History has a habit of repeating itself, either intentionally or by chance.
Yesterday, December 6th 2012 was a day that will live in infamy in Michigan. This was disastrous for unions in the State of Michigan
Passage of RTW (right to work) or as Republicans Orwellian phrase it …Freedom to Work is a political attack on labor unions in Michigan. Am I paranoid?
Depending on the time of day and who is speaking, Republicans tout RTW for the following reasons
- It is unfair that workers must join a union
- It is unfair that workers must financially support union backed candidates
- Governor Snyder has actually made the statement that RTW will “Bring Michigan Together”
- RTW will bring more jobs to Michigan.
- RTW will bring back Elvis (the rockabilly Elvis, not the fat one from the 70s)
I CHALLENGE any State Republican to prove false the following, which is CURRENT LAW
- An employee does NOT have to join a union
- An employee does NOT have to contribute dues or fees toward political candidates it does not approve of
As an instructional mechanism to help our State Republican’s that may not understand this issue I suggest
- Communication Workers v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988) which rules that non members do not have to pay dues, only those fees that cover the expense of bargaining the contract they work under.
- The NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) which covers most private sector employees
- Michigan PERA (Public Employee Relations Act) which covers most public sector employees
- Pattern Makers v. NLRB, 473 U.S. 95 (1985), the United States Supreme Court held that union members have the right to resign their union membership at any time.
As for the other issues I mention above:
1. Governor Snyder’s statement that RTW will bring Michigan together defies adult interpretation.
2. RTW will not increase employment in Michigan unless wages can be driven down so low that everyone can have a McSnyder job.
3. Elvis is NOT coming back. He would be too old. (He can be found on ITunes)
The basic concepts of PERA and NLRA are similar in that they provide ways for workers to continue employment while not members of a union and to avoid paying any dues or fees to support political candidates that they do not approve of. These are LAW today and have been law for decades and have worked well under both Republican and Democratic State leadership.
Since these are today law, what other reason for this sudden RTW can be discerned?
It’s really quite simple. Weaken the union and you drive down wages and union dues and weaken political opposition to Republican candidates and issues statewide. Would any of them please just admit this and set an honest starting point for debate?
History repeats itself in many ways, intended and not intended. The State Republicans call RTW……. FREEDOM TO WORK. As I have shown by the use of current law, this is an Orwellian subterfuge. Strangely enough, it is very linguistically close to another subterfuge called……. FREEDOM THROUGH WORK. This was posted on the gates to a concentration camp in Poland. You would think they could come up with something better than that. I guess they were too busy “saving” the working man.