Rick Snyder

Why ‘Right to Work’ is the right way to go

Michigan’s “Right to Work” debate has drawn attention to the whole idea of unions and where they fit in.  Unsurprisingly, I’m a supporter of right to work laws.  I’m also not a fan of unions as they are currently structured.  However, whether you are a fan or not doesn’t matter.  Anyone who values ideas like freedom should support right to work laws.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, “right to work” laws do not outlaw unions.  What they do is prevent a union from structuring things in such a way that workers have no choice but to join a union.  Unions claim these laws undermine their ability to collectively bargain.  I am certainly sympathetic to that, but not nearly enough to trump my reservations about what happens without these laws.

You see, union membership is never free.  Unions have employees who have to be paid, so they charge dues.  Dues aren’t unusual.  Most groups have some form of dues.  However, unions in non right to work states are basically telling people if they want to be employed, they must give over a portion of their paycheck to the unions.  There’s no choice in the matter.  If you want to work in those businesses, you have to pay.

Now, if someone told me that I had to pay to be employed, I’d consider that a crime.  They’re blocking my ability to earn a wage and support my family.  If it was a criminal organization, the FBI would be all over it with an investigation and probably very public arrests.  However, unions have been sacrosanct for quite some time.  As fellow United Liberty contributor Jeremy Kolassa put it:

MI Senate: Republican candidate competitive in Democratic-leaning state

Terri Lynn Land

Could a Republican win the open Senate seat in Michigan? Weeks ago, most political observers would have said this is unlikely, and some may still say that Republicans face an unlikely path to winning what is a Democratic-leaning state.

But new survey by Public Policy Polling shows that, at the very least, Republicans will be competitive. The likely Republican nominee, Terri Lynn Land, holds a small, 2-point lead (42/40) over her likely Democratic opponent, Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI).

In June, Public Policy Polling found that Peters had a 5-point lead, 41/36, over Land.

The reason for the swing is (surprise!) Obamacare. The poll found that 63% voters in the state don’t believe the implementation of the law has been successful. Just 6% describe implementation as “very successful” and 24% say it has been “somewhat successful.”

Overall, 48% of Michigan voters disapprove of Obamacare, while 34% approve of the controversial law, which has caused an estimated 225,000 policy cancellations in the state, as of the end of November.

Land, who served as Michigan Secretary of State from 2003 to 2011, is viewed favorably by 34% of voters, just 23% view her unfavorably. Just 22% have a favorable view of Peters, 21% have an unfavorable view of the Democratic candidate.

Michigan voters aren’t too thrilled with President Barack Obama, who won the state by 9 points last year. His job approval in among voters is underwater, at 47/51.

No More Mr. Nice Guy: Time To Take It To The Unions

Labor union protest

Watching the footage and hearing the stories of what happened in Michigan yesterday was disheartening. Here we have people who are supposedly adults—supposedly, role models to young children out there—turning to violence when then don’t get what they want politically. This is the “grown-up,” “adult” equivalent of a five-year old stamping his feet and pouting when his parents don’t give him the candy he spied on the supermarket shelf.

We’ve seen this violence before. We saw it with the longshoremen during the OWS-type protests last year. LaborUnionReport.com has a entire category of stories of union violence. Heck, even last year ABC News ran a story headlined “How Nasty Can Union Violence Get And Still Be Legal?

Clearly, a lot. And I think one reason we sadly tolerate this is because, somehow, Americans still think unions are looking out for the poor and downtrodden worker, who is being abused by the big corporate executives. That they’re still American, still with us, we just disagree. But as these and other stories show, they’re not. Unions are not helping America.

They’re fighting a war against us.

Right-to-work law is a positive step for Michigan

Pro-union protesters

As Jeremy noted on Monday, the Michigan legislature has passed a right-to-work law that makes it illegal for a labor union to coerce members into financial support. The legislation, which was signed yesterday by Gov. Rick Snyder, has been the source of protests around the state, including an event in Lansing yesterday where union thugs violently trashed an Americans for Prosperity tent.

President Barack Obama spoke out against the legislation during an event in Redford, Michigan on Monday, saying, “What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages.”

“These so-called right-to-work laws, they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics,” added Obama.

Michigan Set To Become Next Right-To-Work

michigan_flag

If you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Michigan — a heavily unionized state — is about to become the next state to adopt right-to-work laws:

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan, considered the birthplace of the American organized labor movement, was on a fast track Thursday to becoming the nation’s 24th right-to-work state after the state House and Senate approved bills as part of a package to pass the law.

Labor and Democrats were pushing back hard against the Workplace Fairness and Equity Act, but the efforts seemed futile as the controversial measures moved like greased lightning — and without going through committees or public debate — and could land on Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk by next week.

The debate raged across Michigan, and the country, as to whether the legislation would do what proponents say, bring fairness to workers and spark economic growth; or do as opponents claim, lower wages and benefits and destroy the middle class.

“The goal isn’t to divide Michigan, it is to bring Michigan together,” said the governor, who previously had said the issue was not on his agenda.

It should be noted that the law exempts police and firefighter unions, who are perhaps the most powerful unions of all (next to teachers, who from my understanding are not exempt), and also exempts current contracts. The latter doesn’t bother me; those contracts will eventually expire and be up for grabs later. The former does; caving into the police and firefighter unions sets a bad precedent. However, I don’t think it will be a problem in the short run.

The Detroit Free Press does a decent job explaining the law:


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