The Service International Employees’ Union made it a priority to organize healthcare workers in the Midwest while simultaneously investing resources in battleground states, like Ohio, for the 2018 midterm elections. By mobilizing voters to support pro-union politicians in 2018, the SEIU is hoping newly elected lawmakers will support its legislative goals.
SEIU members and employees will be encouraged to volunteer 40 hours of their time for voter outreach with the goal of galvanizing support for Democratic politicians who will back a $15 minimum wage and worker’s rights. Since there are a number of open seats at all levels in Ohio (governor, mayoral, and legislative), our state will face the brunt of the SEIU’s latest pet project. One law the SEIU has in its crosshairs is Ohio’s law banning local governments from establishing a minimum wage higher than the statewide rate. This law defeats the SEIU’s plan of creating a patchwork of mini-minimum wage zones (like Cleveland tried last year) with a $15 minimum wage.
While this is newsworthy, I’m not particularly concerned. Conversely, union members should be concerned with the manner in which the SEIU is going to use their dues money considering union investment in politics has not been successful recently and considering that many union members voted for Republican candidates, including President Trump, whom the SEIU did not support.
Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 285-5342 or emailing him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.