Worker Freedom Comes to Michigan?


As Michigan lawmakers prepare to strike a blow for worker freedom, organized labor is resorting to its old playbook in an effort to prevent the state from adopting “right to work” legislation” aimed at restoring the Rust Belt state’s economic vitality.

True to form, the entrenched forces of organized labor that have been gnawing away at Michigan for decades are throwing a big, carefully stage-managed, media-saturated temper tantrum.

Around the state capitol in Lansing, police are gearing up for massive demonstrations, beefing up their presence today as the Michigan Legislature meets to grant final approval to right to work legislation.

“It’s an attack on working families, and we’re gonna be there. We’re not gonna stand for it,” Bernie Ricke, president of the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 600, was quoted saying.

President Obama dropped by Michigan yesterday taking time out from his busy golf schedule to rally labor commissars at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant.

“I’ve just got to say this — what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages,” Obama said, misrepresenting right to work laws, which he said “don’t have anything to do with economics.”

Such laws “have everything to do with politics,” the president said. “What they’re really talking about is they’re giving you the right to work for less money.”

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said he supports right to work because it’s the right thing to do. “I feel this is solving an issue for Michigan workers. We have hardworking people in Michigan and this is about giving workers choice,” he said last week around the time he announced his support for the pending right to work legislation.

A right to work law would benefit the 576,000 Michigan workers who are currently forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment, according to the National Right to Work Committee, whose motto is “No one should be forced to pay tribute to a union in order to get or keep a job,”

“Study after study shows that the 23 states that have passed Right to Work laws have a huge advantage in creating jobs and expanding their economies. Because independent-minded employees have the power to penalize Big Labor’s irresponsible class-warfare tactics by resigning from a union and withholding their dues, in Right to Work states union bosses must rein in their militancy.”

Right to work laws weaken unions’ monopolistic control of local labor markets and protect workers’ ability to control their own destinies, free from pressure applied by union bosses and their hired goons.

“We’re trying to create an experiment here in Michigan where we have labor freedom which is defined as where unions are as free to make their case as workers are to make their choice,” said Mike Shirkey, a Republican state lawmaker in the Wolverine State.

Big Labor is making noise and attempting to disrupt the legislative process in Lansing, just as it did last year in Madison, Wisconsin when that state’s reform-minded governor asked government union members to contribute a small percentage towards the costs of their pension plans and health care benefits. Gov. Scott Walker was relentlessly demonized by the Left as a dangerous tyrant who sought to murder democracy. Snyder may be more difficult to vilify in part because he’s less conservative than Walker.

Last year tens of thousands of bussed-in demonstrators and union thugs wreaked havoc in Madison. Labor activists didn’t hesitate to get in their adversaries’ faces. When they surrounded the capitol building in an attempt to shut down the state government, union goons, members of President Obama’s pressure group Organizing for America, and paid rent-a-mobs chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.” Teachers phoned in sick en masse, shutting down schools. At rallies, medical doctors ignored their professional ethics and handed out sick notes to anyone who asked, ill or not.

Ultimately, Walker prevailed, beating back a union-initiated recall election in June 2012.

Unions in Michigan are trying to replicate the failed Wisconsin strategy, hoping it succeeds this time, but they are at a major disadvantage. In Michigan, labor has been caught by surprise. It was only a few days ago that Gov. Snyder indicated he would be willing to sign a right to work bill into law.

If the bill is enacted, Michigan would become the 24th right to work state. Passage of the law would also constitute a powerful psychological blow against organized labor because the Great Lakes region is the cradle of the labor movement.

If unions lose this round, they vow to continue fighting, launching legal challenges and campaigning against GOP lawmakers.

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  • Mary Sue

    It's disgusting that Obama opposes Secret Ballot in Union voting, and it's equally deplorable that he doesn't believe in right-to-work (without being beholden to paying Union dues that go to invariably finance the Democrat party even if the workers themselves are not necessarily Democrats).

    • Les

      It's not surprising the guy is a commie! Period!

    • http://www.joekiddone.blogspot.com/ JoeKidd

      In response to Democrat Douglas Geiss' threat from the Michigan House floor that, "There will be blood," it's time to revisit the thuggish face(s) of Big Labor Democrats:
      Bob Etheridge, Mike Capuano, Richard Trumka, Jimmy Hoffa, Gordon Hintz, Elizabeth Warren, Michael P. Meehan aka "The Coakley Thug" and Democrat THUG-IN-CHIEF, Barack Obama. http://networkedblogs.com/Bzo6A

  • pierce

    Worker freedom is not yet there. The President was there to promote Unions and not WORKER FREEDOM.
    Many years ago, when people were exploited by owners, Unions were a good thing, well at the very least, the Unions tried to protect workers rights and pay scales. Now the way I see it today, the Union wants all workers to pay dues, not for protection against management, but so the Unions can continue to bully management. A case in point is the NEA. The NEA bullies local government to pay teachers, regardless of whether the teachers meet high standards. For some teachers, not all I might add, the student is not important, but the pay check is. That is one reason our students don't rank higher in certain skills, such as Math, or Reading Comprehension. Worker freedom is freedom to join the Union, or not to join the union, the emphasis is on NOT. The color of money is green, enjoy what you are doing, and be productive for yourself, and get along with your fellow man(woman).

  • davarino

    That union thing works so good its made Detroit the lovely city it is today. Unions have gone to far and now they are shooting themselves in the foot. The union bosses are the ones benefiting while the members keep losing jobs.

    • Ghostwriter

      Once more,Questions,you get the bigot prize. Not every black person in Detroit likes what's happened to their city. That's why many of them are moving out.

      • Dennis X

        Yes , but according to right wing whites all Blacks are on food stamps, are gangers etc. And then wonder why there is no love for them.

        • Ghostwriter

          So sayeth the bigot,Dennis X.

  • gumshoe

    Unions have gone by the way of the 5 cent coffee. They both have been past their time. If unions are so good for the people then let the people choose if they want to join a union. But there lies the problem for the unions. Most independent thinking people would choose NOT to join a union. Unions are nothing more than a poltical pawn for the Democratic Party.

  • JacksonPearson

    Michigan is a Wisconsin redux. The union hole keeps getting deeper, and the community-organizer-in-chief cheer leading keeps getting more, and more ridiculous.

  • Mary Sue

    It wouldn't be a black issue unless the Blacks all vote Democrat and have a synergistic victim/entitlement mentality as long as a gang member's rap sheet.

  • Donald DaCosta

    The Union's reaction to this should surprise no one. What should be the expected response? Quiet acceptance? Private sector unions have been in a steady decline as the Union movement has found a new venue to grow membership and extort outrageous wages and benefits for their grateful membership; the Government; local, state and federal. Here Union negotiators "negotiate" with politicians who benefit from generous Union contributions to their political campaigns. In essence the fox is negotiating with the chickens and the chickens have no bottom line or competitors to concern themselves with. Sickening shenanigans and disastrous for the hapless, clueless taxpayers but sweet for the Unions. It's a growing, festering cancer on the economic health of every effected government entity.

    • JacksonPearson

      Public employee unions are a huge scam on taxpayers. They have to be reeled in and eliminated.

  • Roy

    How did they get past the New Black Panthers?

  • κατεργάζομαι

    The Right to Work clause came into existence in 1935, it was then embedded in the Taft-Hartely Law.

    It means that

    (a) employees may not be forced to join a union, that

    (b) employers need not hire only those who agree to join a union, and

    (c) that employers need not fire employees for failing to join a union or pay union dues.

    For over half a century, the clause was ignored.

    Union bosses and their political allies forced employers to fire those who did not join a union or pay dues to a union, and they forced employees to join a union as a condition of employment and to pay union dues.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/right_to_w

  • κατεργάζομαι

    The Right to Work clause came into existence in 1935, it was then embedded in the Taft-Hartely Law.

    It means that:

    (a) employees may not be forced to join a union, that

    (b) employers need not hire only those who agree to join a union, and

    (c) that employers need not fire employees for failing to join a union or pay union dues.

    For over half a century, the clause was ignored.

    Union bosses and their political allies forced employers to fire those who did not join a union or pay dues to a union, and they forced employees to join a union as a condition of employment and to pay union dues.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/right_to_w

  • BLJ

    Public unions suck. Period.

    • kafir4life

      Private unions blow. Period.

  • middletom

    In New Hampshire, where I live, the legislature passed a right-to-work law but the Democrat governor vetoed it. I wrote to him about his veto and he answered, but when I wrote to mention that about 80% of the households with Democrat candidate signs, in my area, had vehicles that were made by non-union workers in right-to-work states, he had no answer. The more Democrat signs there were on a lawn, the greater likelihood that the car in the yard would be a Subaru, a Toyota (of any model but frequently a Prius), a Honda or something similar. They are stabbing the union auto workers in the back and yet they have the gaul to get bent out of shape when the Michigan legistature passes the right-to-work law. Their hypocracy is monumental.

  • "gunner"

    call it what you like, but what we're seeing in michigan, and earlier in wisconson is union riots, mobs controlled by unions, if this is "democracy in action" it's time to call up the state's national guard, (militia) for its legal duty to "restore peace and order", "whatsoever, for any cause, seeketh to take power, above and beyond the law…".

  • "gunner"

    apologies to the ghost of mr. kipling, the quote reads "whatsoever, for any cause, seeketh to take or give, power above and beyond the law…" i'll leave you to complete the rest of the quote.

  • Dub

    Take a look at the stats on right to work. Just another scam to help get richer and keep the poor and middle class down.