VIDEO: SB5 foes collect more than 1 million signatures

Chris and Lori Griffith have been on a mission. The two were on hand Friday morning touting the "We Are Ohio" organization's battle against Senate Bill 5.
Jul 5, 2011


Chris and Lori Griffith have been on a mission. The two were on hand Friday morning touting the "We Are Ohio" organization's battle against Senate Bill 5.

SB 5 would reduce collective bargaining rights of all public workers in the state. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and supporters argue the changes are needed to help public employers control labor costs. Organized labor groups and other opponents say the bill is a union-busting attack on the middle class.

"I got involved to refuel this campaign for Senate Bill 5," said Chris Griffith, a 10-year employee with the Norwalk City Schools as a daytime employee at the high school. "It's wrong. It's an unfair attack on public service workers and on the community, really."

Lori Griffith is a seventh grade teacher at Norwalk Middle School.

Together they collected signatures with drive-and-signs and door-to-door. "Basically, I took my petition book wherever I went," Chris said.

"How many police officers are in a cruiser? How many firefighters are on a truck? How many kids are going to be crammed in a classroom?

"Senate Bill 5 does not create one job. Fewer jobs mean fewer customers for local businesses. One teacher gets laid off that's less money going to local restaurants, local stores and local businesses."

We are Ohio collected 1,298,301 signatures to get the SB 5 repeal motion on the ballot. That's 1 million more than the 231,149 needed.

"We had more than 10,000 volunteers (across the state)," Griffith said. "We are humbled and grateful ... for the support. If our supporters vote we are very confident we will win."

In Huron County, 497 signatures were needed based on the 16,572 votes cast in the 2010 governor's race to hit the 3 percent mark and 994 were needed to hit the 6 percent mark. "We are Ohio collected 3,818 or about 23 percent of the vote in Huron County," Griffith said.

If the signatures are verified, the issue will be on the November ballot.

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I guess when you only work part of the year you have time to do this sort of thing.


Where can I sign a petition in support? I was outside Aldi's loading groceries into my car and to tell the petition volunteers "NO" four times. My last "NO" wasn't so kind, I'm afraid. Why do these people assume everyone is against this bill?

Kottage Kat

Please vote for SB5 in the November election. I have a copy of the bill and if you would like to read it please contact me through the NR. Kat;}


I guess they overestimate people's intelligence.


If one just does what they have agreed to do when hired. There wouldn't be any need for extra bargaining rights. Poor me me me is all i hear. Do what is expected. Quit trying to say it's for the kids. When to the contrary. It's like a life line if you don't do what is expected. Period. boo hoo


And if the employers would stick to what they say when you are hired, that would help, too. Outlawing mediation just can't be the right answer.

Ralph Wiggum

But you can't have it both ways either. If you can force your boss to sit down at the bargaining table and make demands then you shouldn't be allowed to strike. You totally handcuff the employer.

Ralph Wiggum

If SB5 doesn't make it through a vote, they can just close the doors and lock the windows in Ohio. It will show everyone that unions run this state. Nobody will ever want to move here with a large company and deal with the unions when they can head south where labor is cheap. A large company I deal with at work just packed up and moved to South Carolina after being in Michigan for 75 years. I asked my salesperson why they moved and he told me flat out the cost of labor was killing them. The union wouldn't budge or make concessions and pretty much dared them to spend the millions on a new facility and the company did it. Now instead of having people at work but making a bit less money, they have no work. Sounds like a great strategy to me by the union.


Totally agreed wiggum. Unions are penny wise pound foolish. Keep demanding nonsense union members of Ohio. Businesses will go elsewhere then you can sit around your homes and get 0 to push a button all day instead of the $15 you were getting just because you wanted $40.




"Control" is the key word here . The real issue isn't money , it's controling people and this bill is the first step in giving up your freedom . What will you do when they come for your guns or your religion ? This is the testing grounds for the take over of America by corporate greed . Will you be happy little drones when you live and die according to the profit margin?

Ralph Wiggum

Do you shop at Walmart? Do you enjoy saving a buck at the expense of a lady working 35 hours a week while being called a part time employee and can't afford the company health insurance or retirement benefits? Next time you or a family member shops there, look in the mirror and see the people who help support the American corporate greed you talk about.


What does Walmart have to do with this ? Other then , if they were all unionized they most likely would be better paid with insurance and protection from sexual discrimination etc. . When I talk about corporate greed I don't limit it to America because that isn't the real world . Global corporate geed would be more accurate . As I stated before the issue is control and Kasich's agenda is to control people by stripping them of the tools they need to make a better life for themselves . Unions are probably the only reason that we all (union and non-union alike) are not living in poverty while big business is reigning over us like slave masters . Unions have historically fought for better pay , working conditions , benefits , retirements which benefit all working people by raising the bar on standards . If you take away our right to negotiate these things then we all lose . UNITED WE STAND , DIVIDED WE FALL .


Mr. Griffith is a support staff worker and does work year round.Support staff doesn't have the same work schedule as a teacher.We are Ohio VOLUNTEERS are doing this plus their regular work schedule.

Alford Plea

That was quick Kat. Kasich is a zealot and this legislation needs to be re-done as it does more harm than good.


Reflector = Democratic leaflet. Monday's story will be 'SB5's million signatures put in an envelope'. Tuesday 'SB5's signature envelope gets a stamp put on it'. Wed 'SB5 signature letter put in the mail' Soon a drinking game will evolve out of this.


If this paper was as liberal as many of you claim, they would be all over the saga of State Representative Robert Mecklenborg (R--Green Township), who was pulled over at 12:08 am on April 23rd in Lawrenceburg, IN for having a headlight out. He refused the breathalizer, but a blood test revealed he was legally drunk and had Viagra in his system. He was a mile from a casino and a strip joint. Did I mention he had a stripper in the car with him? Did I also mention he is on the Judiciary and ETHICS committee?

In fact, the only newspapers in the state that have reported this at all are the Cincinnati Enquirer and The Coshocton Tribune. So much for the "liberal" media!

If this guy was a democrat we wouldn't be hearing the end of it till he resigned. But no, he has pled not guilty to OVI, has no intention of resigning, and has the full support of the Ohio Republican party. No word yet on how much support he has from his wife and 3 kids right now.

Robert Mecklenborg...another fine example of the Republican family values politicians!


Bluto, where have you been?

Lawmakers, most noticably Strickland, have been going after gun owers rights and towing the party's agenda for quite some time. This is not new. And everytime it gets voted down in Ohio. Do you ever wonder why that is? Because we exercsie our right to vote.

My question is this: Why are public "unions" so afraid to let this issue go before the taxpayer? Personally, I am tired of the public (not private) "unions" getting a vote when the folks that pay for their demands don't get a vote. Enough already.


Do you have a clue? Strickland consistently got the highest ratings from the NRA. He was endorsed by the NRA over Kasich. What do you mean by the public unions being afraid to let this go before the taxpayer? That is EXACTLY what they are doing by putting this on the ballot for referendum!

Marcus M

The state has a $8 billion dollar deficit to close, thanks to Strickland and the cover up of the problem using Obama's stimulus games. This deficit equals less money from the state to local governments and schools. If local governments and schools can't contain employee costs, pensions and health care what is the result, answer less employees. Lesson to the public unions, win your battle to repeal SB5, and lose the war and employees. How many of the leadership at OEA, FOP and state fire unions have taken any concessions?


All i will say is there is a big difference between union plant and non while loading/unloading. The efficiency, attitude, quickness.. If you are union and making a higher hourly that the guy up the street why are you always so miserable and cranky?? Is it because you "deserve" more? anyone figure out which way i vote??? State teachers are in this same category in private also. Sure there is the happy face when dealing with parent/teacher conference, but then you should over-here the same teachers squabble at valley beach.


Just incase people haven't noticed this great budget cut by our governor has cost how many jobs so already.If this hits the public sector first it will get to all the private sectors next just wait.

Marcus M

Raise your hand if you want to pay higher taxes to save public sector employees from paying their fair share of health care & pensions. Yea, I though so.


lol truth


This economy already HAS hit private sector. Public sector employees seem to have had very little change to their jobs. Yes- public employees will lose jobs. Whether the bill passes or not. There will be job loss, because we CANNOT AFFORD to keep them. Period- end of story. IF this bill passes it will take the blame for the job losses. Who will be blamed if it doesn't? When the economy took a nosedive and everyone started losing jobs, I kept saying "wait til it hits public employees." Well, it's hit. Time to realize what the rest of the country and much of the world already knows. Life has changed- enjoy.
I also am so extremely tired of hearing how these employees "change the world" Yes, many are teachers, firefighters, and police men. Yes, they do good work. But so do many other private employees....and they may be union members. The difference is, their customers pay their wage, not my tax dollar.


SB5 goes after ALL unions. It attacks the middle class and dissolves unison. A pack of wolves is stronger than a lone wolf. It won't be long before the US has another civil war. We are being attacked by our own government and being asked to turn cheek on our friends and neighbors. All because our government screwed up and got too greedy. SB5 is perhaps the lazziest and most offensive bill to ever cross Ohio's ballet. Your concern should be focused on thel fact we have a Government that would even consider such measures.


We have been attacked by "our" government for many years. Since they've been getting away with it all this time, they figure they are invincible. They may be right.


SUPPORT,don't be afraid if you do your job you will probably get to keep it.If you are a lazy pos bureaucratic slug that never really deserved your job be afraid.Unions have for too many years protected the lazy and provided them with Lawyers and protected them from doing their job.It is time for them to go away an let capitalism take over.This fight is over the Democrats and their constant source of campaign contributions that pour into their pockets and war chest.


Oil, "if you do your job, you will "probably" get to keep it. Wake up please. RTW breeds "I don't like so you are fired". Being lazy has nothing to do with this bill. This bill is simply that, another bill for us to pay. Our country was founded and grounded by people being "United". Unions unite brothers and sisters and protect us from people like you. This recession is a Government bill, created by our government and should be paid by the rich lobbiest who really run this country, the big oil, and crooked politicians and bankers that put us in this position. SB5 is a bill punishing unison and leaves citizens naked and stripped of all protection from Big Brother. Our Governers, Senators, Mayors, Congress, President, make big bucks and are taken care of for life even after their term. They make laws that apply to citizens and exclude themselves and when they screw up they unite and go after the innocent. They aim to break up our unison while keeping theirs, in an effort to make us weaker and easier prey. The only reason anyone agrees with SB5 is because they are cowardly or as crooked as our government. Here are a few reasons for supporting SB5:
1. You are afraid to take on big brother. Paranoid they may kick in your door or harm you or your family for non conformity.
2. You have an inside financial gain, ie. you own a buisness that is forced to utilize union labor and would rather employ illegal immigrants cuz you are cheap.
3. You are an outcast and can't make the grade to get into a union
4. You do drugs and can't pass the drug test required by the union thus are disqualified from seeking employment.
5. You were once a union employee and chose to leave and are bitter cuz u screwed up.
6. You yourself are lazy and want others to pick up a bill that isn't theirs.
7. You are a very mean and rotten person who has no regard for your neighbor and lives your life for yourself without regard for community.

ANYONE that supports SB5 is sick and twisted, selfish, greedy and frankly should move to a RTW state where they can feed on their fellow man. SB5 is just another form of Canibalism


Have some of you people been sleeping the last two or three years? Schools, the State, and local governments have been laying off public employees, freezing wages, cutting benefits, and instituting furlough days. Public employees have not been spared in these hard economic times no matter how much some politicians want to lie about it.

The only public employees getting paid more is Kasich's cabinet who are getting 50% more than Strickland's cabinet members. Kasich's excuse is that he needs to attract quality people. Isn't the same true for lower level public employees?. As usual, the Republicans are OK wth the top executives getting as much money as possible and the rest of us get the scraps. Don't pee on my head and call it trickle down economics.