“This is not what you campaigned on.”
Hey! union busting “is pro-workers! It’s a good thing! This is a positive thing for unions!”
The “Right-to-work” (aka right to work for less) measure passed in the Michigan Legislature and the King of Michigan will sign it as early as tomorrow. This means that unions cannot require members to pay dues as a condition of employment.
Record numbers of pro-union protesters, as many as 15,000 stormed the Capitol in cold, snowy weather.
On MSNBC, David Corn said this issue won’t go away, the anger and protests will only grow over the next year.
But even as the Rev. Jesse Jackson rallied protesters on the steps of Lansing City Hall, labor leaders were hurriedly seeking ways to reverse the legislation down the road.
Michigan can’t go the way of Ohio, where a referendum last year reversed legislation that would have restricted collective bargaining. Michigan’s right-to-work legislation is attached to an appropriations bill, meaning it can’t be reversed by referendum. Also, it may be too risky to wait and go the way of Wisconsin, where litigation continues after a judge struck down parts of a collective bargaining law.
However, in Michigan, there is an option of a “statutory initiative,” which would be permitted if opponents of the bills can collect enough signatures to equal 8% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election, union leaders say. A so-called veto referendum could be triggered by collecting signatures equal to 5% of the votes cast.
A statutory initiative would allow voters to cast a ballot on right-to-work legislation in November 2014, when Gov. Rick Snyder, who has said he would support the legislation, will be up for reelection.
Unions are the Democrats’ biggest source of fundraising and a powerful voice of support, which is exactly why Snyder and other Republicans want to destroy them. As you can see by the graphic above, corporate donations far exceed union spending, so without those groups to help out, Dem money dries up.
We need them.
Let’s also remember to thank unions for the 36 ways they’ve improved our lives.