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.”
Yeah, he’s not doing it because he’s scared.
- 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.”
TL;DR: That seemed like at least a slightly ballsy headline for a corporate-owned mainstream media outlet.
Barack Obama, in 2007.
Can President Obama find campaign trail Obama somewhere and get him in the game?