign manager for issue proponents Building a Better Ohio, called A.J. Stokes, campaign director for opponents We Are Ohio, to concede. With more than 2 million votes counted, Ohioans were turning down Issue 2 [by a margin of] 62 percent to 38 percent. The Associated Press called the election in favor of the opponents of the issue at 9:16 p.m.

- Issue 2 Fails

Just a reminder…if you’re in Ohio, be sure to get out and vote NO on Issue 2 today.

Just a reminder…if you’re in Ohio, be sure to get out and vote NO on Issue 2 today.

Gov. John Kasich pleaded with organized labor leaders today to compromise on Senate Bill 5 and cancel a fall referendum on the controversial bill that peels back public employee collective bargaining rights.

Kasich said avoiding a fight over state Issue 2 is in “best interest of everyone, including public employee unions.” He asked the unions to “set aside political agendas and past offenses.”

But We Are Ohio, the coalition that is leading the effort to overturn the collective bargaining law, reacted negatively almost immediately.

"They can repeal the entire bill or join us in voting no on Nov. 8," said spokeswoman Melissa Fazekas.

“We’re glad that Governor Kasich and the other politicians who passed SB 5 are finally admitting this is a flawed bill,” she added in a statement. “Just like the bill was flawed this approach to a compromise is flawed as well. Our message is clear. These same politicians who passed this law could repeal it and not thwart the will of the people.”

Senate Democratic leader Capri Cafaro of Hubbard said in a statement:“The time to negotiate was during the legislative process, not 197 days after Senate Bill 5 was first introduced in the Ohio Senate. Unfortunately, it has taken too long for the governor and GOP leaders to acknowledge they overreached.”

The governor said the offer stems from him being a “believer in talking,” and not out of “a fear we are going to lose.”

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Kasich, fellow Republicans propose SB 5 deal to unions

Yeah, he’s not doing it because he’s scared.

We’ve got 10 percent of people without jobs. Be glad you have a job. Would you rather have no job or a pay cut of 4 percent? That’s basically what we’re telling public employees. Congratulations, you’ve done a great job since (collective bargaining) was enacted 27 years ago, but the party’s over.

- Ohio Rep. Louis Blessing (R-Cincinnati), showing sympathy to Ohio’s public union workers

In the past, when the U.S. economy fell into recession, companies typically cut jobs but often kept more than they needed. Some might have felt protective of their staffs. Or they didn’t want to risk losing skilled employees they’d need once business rebounded. Among manufacturers, for example, some tended to hoard workers during downturns by giving them make-work assignments — sweeping factory floors, counting inventory, painting warehouses. The result is that productivity — output per workers — has typically decelerated or even dropped as the economy has weakened.

Japan and Europe have been following that script. At the depth of the recession in 2009, productivity shrank 3.7 percent in Japan and 2.2 percent in Europe. The United States has proved the exception. U.S. productivity growth doubled from 2008 to 2009, then doubled again in 2010, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Panicked by the 2008 financial crisis and deepening recession, U.S. employers cut jobs pitilessly. They slashed an average of 780,000 jobs a month in the January-March quarter of 2009. Yet after shrinking payrolls, many companies found they could produce just as much with fewer workers. And with that higher productivity came higher profits. By July-September quarter of 2010, U.S. corporate earnings were 12 percent more than when the recession began. By contrast, corporate profits fell 6 percent in Japan and 16 percent in Canada from the October-December quarter of 2007, according to Haver Analytics.

Japanese, European and Canadian companies are less inclined to purge employees. Their customs, labor regulations and unions discourage aggressive layoffs. U.S. management practices “make it easier for employers to avoid adding permanent jobs,” says economist Erica Groshen, a vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “They have temporary help they can hire easily. They’re less constrained by traditional human resources practices or by union contracts.”

Fewer than 12 percent of American workers belong to unions, which provide some protection against job cuts. That’s the fourth-lowest union participation rate among 31 countries the OECD tracks. “When there’s pressure to cut costs in the United States, it’s borne by the workers,” says Howard Rosen, visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “In Europe, it’s borne differently.”

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U.S. values profits over jobs | msnbc.com

TL;DR:  That seemed like at least a slightly ballsy headline for a corporate-owned mainstream media outlet.

Amid shouts and jeers in both chambers, the House passed a measure affecting 350,000 public workers on a 53-44 vote, and the Senate followed with a 17-16 vote of approval. Republican Gov. John Kasich will sign the bill by the end of the week. Senate President Tom Niehaus threatened to clear the chamber ahead of final legislative action on the bill as pro-labor protesters shouted insults at senators and threatened to unseat them in the next election. Chants of “Shame on you!” filled the elegant, high-ceilinged chambers where legislators are accustomed to hushed tones and self-imposed decorum.

- Ohio Union Bill Poised To Become Law

The Republican-led Ohio Senate voted on Wednesday night to severely limit the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers. The 17-16 vote came hours after the full House approved the measure on a 53-44 vote, 10TV News reported. The measure affects safety workers, teachers, nurses and a host of other government personnel. It allows unions to negotiate wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. It also does away with automatic pay increases in favor of merit raises. Gov. John Kasich said that his $55.5 billion state budget counts on unspecified savings from lifting union protections to fill an $8 billion hole. Opponents have vowed to pursue a ballot repeal.

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Ohio Senate OKs Collective Bargaining Limits

Goddamn it.

If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.

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Barack Obama, in 2007.

Can President Obama find campaign trail Obama somewhere and get him in the game?

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