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As you probably know, Governor Rick Snyder (R) of Michigan, aided with the Republican majority in the state house, passed the union-busting "Right To Work" legislation yesterday:

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The law would prevent unions and employers from requiring workers to pay the costs of their union representation, such as handling grievances or bargaining contracts. Rather, union members would bear those costs on behalf of their non-union coworkers, something that's been described as a tax on union membership. A separate bill will apply to public sector workers. - Laura Clawson, Daily Kos, 12/6/12

Snyder is going down the union-busting road like his fellow Republican Governors, Scott Walker in Wisconsin and John Kasich in Ohio.  State Democratic Representative, Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, and President Obama have spoken out against the "right to work" legislation.  U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D. MI) is urging Governor Snyder to reconsider this union-busting legislation.  Surprisingly and unfortunately, I could only find his full statement from (shudder) Great Van Susteren's blog:

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”The right of workers to organize and bargain collectively is fundamental, and all workers who benefit from collective bargaining should contribute to that effort. The labor movement helped pave the road to the middle class for millions of workers. The combined efforts of labor and management have been crucial to the rebound of our auto industry. That’s why it is so disappointing that the governor and Republicans in the Michigan Legislature have chosen this moment to take this destructive step.

“I urge Governor Snyder to reconsider his support for this measure, which will splinter our state and do so much harm to its working families.” - Great Wire, 12/6/12

Well said Senator Levin.  Well said.  I'm not sure what the next stage of action is on this law but I am glad to hear Senator Levin voice his support for organized labor and against "right to work" legislation.  

My bet is Snyder might be worried about unions spending big in 2014 to defeat him and help Senator Levin get re-elected.  However, Levin hasn't announced yet if he will be running again or retiring.  Expect an answer from Levin early next year though.  Either way, the battle between organized labor and corporatism isn't over yet.  We defeated big outside group money in 2012 and we need to get ready for 2014.  We not only need to keep Michigan's U.S. Senate seat blue, we need to take back the state house.  Lets help Michigan Democrats win big in 2014 so they can continue to fight for organized labor and the middle class.  You can get involved with the Michigan Democratic Party here:

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:00 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great post. Not a lot of comedy here... (6+ / 0-)

    ... but Michigan's Republicans apparently are full of some kind of poop.  

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:11:39 PM PST

  •  Can they just refuse to file grievances (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Sylv

    for non-union employees?  And not represent them in negotiations?

    Probably not the best plan, but would it be possible.

    The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:30:35 PM PST

  •  This is wise counsel from Senator Levin. (5+ / 0-)

     Michiganders won't stand for this nonsense, and something can be done about it prior to 2014.
       The law can't be overturned by the voters per se, as the GOP legislators ramming this through now are kind of tricksy. They pulled a stunt here, attaching the bill to an appropriations measure, putting the kibosh on the recall process in this case.
       However, the referendum process is still available. It's a bit longer and tougher process, but can accomplish the same results in the end.
        That's for next year, then in 2014, the electorate will be primed...fired up and ready to go.
        Governor Snidely Whiplash may have captured a tiger, but he's caught it by the tail, and he'd be well-advised to let it go now, before he gets it into that corner where it will surely turn on him.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:44:14 PM PST

  •  Now if only Levin would support (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate

    filibuster reform.  

    It's not easy being a Floridian: PS I'm a lawYER now; no longer a lawSTUDENT.

    by lawstudent922 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:24:17 PM PST

  •  Snyder's in over his head. (9+ / 0-)

      Snyder was elected as an outsider and successful businessman (debatable). This is his first elective office and he has no political base. He also has no experience negotiating with unions or building a consensus among diverse groups. In other words, he is weak and inept. That's a very dangerous combination for a governor with a Republican House and Senate. The legislature is calling the tune in Lansing these days. When they agree with something he wants, it passes otherwise his projects (ex: international bridge and health exchange) don't get out of committee. Dick (Amway) DeVos has also stepped into this issue. He has billions of dollars and a hatred of all things progressive. Snyder is scared of the tea party and DeVos. If he defies the crazies, he'll lose the 2014 primary. If he follows the legislators and DeVos he'll lose the general. He's screwed and he deserves it.  

  •  Is a class action lawsuit a legal possibility in (0+ / 0-)

    states that have passed these types of laws?

    If a local fire department can legally watch a residence burn down because the homeowners did not pay their fire assessment, why are unions legally bound to provide services to moochers?

    Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

    by ranton on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:33:24 PM PST

    •  Duty of fair representation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hadrons, Sylv

      Under federal labor law, unions have a "duty of fair representation". Because they are the exclusive bargaining agents for whatever bargaining units they represent, they can't refuse to represent nonmembers in that bargaining unit. If they did, they'd open themselves up to serious lawsuits, NLRB punishments, etc.

      It's understandable to argue that unions shouldn't have to represent nonmembers. But then you get the potential for employers to offer better deals to workers who don't join the union. So workers leave the union, it gets decertified, and then the employer, a year or so later, takes back the good deal they offered and there's no union or collective bargaining agreement  to stop them.

      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

      by Linnaeus on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:25:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for your clarification. (0+ / 0-)

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 10:12:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Michigan Open Meetings Act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Since nothing the legislature did last Thursday complied with the open meetings act for either the Senate or the House in Michigan, is there any litigation jurisdiction or case law under the Michigan open meetings act to reverse or nullify a legislative enactment made in violation of the Open Meetings Act?

  •  Yes Carl, and you can have tea w/ Rick afterwards (0+ / 0-)

    after he thoughtfully considers your request. Sen. Levin, the days of Republicans seriously considering anything a Democratic says is pretty much over ... and please reconsider your opposition to the filibuster.

  •  Your comment (0+ / 0-)
    My bet is Snyder might be worried about unions spending big in 2014 to defeat him and help Senator Levin get re-elected.
    I think you've got this exactly wrong.   This action was directly intended by Snyder to defund unions, including all of their political activities.  

    Don't surgar-coat this by trying to think Snyder is worried.  He isn't.

    Don't forget what Snyder is....he is a convincing serial liar and a wealthy narcissistic authoritarian and sociopath...not a 'nerd.'

    •  I wasn't trying to sugar coat anything, I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      after how much money organized labor spent in fighting back the right wing Super PACs and winning is a cause of concern for all Republican governors.

      Funny Stuff at

      by poopdogcomedy on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 10:47:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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