From a presentation before the West Chester Township Trustees…

I am writing this to say to you that I believe what is being proposed regarding so called right to work is morally wrong. It is wrong for West Chester Township. Wrong for Ohio. Wrong for all of us.  

The federal Taft- Hartley Act among other things forbids that any worker be forced to join a union, requires unions to represent all workers regardless of whether they join or not, and allows unions to collect a nominal service fee from non-members as just compensation for the expenses incurred in representing them in negotiations with management. This so called right to work proposal would prohibit the union from asking non-union members for compensation for their services although the unions are required by federal law to provide them. This is called free riding.

Allow me to state an alternate type of the Golden Rule which is “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done to you.”   Let’s say the state of Ohio had the authority to tell all local rule political subdivisions like this Township they no longer had authority to require their citizens to pay taxes to run their jurisdictions. I speculate this Board of Trustees would respond with these questions: How do we protect our people from crime and injustice and keep them safe from injury or worse? How do we make sure our people have opportunity for a good standard of living and quality of life for themselves and their families if we don’t have the revenue to provide the services we are obligated to provide?

I dare say this Board would feel like the people of Israel did in the Book of Exodus when, to punish them and to make them weaker and more submissive, Pharaoh told the Israelites to make bricks without straw.  Well, that is exactly what this so called right to work legislation is intended to do to the unions.

I know there are powerful ideological monied interests hostile to unions driving this so called right to work legislation, but that does not change the values that are found in Scripture and that I believe should be driving us and this Board of Trustees, 18 For the Scripture says, You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:18)   

Don’t require the unions to make bricks without straw and work for no compensation for their services.  As you have no doubt already heard and will hear from others tonight, it hurts members and non-members, their families, as well as their communities. Therefore, I ask this Board to do right and not wrong.

Thank You.

Dominick Lijoi

Dominick Lijoi is a resident of West Chester, Ohio.  He is an active attender and volunteer at Vineyard Cincinnati church. Dominick describes himself as a follower of Jesus Christ living in America. He retired from the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers after a 35-year career, and is currently the Southeast Regional Chair of the Butler County Democratic Party.