Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ohioans to Protect Jobs and Fair Benefits vows to fight against Healthy Families Act

Ohioans to Protect Jobs and Fair Benefits, a coalition of businesses, organizations, and others  that oppose the Healthy Families Act, has formally launched its campaign to defeat the November ballot initiative. It calls the sick leave mandate a "job killer" for Ohio, and has just issued the following news release:

Opponents of the union-backed mandated sick leave proposal today announced formation of a campaign committee to defeat the proposal, labeling it “a job-killer” that threatens Ohio’s economy at a time when it is already reeling.

The committee, representing a broad coalition of individual employers, trade associations and businesses organizations, said it intends to educate voters about the devastating effects the proposed state mandate will have on individual employers, their workers and the Ohio economy.

“Few people in Ohio are against sick leave,” said John C. Mahaney, Jr., treasurer of Ohioans to Protect Jobs and Fair Benefits. “But Ohio’s struggling businesses – particularly our small businesses – can’t withstand provisions in this proposal that threaten pay, benefits and jobs.”

“To make things worse, the proposal also severely penalizes employers who already provide sick leave by imposing rules that will make it much more expensive to operate assembly lines and facilities like hospitals and nursing homes,“ Mahaney added.

Mahaney said the mandate will brand Ohio as a “job-killer” in the eyes of businesses nationwide at a time when the state is in desperate need of new jobs.

“This proposal will make Ohio the only state in the union with a mandated paid sick leave law,” he said. “It will significantly drive up the cost of doing business when we can least afford it, and it will kill our job-development efforts.”

The provision that worries employers who currently grant sick leave is one that allows employees to take sick leave without warning in one-hour increments or less. Mahaney said such a provision poses a serious threat to production stability at process-dependent employers like assembly line manufacturers and staffing-critical operations like hospitals, nursing homes and day-care facilities.

“Companies like Honda, Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Whirlpool and others have long-standing agreements that provide employees with good pay and benefits in exchange for work arrangements that ensure a continued high level of production,” he said. “This proposal directly interferes with long-established employer-employee relationships and the production stability achieved over many years of working together.”

Employers of every size worry that the cost to implement the mandate would require them to make up the difference by taking money from other benefits such as health care, curtailing raises or even cutting jobs, Mahaney said.

Ohioans to Protect Jobs and Fair Benefits promised a vigorous grassroots campaign in all 88 Ohio counties to defeat the proposal in November.

Ohio is suffering through its worst economic period in 20 years. This issue will make us one of the most business-unfriendly states in the country. With our nation's economy at a crossroads, Ohio's working people simply cannot afford our state to be branded a "job-killer."

If you want to get involved in this grassroots campaign, if you want to know how your business or organization can sign up as a supporter of Ohioans to Protect Jobs and Fair Benefits, or if you simply want more information on the dangers that the Healthy Families Act presents to Ohio, please contact me:

Jon Hyman - - 216-736-7226