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Donnie Blatt

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Director of the United Steelworkers District 1, Donnie Blatt joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss Ohio’s special election in August. Blatt also talked about the work the rapid response team is doing to educate registered voters and the cost to Ohio taxpayers to hold this special election.

USW District 1 covers Michigan and Ohio, and like other Ohio unions, they are working to educate registered voters on State Issue 1. If passed, Issue 1 would change the required vote approval for Ohio constitutional amendments from a simple majority vote to 60 percent approval. Blatt talked about past amendments that have been passed in Ohio, and only a few could pass the 60 percent approval threshold. It’s a direct attack on Ohioan’s democratic right, he said.

The USW District 1 rapid response team has been mobilized in the battle to educate registered voters on Issue 1. The efforts of the response team have been positive, Blatt said. However, they’re far from finished, as the early voting period continues and the Aug. 8 in-person vote approaches. Blatt discussed his experience at the polls on the opening day of early voting and his pleasant surprise at the turnout.

The special election in August is reported to cost Ohio taxpayers a total of $20 million. This extra cost to the taxpayers is one of the main reasons why these special elections were banned earlier in 2023, Blatt said. Meanwhile, Issue 1 is being supported by outside influences with deep pockets, he added. It feels like a double standard to vote on a bill that would raise the approval rate to 60 percent, but for the bill to be passed, it only requires a simple majority. Blatt added that if they can help prevent Issue 1 from passing, this will prevent workers’ rights from being stripped away in the future.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Auto Workers, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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