On Feb. 22, Ohio unionists and their supporters poured into Columbus, the capital of Ohio. More than 8,000 people carried signs that said, “From Wisconsin to Ohio, No to Union Busting.” They clogged the State House and filled out the surrounding area.
They were protesting moves by the right-wing Ohio Gov. John Kasich — whose last job was with Lehman Brothers — to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.
The Ohio Education Association called the rally. Many teachers and school staff were there, but also attending were bus drivers, state office workers and firefighters from around the state.
Many other union militants were there to show support and solidarity. Members of the United Auto Workers, the United Steelworkers and the Food and Commercial Workers Union, as well as construction-trade workers, demanded a halt to union busting. Students and retirees also joined in the militant and multinational crowd.
Everyone knew that this was only the first day in Ohio in the long battle to protect collective bargaining. In understanding that unions must unite around the country, many workers were chanting for a general strike in order to show the power of unions to the bosses and the rich.