Cleveland Think Tank Helps Union Bosses Fight Workplace Freedom

Policy Matters Ohio

So-called ‘Right To Work’  is a dangerous attack on working and middle-class families,” leftist think tank Policy Matters Ohio warned in a recent invitation to a propaganda event organized by union front We Are Ohio.

“Join We Are Ohio May 15 to learn more about this anti-worker agenda and what you can do to take action and protect your community,” Policy Matters continued, emphasis in the original.

In a flyer Policy Matters posted to its website, We Are Ohio repeated one of its most outrageous claims: that Ohio workers would die if they could choose not to pay the union bosses behind We Are Ohio.

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The “dangerous attack on working and middle-class families” smear has become union bosses’ rallying cry against workplace freedom, as indicated by its verbatim repetition by Policy Matters.

Policy Matters Ohio’s announcement of the event was titled, “So-Called ‘Right to Work’ is Wrong,” another favorite We Are Ohio catchphrase.

Why would Policy Matters repeat silly propaganda from a union front group? Policy Matters received $125,000 from union bosses in 2012 alone, based on U.S. Department of Labor data.

We Are Ohio is holding its “Allied Member and Partners” meetings with the express purpose of — as Policy Matters parroted — warning Ohioans “about the threat of ‘right to work’ in our community.”

Both of the previous events in the series were led by union bosses. Ken Lortz from United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 2-B led a March 14 meeting. Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) Executive Director Joe Rugola and Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga ran We Are Ohio’s March 18 meeting.

The March 18 event was held at International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 66 headquarters in Youngstown, and the May 15 event will be held at Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199’s Cleveland office.

Last spring, We Are Ohio hosted a series of Protect Ohio Workers’ Rights (POWR) meetings with the same purpose as this year’s Allied Member and Partners events. We Are Ohio’s POWR meetings were also led by union bosses, and were held in union halls across the state.

“Free” meals paid for with workers’ union dues were provided at We Are Ohio’s POWR meetings and are being offered at the Allied Member and Partners meetings, as well.

Last fall, We Are Ohio disclosed Big Labor’s in-kind support for its POWR meetings only after Media Trackers highlighted its failure to do in an Ohio Elections Commission complaint.

The commission found that We Are Ohio broke state law by failing to report union financing of its events and day-to-day operations. This is one of many pieces of evidence confirming that “citizen-driven, community-based” We Are Ohio remains a union front.