Ohio Union Bosses: Workplace Freedom Kills Babies

Letting workers choose whether to pay a union increases workplace death and infant mortality rates, a document from union front group We Are Ohio warns. Media Trackers has already unraveled union bosses’ “right to work kills workers” rhetoric, but pinning infant deaths on workplace freedom is a new low.


“So-called ‘right to work’ is a dangerous attack on working and middle class families. Get the facts,” We Are Ohio wrote on its Facebook page on June 10, linking to a document titled “GET THE FACTS about so-called ‘Right to Work’ states.”

The third of six talking points in the union PDF warns of “Higher poverty and infant mortality rates” in states where workers cannot be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment.


How does protecting workers’ right to opt out of paying union bosses lead to higher infant mortality? We Are Ohio does not explain, but the union front has previously claimed fatal worker injury rates are higher in workplace freedom states “where unions can’t speak up on behalf of workers.”

Workplace freedom has absolutely no impact on a union’s ability to “speak up on behalf of workers,” and the same data cynically cited by We Are Ohio prove that professions in more dangerous industries – farming, forestry, mining, construction – are much more prevalent in states with higher fatal work injury rates.


As Opportunity Ohio President Matt Mayer explained in his book Taxpayers Don’t Stand a Chancethe various statistics used against workplace freedom paint a dire picture based on the simple fact that most forced-unionism states are in the northeastern U.S.

Union bosses would have Ohioans believe that making union dues optional kills babies; never mind that Ohio’s shrinking infrastructure advantage over workplace freedom states in the South and West is due to historical factors such as Ohio being settled first, gaining statehood first, forbidding slavery, and not being ravaged during the Civil War.

Consistent with other We Are Ohio propaganda, there is sharp conflict between union talking points and common sense. And although We Are Ohio claims to deal in fact, the 95 percent union-funded group also claims to be a “citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan coalition.”

The Ohio Education Association (OEA), We Are Ohio’s top donor, raked in $58.4 million in dues in its most recent fiscal year. During the same period, OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks was paid $267,916, and a total of 119 OEA employees and officers were paid six figures.


But We Are Ohio wants Ohioans to reject workplace freedom for the children.

Ohioans for Workplace Freedom and a number of Republican legislators have argued the moral and economic merits of workplace freedom: greater choice, higher disposable income, faster wage growth, and job creation rates that have left Ohio in the dust.

Meanwhile, unions have used faux-populist front group We Are Ohio to trumpet propaganda that has grown more focused and even more outrageous since late 2011.

This story originally appeared at Media Trackers Ohio.


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