Michigan lawmakers OK 'right-to-work' measure
The state's governor is expected to sign union dues legislation after President Obama derides it as 'right to work for less money.'
The president doesn't like it, the incoming Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives don't like it and unions don't like it but, as of Tuesday, Michigan is a ceremonial step away from being a "right-to-work" state.
After Michigan Republicans lost five seats in the state's House of Representatives in the November elections, new laws making the payment of union dues voluntary became a priority. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder once considered the legislation too divisive, but fast-tracked it to the House on Thursday, where it passed 58-52. A Senate measure covering private-sector workers passed 22-16 on Friday, with a second bill applying to government employees passing 22-4 after Senate Democrats walked out. Republicans hold majorities in both chambers.
The House and Senate signed off on each other's bills Tuesday and Snyder was expected to sign it into law as early as Wednesday after tweeting this week that "Michigan needs to maintain its competitive edge, and Freedom to Work can help make that happen."
A day earlier, President Barack Obama told employees at Daimler's Detroit Diesel in Redford, Mich., that Michigan lawmakers shouldn't be trying "to take away your right to bargain for better wages."
"These so-called right-to-work laws, they don't have anything to do with economics, they have to do with politics," the president said before further attacking the law as the "right to work for less money."
Neither side's view of the debate has been 100% unfiltered. Supporters say the law will prevent workers from being forced into unions they don't want to join, but federal law already prevents employees from being forced into unions or other groups they're ideologically opposed to. Opponents including the president say it crushes collective bargaining, but it only gives workers the right to refuse to pay for that bargaining. At its crux, the agreement is about letting employees work under a contract unions bargained for without paying the cost of that bargaining.
That said, Tuesday's decision and Wednesday's potential signing likely don't settle matters between Michigan politicians and labor unions. Unions besieged the state capitol building in Lansing for the last week and are pushing to recall lawmakers who voted for the bill and Gov. Snyder -- similar to the push that took place after Wisconsin passed controversial anti-union measures last year. Snyder isn't up for re-election until 2013.
Union membership among the U.S. workforce has dwindled from 30% nearly 50 years ago to about 12%. Meanwhile, nearly half the states in the U.S. have adopted "right-to-work" laws. Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz, researchers at the Economic Policy Institute, studied what they called "the compensation penalty of 'right-to-work' laws" and found that wages decreased an average of 3% in right-to-work states, health insurance benefits fell by a similar margin and retirement plan contributions decreased 5%.
Unions, meanwhile, point to Department of Labor and Census Bureau data showing that workers in right-to-work states make an average of $5,500 less than their union-state counterparts while working in states with 53% more workplace deaths.
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Michigan struck a great blow to the monopolistic thuggery of union control today. Anyone watching the news today, or who followed the Wisconsin vote on the same issue, is LYING if they dont acknowledge the criminal actions that characterizes the modern union membership, public or private.
Unions can no longer offer any benefits to most workers so they stoop to intimidation and violence
No one should be compelled to extortion -- uh I mean pay union dues. We just saw and heard who the thugs were. Union members beating people, tearing down opposition tents, threatening blood in the streets. They are no different than the mafia organizations that ran them years ago before the feds took them down under the RICO act.
Where is pro-choice now? We all have the right to CHOOSE whether to join a union. Besides, no union labor monopoly means MORE JOBS REDISTRIBUTED to more people.
Time for Obama to get out of the way and stop living in the past and get his incompetent persona back to the Whitehouse.
a) It's NOT New - it's a REALITY the rest of us non protected, non union thugs had to work under for 50 years or so. No guaranteed raises or jobs no matter how stupid or incompetent you are (The shoe fit RE Todd? )
b) This will bring down costs of goods, services to the consumer because all those guaranteed raises and huge benefits for working a menial dead end job will now become more realistic
It's "bad" for the small population of union thugs- TOO BAD
welcome to the real world
Unions are a form of mafia the same as the mafia the government fought in NY in past years.
They have put many companies out of business in the past and lost many jobs in America.
They are why China has so many jobs that were once American workers jobs.
Unions Good, unions Bad...Blah,blah,blah..
You can work for a Union shop...Or not work for a Union shop...
That choice for Americans has "always been available."...Everywhere...Period.
What the Majority of people are missing is the purpose of "Cruel Nasty Capitalism" at it's worst.
Buying off our Politicians and Lobbying to have their way...Usually REPUBLICAN and/or CONSERVATIVES with heavy ties to Big Corporations and the Wealthy...
Eventually "WAGES go down"...THEY ALWAYS DENY THIS...
And the WELFARE/Benefits of the workers gets WORST....They always DENY this also...
It's not a River in Egypt folks.....IT'S the NEW WAY of WORKLIFE in AMERICA.
Stakeholders, acting under corporate legal protection via adjudicated precedent, will psychopathically tend to externalize costs (environmental, human, etc) as the "organization's" operators work under the psychology they are contributing to an inhuman personage for the good of all while getting paid.
Get rid of this "corporation = people" (Mitt?) and the crap gets taken care of.
However, the effort to constitutionally revoke this protection explicitly will be knocked down by ALL political interests as this legal cover is used by them to perpetuate power in all areas. Many will reject it purely on economic policy grounds of adversity to capital formation. THOSE INDIVIDUALS ARE TRULY ON MORAL SHAKY GROUND.
Did you volunteer to take that most recent pay cut? Aren't you working harder for less? Where do you see that going? Do you see your boss giving you a raise next year, or taking yet another vacation? It doesn't end until YOU do something about it. Governor Snyder and his Congressional THUGS dealt a major blow to ALL workers across America. He told all of YOU that YOU will work for nothing. Yes you will, because YOU are gutless. I'm not gutless. I told my employer what laid ahead and it did. I lost my job over it and built a successful enterprise since then. Can you? IF YOU CAN'T YOU WILL WORK FOR LESS AND LESS AND LESS AND LESS. Maybe one day, one from the Elite Class YOU made, will throw you a chewed on bone AND YOU WILL BE THANKFUL. Think about what you treasure and how you measure the worth of that treasure. Then contemplate FREEDOM. Use the same measuring stick to value it. I have mine. I will DIE before I surrender it. My freedom is priceless. Yours, not so much. You... seem to get pacified by less and less and less and less.
"No one should be compelled to extortion"
WOW... you've been out of the work force that long? Half the middle management in America lost it's careers in 2007-08. The At-Will Employment Act allows employers to have (force) you sign a new contract annually. In it... they can change terms freely. Most people don't have millions or entitlements in supplement. That means the dynamics can wane annually. Unions were created for a reasons that offset what non-Founder Inheritors concoct. I find it disgusting that retirees sit on bleachers and cheer for the servitude of current and future America. Damn all of you.
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