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Protesters against Michigan's right to work law.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed two anti-union, anti-worker, wage-lowering bills into law yesterday, but unions aren't giving up the fight. First come the lawsuits:
Two lawsuits have been filed claiming the Open Meetings Act was violated when the Michigan State Police temporarily put the Capitol on lockdown during Thursday's legislative debate. One of the lawsuits was filed by the Michigan Education Association, which also won an emergency injunction to order the Capitol reopened.

A hearing has not been scheduled in the case, attorney Art Przybylowicz said.

"We're waiting for the court to strike down all the actions that took place while the building was shut down." Przybylowicz said, noting both chambers took actions on the bills during the lockdown.

Failing that, there's the ballot. Republicans attached a $1 million appropriation to each of the bills; appropriations aren't subject to referendum votes, so that move was intended to prevent Michigan voters from weighing in directly on the law. But:
Democratic Rep. Tim Greimel of Auburn Hills, the minority leader-elect of the House, said that citizens could still overturn the measure, not by referendum, but by passing a voter-initiated law, which would require collecting more than 258,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.
That is a heavy lift, but over the past two years, overturning laws has worked out better than recalling elected officials, so it's probably preferable to recalls.

Then there's 2014. Snyder refers to himself as "one tough nerd," and over the past week, union members have taken to calling him "one-term nerd." By signing a law that he had previously called divisive, Snyder departed from his pose of being more moderate and reasonable than many of his fellow class of 2010 Republican governors, like Ohio's John Kasich or Wisconsin's Scott Walker, and from now on will have to fight on the same openly far-right turf as them. Unions will fiercely contest those races across the Midwest:

"We consider 2014 to be absolutely crucial," said AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer, pointing to Snyder’s anti-union push as a case in point: "These are politicians who aren’t even listening to the results of the election. They have an agenda to not just destroy unions, but many of them go after immigrants. All of them go after voting rights. And giving them another four-year term is going to be horrific for the workers and citizens in those states."
The only upside to fighting to overturn bad laws like Ohio's anti-collective bargaining SB 5 and now Michigan's freeloader law is that unions mobilize their own members and build relationships with other voters. But we need to look to a place or a time when that energy, that mobilization, can be turned toward expanding worker power, not fighting Republican efforts to roll it back.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:07 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  258,000 signatures is a lot but it definitely (27+ / 0-)

    can be done.  Ohio needed 300,000 signatures and it got 1.3 million and I fully expect Michigan unions to get more than the needed number.

    So putting it on the ballot is definitely doable but the Michigan unions need to improve their messaging on "Right to work less" bill because Snyder is saying that it is about choice which can appeal to voters.  Thus the Michigan unions need to work on their message so that it is better than Snyder's so they can win that the war on a ballot measure in 2014.  Michigan unions need to look to Ohio on what they did to win that battle of SB5.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:17:04 AM PST

  •  I normally hate (19+ / 0-)

    the perpetual electioneering, but not now and not at the State level.  The best possible candidates must be thoroughly vetted now.  The power of the OFA and their database needs to join the unions and concerned citizens in each of these states in order to take back the Governorships and legislatures.  

    The ugliness of the GOP and damage to all citizens needs to be part of the conversation everywhere -- now, starting today.  I listen to republicans all the time -- my entire family, from extremists to moderate; many friends and acquaintances.  They are absolutely clueless as to how the GOP agenda affects them negatively.  I don't know anyone in the top 2%, obviously.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:19:11 AM PST

  •  Typically a president's 6th yr in office (18+ / 0-)

    is a tough time for his party for their is lack of energy.

    However, 2014 may be the exception simply because Democratic voters will be motivated to vote to get rid of some bad governors including Snyder, Scott, Kasich, Walker, etc.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:20:38 AM PST

  •  It's not just the governorships (15+ / 0-)

    in these states, the real problem is in the legislatures that have been overrun by Republicans. They have the means to disenfranchise and harass voters. In my opinion, this is war.

  •  Really interesting diary, thanks. (8+ / 0-)

    Glad the unions are pursuing redress through the courts.

    A pertinent side-note: I wonder what kind of popular support Snyder enjoys? Does he have a significant core of the state's voters still supporting him? Or is he universally reviled at this point?

    We who run in progressive circles, sometimes make the mistake of assuming some demagogue enjoys NO popular support, because all we personally ever hear, is their detractors. I made this mistake in 2004. I was heartbroken.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:23:25 AM PST

  •  One thing unions throughout the country need to do (6+ / 0-)

    is expand their base.  Use the grassroots tactics we strengthened in the last election to not just mobilize members but recruit new ones.

    The legal environment is not the best for forming unions, but unions have always overcome negative legal environments.

    Solidarity forever.  No time like the present to bring back organized labor.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:35:38 AM PST

    •  Women who work in corporate offices (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, litho

      are mightily abused.  They probably can't be persuaded to join a union in the traditional way, but there are ways to get thru to them.   That is a huge market; the biggest problem is most of them really need the job and will be threatened (I speak from experience.)  It would have to be a bit of a stealth campaign.

    •  Citizens United v. citizens united (6+ / 0-)

      I think the union movement should hammer the double standard inherent in a stand that reveres incorporation as a means to limit personal liability and enhance profitability and shareholder return but reviles unionization as a means to limit individual exploitation and enhance bargaining power and productivity share.  

      These are mirror images--framed correctly, I hope that the laboring masses might see the resonance.

      •  What I found canvassing for Warren in MA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Forest Deva

        is that people are willing to listen to exactly that kind of message.  The only thing we need is a sustained and coordinated campaign to bring it to them.

        The country is ripe right now for huge new round of unionization.  Let's hope the unions are ready to take advantage of the opportunity.

        When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

        by litho on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:49:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP lost the elections (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928, dickensgirl, Sylv

    in November, and now they're going about trying to screw everyone and everything.  They behave is if they're a bunch of spoiled little brats that have had their toys taken away by Mommy and Daddy, and now thy're going to pitch a frigging hissy because they didn't get things the way they wanted.

    Boo friggin hoo.  WMPH.

    We need to tar and feather every single one of these Whig bastards and run them out of town on a rail.

    "There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result." - Winston Churchill

    by Dingodude on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:36:11 AM PST

    •  But the corporate money gave (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northerntier, Sylv, DSPS owl

      them a lot of state legislatures and governorships in 2010.  They used the census figures to manipulate the districts and now have a technical edge.  

      Plus a lot of states are like Michigan and Oregon:  democratic urban areas with more population, but large tracts of rural, conservative voters.  The urban areas carry state wide elections, but local elections can put lots of conservatives in office.  

      It's going to be a battle.

    •  The reason this happened in Michigan (4+ / 0-)

      now is that the GOP lost too many seats (even with all their gerrymandering) that this law would never have passed next year.

      This isn't the only underhanded thing the Michigan legislature has pulled in this lame duck session.

      But you're right - this is them thumbing their noses at the citizens of Michigan.

  •  You hit on the real reasons for this onslaught (6+ / 0-)

    in your last sentence:

    The energy and the mobilization to GAIN GROUND cannot be done when we are being bashed in the head and continually put on defense!

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. Plus, I get a small royalty, and Jeff Bezos and his employees get the rest. Not a bad deal, as CEO Bezos is not much of a dick, relatively speaking. @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:39:06 AM PST

  •  needed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928, Sylv, DSPS owl

    What's needed is not just this

    But we need to look to a place or a time when that energy, that mobilization, can be turned toward expanding worker power, not fighting Republican efforts to roll it back.
    We need to increase membership rolls, we need to have the AFL/CIO collect money for strikes countrywide, we need to re-educate non union workers to the value of unions, we need to boycott non union made goods.  We need to close down MI with a strike--we need to kick the police unions out of the AFL/CIO (if members) if they don't join in.  We're literally fighting for our middle class lives--the Rs want to return to the days of Charles Dickens--we need to prevent that--it is our patriotic duty to fight--and don't think signing an online petition is a form of fighting--or supporting-- Michigan workers.  Where can we donate money to a strike fund?

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:40:00 AM PST

  •  This shirt captures the fighting spirit (7+ / 0-)

    that we need to reclaim our country.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:40:20 AM PST

  •  Now is the time for all good men (and women) (9+ / 0-)

    especially those that belong to a UNION, to ABANDON the republican party!

    Along with getting signatures to put this issue on the ballot Unions should also be re-registering people as DEMOCRATS.  Nothing will send a clearer message then MI workers turning their backs on the party that just turned their backs on the voters of MI.

    In FACT the unions should institute a country wide effort to get working class people to switch their party registration NOW - an 'it can happen to YOU" registration drive.  


    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:41:22 AM PST

  •  genie is outta the bottle, gonna be hell to pay (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, COBALT1928, dickensgirl, Sylv

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:51:18 AM PST

  •  Democracy is an uphill battle to keep. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928, Sylv

    Weather it's potecting American's from external forces or fighting them from within like the GOP's somewhat 5th columnist's politicians, with their deep pockets from the ultra wealthy businesmen. Rights don't seem to be a given, even in this country.

  •  as long as there is globalization of labor markets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with its inevitable result—offshoring and outsourcing—it's going to be very difficult to expand union membership in this country. This is the central conundrum facing our shrinking middle class, which was built on American unionized good-wage/good benefit industrial and manufacturing jobs in the 20th century. As long as the large majority of the manufactured products we buy are made in foreign countries, union membership will continue to drop. As it drops, its power and influence will lessen. That's the primary reason that Michigan is now a "right-to-work-for-less" state.

    One method of bringing manufacturing back home is by imposing tariffs on imported products, but current economic orthodoxy holds that such tariffs are destructive and self-defeating. That's quite ironic given our past national history of imposing stiff tariffs on steel and other raw manufactured items in the 19th century. Those barriers to foreign imports were of great assistance in helping our domestic industries grow and prosper.

    There is very little public support for public employee unions, and I'm skeptical that trying to expand union membership and power via that route is going to be successful.

    •  Unions have to go for service industries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      Manufacturing is done in this country, at least the big manufacturing of the past.

      It won't be easy... I wonder if it's easier to organize factories with 20,000 employees than it is organize 1,000 restaurants with 20.  And the cost of improving service industries is directly passed to the consumer; it can't be hidden behind other markups.  Although, as we saw with Papa John's cheapness with healthcare, the costs aren't as high as businessfolk like to say.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:59:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Art Przybylowicz". I had to check and make sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    that wasn't from a Superman comic.

  •  Bureau of Labor Statistics says (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Drdemocrat, peregrine kate, Sylv

    671,000 of Michigan workers are represented by a union.

    258,000 signatures doesn't look that heavy by comparison if Unions get out a big coordinated effort toward recall.

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:16:07 AM PST

    •  probably wise to file for Nov 2014 ref. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge, Sylv

      It would mobilize the democratic base and bring in those 500,000 democrats that sat out the 2010 cycle.  But I think there is a sig time limit, I think that's part of what Laura means when she wrote "But we need to look to a place or a time when that energy, that mobilization, can be turned toward expanding worker power, not fighting Republican efforts to roll it back."

      We need to be wise and strategic.  

  •  Smash Mouth Snyder got this round (0+ / 0-)

    it's really anyone's guess where things will go now but there is much work to do.

  •  possible legal angles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    I'm wondering if this law can be construed as a taking without compensation. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws that reduce the value of an asset, such as new wetlands regulations, can be deemed an invalid taking if they reduce the value of that asset.

    Can there be a property right identified in union contracts, since fiscal support of the union by all employees is a negotiated item, presumably obtained by giving up other items of value?

    I'm also wondering if this might be ruled an unconstitutional form of involuntary servitude, as the union members are being required to share the fruits of their labors and finances with others without compensation?

    It would also seem to violate the right to freely enter into contracts by allowing nonparties to that contract to share in it without the consent of the parties involved.


  •  Synder's on the ballot in 2 years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Are there any Dems strong enough to take him on in the election? I agree with some past comments about strengthening the rolls of unions. Does anyone have any plans on how to accomplish that? Public sector unions are great but it's the private sector unions where we need to increase rolls. The decline here is what makes it easier for R's to paint unions as icky.

  •  They were scoffing at 'Governor Nerd' on AM TV (5+ / 0-)

    Even that A-hole, Scarborough challenged him, while there was audible scoffing from the other panelists when Snyder said this legislation was not just 'Pro-worker', but 'pro-union'. You know, I really think he believes this. He is so thoroughly corporate, so wedded to this mindset that Free-market competition works every time for everything (as I used to be) that he simply cannot exapnd his mind and consider concepts like 'freeloading', 'inefficient markets', or, simply 'data".
    Sad, really. Absolutely emblematic of how every Repub everywhere no matter how sincere their 'moderate' views are needs to be defeated

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:31:04 AM PST

    •  I really don't know how Snyder CAN believe (0+ / 0-)

      this, based on previous statements of his. I do think he was shocked at the amount of protest that has occurred in this state. One of the reasons he gave for signing the bill in private was the protests going on. Coward - and I called him as such in an email after he signed the bill.

  •  War (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nominalize, Sylv
    But we need to look to a place or a time when that energy, that mobilization, can be turned toward expanding worker power, not fighting Republican efforts to roll it back.
    Sometimes, in war, you first have to fight to stop retreating before you can advance.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:42:41 AM PST

  •  How strange that the heartland of the Reagan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Democrats enacted a Right to Work law?  I  have no sympathy for those guys who shat on the Democratic Party in the past and flirted with Tea Party idiocy two years ago.  So now they are getting exactly what they voted for.   Maybe some day they'll wise up and stick with the Democratic Party and their labor unions through thick and thin.

  •  Why is the GOP against Workplace Democracy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDPITALIA, boatwright

    I mean, they have their silly names for it "right-to-work" and all that, but what they're trying to destroy is any notion of democracy in the workplace.

    When you join a democratic organization, you have to follow what the majority decides.  When you move to the US, you don't get to opt out of chipping in on taxes, or being subject to the law, because the majority of Americans decide that we all have to do our part (if our paycheck allows it).  That's because we have a democracy. In return, you get the protections of the government even if you're not a citizen.  

    Unions work the same way--- you can't just opt out and be a freeloader when you join.  You have to chip in, because a majority of the people already there decided so in a democratic fashion. That's how democracy works.  Even children know that much.

    So ask people who support these laws: What do you have against democracy?  

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:55:15 AM PST

    •  Unions generally support Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Just like voter suppression this is an attempt to geld Democrats and keep them from being competitive.  If you look at where the money for these politicians comes from you see the usual suspects:  Koch Bros. ALEC, Rove, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works.  Their intent is to return to the early 19th century model of unfettered capitalism and workers as slaves.  

      •  That's why they're against unions... (0+ / 0-)

        but that wasn't my question.   Why are they against workplace democracy?

        It's a rhetorical question, of course, but the point is to show one of the things that we are fighting for.  

        I mean, it's all fine and well to be against "right to work" laws, but if that's all we have, we'll lose every time.  

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:40:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  redistricting (3+ / 0-)

    I think the best way to retake control of the state legislatures in Michigan and elsewhere is to begin a push for anti-gerrymandering legislation. Specifically, the adoption of some form of the shortest-spitline method or other system that uses a set of rules to draw districts, rather than having it be done by committee.

    This would benefit us because it's a straightforward, politically neutral government reform that would appeal to independent voters. However, the simple fact that there are more Democrats in these states mean the redistricting, which could be made to take effect with the election following adoption, would benefit us. The Repugs pulled something similar in Michigan with term limits, which finally enabled them to dislodge longstanding Dem majorities in the state legislature.

    The beauty of the shortest splitline method is that it requires that districts be drawn with the shortest possible boundary lines, which automatically divides up the state into districts with simple shapes. You can modify it to require that it follow township boundaries or implement other rules to avoid lines that cut thorough the middle of a house or neighborhood, but it makes the whole process automatic and free from political pressure.

    •  Oops, my reply to you didn't link properly, sry. (0+ / 0-)

      But in the short term we can still set achievable goals--like taking back the MI House in 2014.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:22:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is short term (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think gerrymander reform is very achievable, and quickly, since it is ostensibly nonpartisan and appeals to voters' instincts for reform. Otherwise, gaining control of the House and Senate, let alone keeping it to the next Census in 2020, is going to be an uphill battle.

        Such an initiative, launched in a few targeted states, could also have the benefit of becoming a national reform movement, which would benefit us in Congress as well.

  •  This approach might work, in the long term (0+ / 0-)

    since "fairness" is a value that has general appeal as you say.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:21:51 AM PST

  •  Heavy lift? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate, Stude Dude

     258,000 signatures is a heavy lift? We got a million in 60 days in Wisconsin with 60% of the population of Michigan.  Plus, the Michigan law is broader, affecting private as well as public workers.

      And overturning a law is considerably easier than recalling the governor - there are so many considerations in each voter's mind in the latter case, including being constitutionally opposed to recalling a governor. We had a good case that it wasn't just one thing with Walker, but in the end it was.

      The unions saw to that with a boneheaded strategy forwarding the least electable Democratic candidate because she promised to hold the budget ransom to restoration of collective bargaining.

      Wisconsin unions themselves were not at the center of Walker's recall, oddly enough, not until they fucked it up at the last step. They advised their own members to wait until November 2012, a deal-killer for many reasons, including that there was absolutely no way to guarantee the recall election's date would coincide with the general in November. We went ahead without and in spite of them.

      I hope Michigan has smarter labor leaders. In any event, it will be wisest to set up separately and force the issue.

  •  Unions are headed for (0+ / 0-)

    irrelevance.   The much ballyhooed return of Apple computer mfg to this country will result in 200 jobs.   Big deal.   20 jobs lost in the 90s to China  now only require 4 workers due to automation and robotics.   That number could go down.   Service work can also be automated.   Business owners of the future will have fewer labor worries,  unions will have fewer members... Unless robots are people and Democrats can sign them up to vote.

    •  You are wrong. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The fastest growing segments in the labor movement are the Teamsters and the SEIU.

      I'd like to see how you're going to replace truckers, the people who serve you food, and work in stores and hospitals with Chinese labor.  You are right that industrial unions have been shrinking, however you also fail to appreciate the fact that this smaller increasingly skilled labor is now working for higher pay installing, programming, and maintaining the automation you mention.

      Using northern Europe as an example, it is possible to have an highly educated, highly unionized, and highly productive economy.  We can do as they do, or we can continue our race to the bottom led by short-sighted, greedy Republicans.

      Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

      by boatwright on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:10:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll throw out an idea. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boatwright, MikeB

    Michigan Labor builds up a coalition with woman, environmentalists, and others who have been hurt. Then they threaten the Goopers and Dinos in the incoming legislature that they're going to get hit with everything they got to be unelected unless they repeal some onerous legislature.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:23:09 AM PST

  •  Impressions from Lansing Yesterday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeB, la58

    A large group of us traveled down to Lansing yesterday from Traverse City to make our voices heard.  Two big and full buses, one from the TCEA (teachers union) and another with the IBEW (electrical workers) contingent made the trip, along with many others in their own cars.

    One thing made a strong impression -- the broad diversity of those attending the rally.  Women and men, young and old, black, brown and white, teachers and nurses, hard hats and firemen made up the enthusiastic crowd of 12,000.  Except for one brief scuffle late in the day precipitated by a right-wing contingent, whose stated purpose was to provoke the union guys, in spite of what you may have seen on TV, it was a completely peaceful day.

    I left with the strong feeling that the Republicans have seriously over-reached, and as they found out with their attempts to suppress the vote this past November, the end result of this attempt to destroy unions Michigan will be a re-energized labor movement and the return of most if not all union members to the Democratic fold, along with new alliances with younger voters, women, and minorities.

    As the Rethugs found out a few weeks ago this combination is unbeatable.  We're going to kick their butts next time.

    Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

    by boatwright on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:32:33 AM PST

  •  Really Like the Idea of EXPANDING rights (0+ / 0-)
    But we need to look to a place or a time when that energy, that mobilization, can be turned toward expanding worker power, not fighting Republican efforts to roll it back.
    Very much agree with this!  We need to start playing more offense and not just defense.
  •  Lets see where things are next summer (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP Powers that Be are nothing if not smart and adaptable.  After losing in 2008, they created the Tea Party, started an anti-Obamacare movement, and overwhelmed Dems in the midterms.  Depsite their loss in November, it's obvious that they have adapted again.

    They saw what happened in Wisconsin and Ohio.  They knew that you can't let these anti-union issues fester and drag on.  They were caught off-guard in WI by the Dems who fled the state - never saw that coming.  That caused the process (and protests) in WI to drag on for months.    They also didn't anticipate the ballot initiative in OH, which took place in a bad political environment for Republicans.

    This time, they learned from both.  This time, they got this over with quickly,... now pass the turkey and presents.    WI was a front page story here at DKOS for most of 2011 - I seriously doubt MI will be front page beyond next week.  They did this immediately after they lost the election, while Dems were still drunk at the celebration - thereby ensuring as long as possible between the act and the next election.  They put a posion pill in the bill to prevent ballot recall.  They did this quickly and brutally efficiently - no time for Dems to formulate a quorum-busting plan or turn this into a national movement/news story (like WI).  They exempted police and fire fighters ("their" unions).  Not only do they have more votes now than they will in January, they know that Christmas is coming, and protesters (and the mildly interested) will go home, exchange presents, and mellow out a little.  

    Plus, they know that this bill will have zero immediate impact on individual union members.  When they go to work after Christmas, things will seem much the same as they ever were.  I think it will be very hard to maintain the outrage and energy long enough to repeal this by ballot, or to beat Snyder in 2014.  Once the hangover sets in, and we're deep into Obama's second term, which potentially could have a recession and government shutdow, I expect Walker, Snyder, Scott, and Corbett to be re-elected.  Kasich,...well, we'll have to see about him.

  •  Queary... (0+ / 0-)

    Can someone answer this:  Are Michigan "voter-initiated laws" only possible during even numbered election years?  I heard this on Jeff Santos show today...did I hear right???...Jim, Columbus, OH

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