Unbelievably, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder had the unmitigated gall to say that union busting is “pro-workers! It’s a good thing! This is a positive thing for unions!”
Welcome back to GOP Opposite World.
The “Right-to-work for work for less” measure passed in the Michigan Legislature and Snyder signed it into law. So like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, he has intentionally pissed off organized labor and us “little people” who care about getting a fair shake.
Now unions cannot require members to pay dues as a condition of employment, more massive protests and rallies are expected in the months to come, and possible legal remedies and initiatives will be pursued. Big time. As we speak, there are plans underway for a large-scale counteroffensive against the conservative state leaders who have slashed away at union power since the 2010 midterm elections.
Speaking of rallies, tea party activists, or more precisely members of the Koch-funded American for Prosperity, staged some fake union “thuggery” where they actually knocked down their own tent and video recorded their little antics for their BFF at Fox News.
Barry Goldman, an arbitrator and mediator and the author of “The Science of Settlement: Ideas for Negotiators,” wrote an op-ed for the L.A. Times about King Ricky Snyder’s labor hit. Please read the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts:
I’ve spent the last 20 years sitting as a neutral third party in disputes between employers and unions. … [T]he system works because the parties meet as equals. It wouldn’t work if either party were able to dominate. [...]
There is no justification for these bills except that they are an effort by the Republican-controlled Legislature to weaken the labor movement and cut off oxygen to the Democratic Party. [...]
If freedom of association is the principle driving this effort, why are police and fire unions exempt? Wouldn’t they too benefit from “workplace fairness and equity?” [...]
Police and fire unions are exempt because they are politically conservative. They don’t need “fairness and equity” because they support the GOP. [...]
If Michigan can remain competitive with Indiana by becoming a right-to-work state, maybe we could out-compete Indiana by eliminating worker safety laws. [...]
This was a sneaky, cynical, backdoor, lame-duck gimmick. If these bills are enacted, the labor movement in Michigan will be radically weakened, and capital will be able to further dominate the system.