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Michigan passing a Right to Work law

Original post made by Joe, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Dec 11, 2012

Michigan will today become the 24th state to pass a Right to Work law, which prohibits unions from collecting dues from non-union members.

Unions oppose the new law, saying it reduces their ability to represent workers. Government and business support the law, saying it will make the state more competitive and attract labor and business.

To put this into perspective, 17.5% of workers in Michigan are members of unions. Roughly the same as in CA.

I am most encouraged by this step, and see the groundswell continuing to grow. Indiana, for example, went Right-to-Work in 2011. The governor's recall in Wisconsin failed. Voters in San Jose and San Diego indicated a clear preference for limiting the power of public employee unions.

Of all the states in the US, Michigan was the Holy Grail of organized labor, with that unique combination of unions + politics that led to its fall.

Comments (7)

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Posted by Marty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2012 at 9:52 am

Say, Joe, that's really a thoughtful comment you provide. Lots of insight and in-depth thought. Have you ever considered being a home schooling instructor? I bet lots of people would want their kids to have you as their teacher. You neglected to mention, however, how the 'right for employers to pay less than minimum wage' has historically been linked to groups that have been opposed to civil rights and, more specifically, against people of color who have formed unions in their struggle against systematic employer discrimination. Or, in the words of that infamous darkie, Martin Luther King:

"In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. It is supported by Southern segregationists who are trying to keep us from achieving our civil rights and our right of equal job opportunity. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone ... Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote."

I guess that's why the lame duck Repubs who recently were voted out of office passed the bill behind a curtain of hundreds of armed police. Very classy. Come to think of it, and speaking of classy, didn't you once mention that you taught kids in your home? I'm certain we'd all like to hear more about that.

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Posted by Beth
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm

My grandfather fought for those unions in Detroit in the 1920's. By the 1970's, even he was saying the unions had too much power and were going to drive the business out of MI. Having grown up there, one knows how truly widespread they are, and the political clout they held, especially in the Eastern part of the state. My grandfather was right, by the late '70's GM was already closing plants in Flint, MI (which has been a ghost town since the '80's) to move factories overseas, to stay competitive with the overseas automobile companies (Toyota). Instead of the unions being vilified it was the huge car companies, who were just trying to "make a buck". Well, both were and are in the wrong. Henry Ford's original idea was to pay workers enough to buy the cars they were manufacturing!!! The unions wanted more, and were not willing to give up anything with the ebb and flow of the economy....that is what has killed the unions. I've worked in union businesses - even part-time employees, who get no benefits from the union have had to pay union dues...this is wrong. To force someone to join a group that they may not want to support, just to take a job is as bad and when the unions were being fought against. With the government legislation that ensures good working conditions, etc...the usefulness of unions has gone away.

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Posted by Marty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Nice try, Joe. Do you also change your names when you recruit to have kids to 'home school' study the positives of racial segregation and 'right to work for less laws'? Very impressive. Keep up the good work.

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Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Union thugs showed their true colors yesterday, attacking members of the media and ripping down a tent that was set up to shelter the attendees of yesterday's event.
They are like spoiled children---use your words kids, no need to resort to violence as your first option rather than engaging in civil discussion.
This is just one of many reasons unions are losing favor. Yesterday's vote was a blow to unions and is a vote for freedom for the depressed job market in Michigan, as was done in 26 other states.

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Posted by Marty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Yes, kids, use your words like lib-is-a-disease/joe/beth, and just like apparently he teaches you during his home schooling classes. How are those going, by the way, joe-disease? And why are you not using your words to tell us more about your educational practice and how it affects the kids? C'mon Joe, tell us all. We so respect your judiciousness, perspicuity, and perspicacity.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Marty, first, it's not personal, it's factual. Second, it's about free choice, and not about teachers, teaching, or teachers' unions.

It's a very simple matter. Workers in Michigan now have a choice they didn't have before. They can pay union dues, or not. If they think that dues are worth the benefits of the union, then great. If not, that's great, too. The point is that as of yesterday, they have a choice. Workers in California and 25 other states do not.

In November voters in Michigan rejected Prop 2, a union-backed measure which would have placed public employees' perpetual right to collective bargaining into the state constitution, and given unions some limited veto power over the Michigan legislature. Think about this - in the state in which the United Auto Workers union was formed, individual voters rejected the unions' attempt to increase their power and control.

Finally, the passage of the right-to-work law in Michigan was not due to a lame duck legislature as was claimed. Very few legislators were turned over in the latest election. In fact, the election for the Michigan senate and governor occurs in mid-term years, so none of the existing Senate, not the governor, were even up for reelection.

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Posted by Marty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Yes, it's kinna like working conditions in the Far East. If workers don't like working under unsafe and unhealthful conditions they can exercise free choice. Try to unionize? Na-uh. That's collectivism. Try to sit in on corporate board meetings to have input into workplace safety and health, input into workers wages and management salaries? Na-uh, because that infringes upon corporate freedom of choice. Workers' freedom of choice? Boils down to this: You don't like it? You're free to quit and go die somewhere. Besides, most of you are useless people of color anyway, who simply road the union gravy train on the backs of the militants who coerced this country into giving inferior people rights they didn't deserve.

Now, how are you and liberal/is/disease doing with that home schooling project? Or do you denounce him? Let's hear it from you. Ah, it's a bit difficult to denounce yourself isn't it? Has anyone from a specific public office contacted you yet, you educator you?

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