Voters in the American state of Ohio have voted to repeal legislation which restricted the collective bargaining ability of public sector workers.
The vote gives hope that similar legislation in Wisconsin — the introduction of which sparked a bitter labour war which involved the occupation of the state’s capitol building — could also be overturned.
61% of voters voted to abolish the law, which banned strikes by public sector workers as part of a radical overhaul of the state’s labour law.
Under the terms of the law certain issues (such as health insurance) were excluded from bargaining altogether and bosses were given wide-ranging powers to unilaterally determine almost every aspect of working life, including starting and quitting times, without any requirement to negotiate or consult with unions.
The Republican governor behind the law, John Kasich, also introduced a cuts budget and enacted anti-immigrant legislation.
The labour movement and the left still have work to do in Ohio; voters have also voted to endorse right-wing legislation blocking mild healthcare reform.
• For background to the Ohio situation, see US Solidarity website.