End Times for Michigan’s Big Labor Racket


“If you seek a pleasant peninsula,” Michigan’s state motto informs, “look about you.” This may have rung true when the state’s founding fathers settled on these words 177 years ago. It doesn’t now.

The Mayan 2012 prophecy came true for labor bosses Tuesday night. Rick Snyder, the governor of a state known for its powerful industrial trade unions, signed right-to-work legislation into law. The Wolverine state becomes the twenty-fourth in the union to bar compulsory unionization. The overtones of such a labor stronghold adopting right-to-work rules—the symbolic equivalent of Mississippi codifying gay marriage or Texas banning firearms—wasn’t lost on either side of the for-now-settled debate. The two new laws allow private- and public-sector workers to hold jobs without union honchos automatically siphoning off a portion of their paychecks.

The union honchos are not happy.

Frustrate a racket at the risk of inflaming the racketeers. Thousands of workers skipped work, including hooky-playing public school teachers whose absence closed several schools, to demonstrate against the legislation. Their behavior proved a fairly accurate reflection of the law they fought to keep on the books. The protestors relied on force in an attempt to intimidate politicians into imposing a law that compels workers to join a union as a condition of employment. But strong-arm tactics failed to hold up a strong-arm rule. They only illustrated the injustice of force over freedom.

“We’re going to pass something that will undo a hundred years of labor relations,” state representative Douglas Geiss warned. “And there will be blood. There will be repercussions.”

This was less prophecy than observation. On the grounds of the same state house where the representative made his banana-republic utterance, the like-minded simple-minded went on a rampage. Protestors punched Fox News contributor Steven Crowder in the face. Knife-wielding union supporters slashed a tent legally permitted for Americans for Prosperity’s Michigan branch and then trampled on the fallen tarp with people still under it. Police arrested two men trying to force their way into a building that houses offices for the state’s governor. Another demonstrator assaulted a state policewoman. Protestors chanted, “No justice! No peace!”

“I really wish we had not gone here,” representative Geiss further opined. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on Election Day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the eleventh hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.” Could he have been looking out a window when he said this?

The new laws don’t prevent any of the thousands of union members demonstrating at the state capitol from remaining union members back at the job site. They just prevent unions from forcing workers to pay dues to organization to which they don’t wish to belong. The degree to which this proves an Armageddon to organized labor will demonstrate the degree to which organized labor remains popular with individual laborers.

Surely organized labor remains popular with Democratic Party politicians. “These so-called ‘right to work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics,” President Obama, a beneficiary of union campaign volunteers and union donations, declared at a car factory in Redford, Michigan on Monday. “What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.” The president’s spokesman declined to condemn the violence in Lansing, claiming ignorance, for instance, of Representative Geiss’s provocative remarks. “I haven’t seen those comments,” Jay Carney explained in a Tuesday briefing, “and I’m not sure they mean what someone interprets them to mean,”

Surly the union bosses preaching doomsday misinterpreted the eschatological signs. The endtimes weren’t in the state capital of Lansing, where a businessman politician affixed his signature to legislation inviting business back into Michigan, but in postapocalyptic Detroit, a union bastion where illegitimate births approach 90 percent, adult illiteracy nears 50 percent, the median home price remains the lowest of any of America’s big cities at $86,000, and half the city’s population fled in the last half century. There is power in a union.

Michigan’s right-to-work law may prove cataclysmic for union coffers. But the governor only signed it long after unions proved cataclysmic for Michigan’s coffers.

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  • Mary Sue

    maybe it's the kind of shakeup that Michigan needs. Too bad the Union Leftards are afraid this is the end of the gravy train. They know full well if given a choice most normal people who don't vote democrat won't give money to an organization that donates to nothing but democrat causes.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    The devil must be in the details when anyone in Detroit – (pronounced De-TWA)- is reported as,
    ~ "fighting for their right to work."

  • Mrs. Pharaoh

    About time! These unions are nothing but thugs. Their bosses like nearly all democratic politicians care nothing for the people they supposedly serve, only for the power and privilege membership can bring THEMSEVES. What a bunch of hipocrites, glad they are beginning to be brought down.

  • MrWritingIII

    The national level may be gone but this type of change is our only hope and if anyone thinks the takers are going to give up their goodies without a fight is sadly mistaken.

  • JacksonPearson

    Unions display of thuggery in Lansing show they brought this legislation on themselves. If unions are going to survive, they're going to have to do a much better job of selling themselves public relations wise. Vandalism, thuggery, and assault and battery are signs of epic failures.

    • Mary Sue

      Oh they know their pals in the media won't cover this, and their leftist likeminded folks around the country take great pride in NOT watching what they call "Faux News".

      • JacksonPearson

        Over at Breitbart, they're pressing for an ID, and arrest of two people, that assaulted Steven Crowder.

  • "gunner"

    i've had the pleasure of telling a union organiser "you don't try to muscle a man who carries a gun for a living". the company treated us well, good benefits, good vehicles to work with, fair treatment by supervisors, scheduled pay raises, and provided uniforms at no cost. we bought our own guns and kit by choice. what did we need or want a union for. just another thieving hand in a worker's pocket.

  • Jesse

    I'm an active union employee (private sector) and I don't see a problem in the union being accountable to its members by needing to earn our due's support. Currently, individuals have no voice (sort of like Obamacare) Like shopping at a business, if they earn my trust and respect I'll buy the union official's product, otherwise, now it can't be forced from me as a condition for employment.

  • Lucifer Dye

    Crowder went there with the express intent of inciting an incident. If you watch the video, it's readily apparent. He even (almost) admitted as much to Hannity on his show yesterday. When you start a fight, and wind up getting walloped, whose fault is it?

    • Mary Sue

      pffff. "Almost" doesn't cut it.

      • Lucifer Dye

        And "pffff" to you, too, whatever that means. Actually, "almost" does cut it — he just didn't possess the courage of his convictions, preferring instead to tap dance around the issue. Check out Hannity's show and see for yourself. Crowder went there looking for trouble — and found it. As we used to say in grade school, serves him right. Now he needs to cowboy the hell up and get on with his life.

        • JacksonPearson

          You're still full of dinbat sh*t. Crowder's film crew have numerous incidents on tape…sound, assaults, pics, and all. He's giving the two idiots a reasonable amount of time to turn themselves into authorities. Payback is a bit*h!

    • JacksonPearson

      You're full of dingbat sh*t. Steven Croder's business is reporting and selling news, and is not the type of person looking to throw gasoline on already burning union thugs.

  • F. Swemson

    If we go back to the beginning of the labor movement, it's easy to justify the creation of the unions because all they were trying to do was raise their workers pay up to its true market value.

    Now of course, they've pushed their member's wages up to a level well beyond the true market value of their labor as a result of which they've virtually bankrupted some of America's major industries.

    Along the way, the union leaders morphed into criminals & thugs. The same thing happened to politicians in the democratic party…. and many in the GOP as well.

    In the 1960's, in the IBEW, construction electricians received overtime pay (1.5 times hourly rate) after 5 hrs per day. They worked 7hr days but got paid for 8 hours. Saturdays were time & a half & sundays were double time. To their credit however, rather than the union giving its money to crooked politicians, they literally gave it back to their members in several ways. The most notable was taking over the member's mortgages, and allowing them to pay them off, principal only with zero interest. That was a huge deal.

    fs

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,it's kinda simple for me. If I don't want to join a union,I shouldn't be FORCED to join one.