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State pen workers take on chamber

Published: Thu, April 28, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

UNION seeks boycott; another member quits

By Karl Henkel



One local union has come up with a new approach to pressure businesses to withdraw their memberships from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.

About 250 businesses were sent letters April 20 by the Ohio State Penitentiary’s Chapter 5041. The letters urge the penitentiary’s 413 union members to cease spending at any remaining chamber businesses — decrying the organization’s pro-Senate Bill 5 stance.

The letter was signed by Doug Sollitto, union president, who said the decision to send the message was unanimous among union members.

“We’re making a point not to go to those businesses who are in favor of Senate Bill 5,” Sollitto said.

As for the response, Sollitto said he’s received 27 return letters, all in support of the chamber businesses protest.

Sollitto said he doesn’t have a problem with the chamber taking a position on political issues — he just disagrees with the chamber’s stance on SB 5, which limits some collective-bargaining rights.

Sollitto said the union is planning to distribute another round of letters shortly.

One business he can scratch off his list is Credit Union One. It announced this week that it is discontinuing its membership due to the chamber’s “anti-union position.”

“We were very taken back as to why [Chamber CEO Tom] Humphries would have come out and made a political stance representing the chamber,” said Linda Cappella, Credit Union One CEO.

She said initially Credit Union One and its nearly 3,000 members were “up in arms” when Tony Paglia, chamber vice president of government affairs, voiced pro-Senate Bill 5 sentiment back in March.

Paglia, who did not comment Wednesday, previously called SB 5 “a common-sense approach that gives state and local government the flexibility and tools to properly and efficiently manage their dwindling resources and continue to provide services to the public without having to raise taxes considerably.”

After Humphries made a similar remark, Credit Union One decided it was time to withdraw its membership.

“As this progressed in The Vindicator and through our Valley, it wasn’t a hard decision,” Cappella said. “And it wasn’t about money.”

Cappella declined to say how much it would cost Credit Union One in lost health insurance, utility and advertising discounts from the chamber but said it was a “manageable amount” that wouldn’t create any “hardship for the office or the membership.”


1db(280 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Amen RG1200. The union boys will learn that half a loaf is better than none.

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2piak(508 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget what will happen to the credit rating of this state, should SB 5 be overturned. No way will we escape tax increases everywhere.

SB 5 is a necessary step for solvency in this state; if it is repealed, the alternative is going to be far worse.

And the posting about the percieved hostility to business is true.

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3borylie(951 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

What I've been saying for a long time,that the Mahoning Valley is a hard core union town. One doesn't need to wonder why business won't locate here.

If the state gets known for the same reputation,it's really hard to overcome.

And Linda Cappella caved. She couldn't stand up to the intimidation tactics. All these business owners or those in charge should not be playing politics,just stay neutral like they wanted the Chamber to do. Hypocrites.

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4YtownSports(306 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Public service unions shouldn't lose their ability to bargain about job-related issues, They should, however, join the rest of us in funding their own retirement and health benefits. Why should we pay for theirs while many won't be able to pay for their own?

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5Unbelievable(3 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Do these union members have any idea how hard it is to run a small business? Why penalize those small business owners who are willing to stay in this valley, hire employees, and try to create a positive business atmosphere? And isn't it ironic, that if members of the unions are unhappy with endorsements their management makes, they do not have the right to resign? This union is asking local businesses to resign from the chamber, but does not give their own members the same choice in political matters.

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6saddad(655 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Somebody please post the list of members that voted with Humphries so we all can be informed when we decide where to spend our money. The right wingers are funded well enough. I sure dont want to be contributing.

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7dd933(312 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

BP just announced that they made $5.48 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2011....and Exxon/Mobile's profits were over $10 billion for the same period. While we pay $4.00 a gallon why aren't the oil companies doing their part in ballancing the budget? Why does the governor blame the budget shorfall on public employees? These giant corporations should be required to pay for their benefits also - like schools, police & fire protection, roads and other services. Instead they get subsidies.

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8Fattkidd(45 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Unions are smart to 'vote' with their dollars. I believe Ohio has eliminated it's corporate income tax, correct?

Start there with balancing the budget... 40% with no loopholes. Deductions for every job created that pays over $15/hr.

Then, increase the estate tax. Also, set the personal income tax rate on those making more than $250k/yr at 40%.

Take the increased revenue and start up the First Ohio Public Savings and Loan... just like North Dakota has now. Allow any resident to deposit savings and offer a superior rate. Offer small loans and mortgages at the FED discount rate plus 1% (in other words... 1% interest mortgages).

Being that it is a Savings and Loan, it will have access to the FED discount window and other FED money at 0% interest. It can then lend that money out at a profit and use that profit to finance gov't functions.

Let the state become the banker for the people and it'll generate so much money that in a short time, you'll be able to lower and even eliminate income taxes. Offer these low interest loans to businesses as well and you'll have business flocking to the state.

North Dakota has been using this model of funding for generations and they have a HUGE surplus for such a small state, very low taxes, 4% unemployment, and they have plenty of money to pay for any project or service they want.

And, before all you fascist start crying 'socialism', they still have private banks that do very well. There's plenty of room for both to exist, especially in a state the size of Ohio.

Instead of cutting and/or taxing... ALL states and the Federal Gov't itself, need to look into 'creative financing' for its revenue generation.

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Tax them to the limit one more time . . ..


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10republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Exxon's profit works out to 2 cents per gallon.

Taxes are 46 cents per gallon.

Obama won't let us open new drilling sites in the US. But he gave Brazil 2 BILLION dollars to help with their offshore drilling.

The problem is government, plain and simple.

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11AtownParent(565 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Fattkidd - what you are proposing sounds like common sense. Our government, state and federal, frowns upon the use of common sense.

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12Unbelievable(3 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

A corporate income tax of 40% would equal many corporations moving out of Ohio...not a great way to create private sector jobs. Increase the estate tax? That has to be the most ridiculous, unfair tax on the books...the person who dies has already paid taxes on that income, why should family have to pay it again?
Small businesses need someone in their corner...that is the job of the Chamber. Perhaps they should have stayed neutral on SB 5...or perhaps they realize that public employee unions favor higher taxes, which are not helpful to the small business person.

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13Cowboyfan(105 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Fattkidd.

Also as I hear of Ohio companies who do not pay taxes I check them off my grocery list. GE (off) American Greetings (off) Chevron (for spite) Shell (for making billions while we suffer) and the list grows.

You all act as if all safety force unions have been getting raises and asking for crazy things. They haven't. They have been giving and the thanks they get is a slap in the face and their futures threatened.

Large companies are the culprits by blackmailing the States into tax abatements.

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14bright2010(2 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

My business recieved one of those letters. It didn't ask us to leave the Chamber, it demanded and threaten us to leave or face a boycott. We are a local family owned business. We belong to the Chamber to get health insurance for my family and my employees. We are a small company and would never be able to get insurance on our own. We aren't a union or a state employee who gets everything paid for them. We have to pay ourself!! Now they want to take away that right and hurt our business. Is this union going to support my family?! Are they going to let me get their free health insurance and retirement? Not likely! Mean time they take union dues out of people's check to support political parties and people. Shouldn't that union member get a choice. THIS IS WHY BUSINESSES WILL NOT LOCATE IN THE YOUNGSTOWN AREA. We need to wake up around here.

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15UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

With the economy in the toilet and gas at $4.15 a gallon this afternoon, the greedy selfish public employee unions decide they will put pressure on valley businesses to quit the Chamber. Maybe they need to take their head out of where the sun doesn't shine, and realize we need to cut state spending to improve the state's economy and yes it does mean sacrifice.

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16cambridge(4150 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

It's ironic that the people that called for boycotting GM for no reason other than they have a union work force are the same people that think if union members boycott a business that backs taking their bargaining rights away makes him or her a thug.

If union haters can urge people to boycott GM and local union workers and spend their money elsewhere on a Honda why can't a union member boycott the people that support their bargaining rights being taken away?

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17rbaymp(2 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

To all of those who are drinking the SB5 koolade, dont be so foolish and ignorant. This whole SB5 is about a power grab by the plutocrats and all those who believe that they somehow have a place at the table. When all that will be left is those who have( the 1%) all the wealth and the rest of us. They have somehow got you union haters to believe that all that is wrong with Ohio and the economy is purely and simply that of uncontrolled greed of those who run the unions,or belong to the unions and especially those who belong to the public unions. You are guide by your rage that is unwarrented and you are dividing the working class so that they my conqeuor us and futher plunge the so called standard of living down to those of a third world nation. As a public employee we have made consessions and are willing to work with the people to help solve the problems created by Kasick and his bum investments of the PERS retirement fund. To really look at Kasick and his staff and how he is circumventing government oversight or control of public taxpayer money to use as they decide, this govenor and his staff is perprating the biggest robbery in the history of the Buckeye State. He is in control or soon will be in control of perhaps 3.5 Billion dollars of public taxpayer money with no government oversight and the ability to spent it anyway he pleases and we as Buckeyes are fighting amoung ourselves . Wake up poeple, public employees are not the enemy John Kasick is

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18Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago



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192muchtax(897 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Unions, Be Careful of What You Wish For This email above from RS1200 was right on the money. SB5 has been needed, i have not seen a comment yet that could explain why public employees benefits are soo much better than the majority of taxpayers paying for it all. Teachers making 55.50 an hour with unbelievable benefits. Ohio state patrol retires after 20yrs in their 40's just in time to double dip another pension! Boardman cops & fire making 80-90,000 a yr, Kudo's to Jason Loree for making a small step last week by lowering the minimum manpower from 9 to 6 so they have to quit abusing the overtime. If they need help they could give up the uniform allowance and longevity pay to free up cash to hire another guy to two. PUBLIC UNIONS NEED TO GO. Don't voter for any new taxes until the benefit copays and pensions are brought inline with the private sector.

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