Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Amid Violent Protests, Michigan Becomes 24th Right to Work State

Michigan State Police in riot gear and LIUNA protesters in Lansing, MI. Mike Mulholland- Mlive.com
With the stroke of a pen, first-term Michigan governor accomplished what was once considered unthinkable in a state with strong ties to the nation's organized labor movement and signed into law legislation that made Michigan a right-to-work state.
At about 5:45 p.m., Snyder announced publicly that he signed the historic right-to-work legislation in private - hours after the bills won final approval in the House and five days after he joined with GOP legislative leaders to announce their plan to enact the controversial law.

"This is a major day in Michigan's history," he said during a news conference in the Romney building not long after signing the legislation. "Again, I don't view this as anti-union at all. I believe this is pro-worker."
The signings came as thousands of protesters and union members descended on Lansing, obstensibly to urge a veto of the legislation once it reached Gov. Snyder's desk. Union protestors also tore down a tent belonging to pro right-to-work group Americans for Prosperity- with people inside- and at least one protestor in an IBEW jacket was videotaped shoving and punching FOX News contributor Steven Crowder outside the collapsed tent. Apologists for the various union thugs laughably attempted to explain away both videotaped events as being 'provoked' by Americans for Prosperity or a 'false flag' where they sabotaged their own tent [shorter Union: "They totally deserved to have their tent wrecked, even though they did it to themselves!"- NANESB!].

[12/12 UPDATE- Not satisfied with simply tearing down a tent and assaulting Crowder, the braying mob apparently focused their energies on destroying a hot dog cart and hurling racial slurs at the cart's owner, Clint Tarver. Tarver was catering to the Americans for Prosperity tent that was ripped down to hoots and applause from the union crowd. The media also described the rampage protests as 'mostly peaceful'.]

Earlier in the day, state representative Doug Geiss [D- Taylor] promised on the floor of the State House that "there will be blood" if right-to-work was passed. The Michigan State House Democrats twitter account would later tweet Geiss' threat before deleting it. On Monday, President Obama slammed the state's right-to work legislation as he was speaking in Michigan to try and gain support for his proposed tax hikes, falsely claiming the two seperate bills making their way through the State House would eliminate collective bargaining altogether. Earlier this year, President Obama ripped right-to-work in a speech before big labor leaders like Trumka and Hoffa, but his supporters and economic team were all to willing to take credit for the jobs created in right-to-work states.

One commenter on Mlive.com succinctly charachterized Michigan's new right-to-work law as follows
Unions will now have to view their members as customers instead of just treating them as a revenue stream. That's about the only thing that changed today. Unions still exist. Employees can still organize. Employees can still engage in collective bargaining.
Gov Snyder's move came about 10 months after Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed right-to-work into law, making the Hoosier state the first 'rust belt' state to have right-to-work laws in more than 40 years. Snyder reportedly wanted to make Michigan as competitive as Indiana, which has added an estimated 43,000 jobs since the state passed right-to-work.

Growing up, we got a cursory introduction to the labor movement in the history books at school while unions like the Teamsters murdered 96 people at the DuPont Plaza hotel in Puerto Rico or various New England chapters of the Laborers International Union of North America maintained cozy relationship with the Patriarcha crime family out of Providence, allowing mobsters to engage in laor racketeering while raiding the union's pension fund.

Many of the unions protesting in Madison, WI last year lost much of their credibility when despite AWOL lawmakers and activist judges, laws limiting collective bargaining in Wisconsin were passed by Gov. Scott Walker despite massive, continuous protests on the grounds of the state capitol building. However, despite dire predictions of public employee unions like AFSCME or SEIU, the sky didn't fall and Wisconsin didn't turn into Mogadishu overnight.

Moreover, even without Tuesday's violent tantraum in mind, I have zero sympathy for unions that do things like help themselves to money from families of disabled people. I'm not certain it this is limited to Michigan, but hopefully this practise is dismantled ASAP.

The law will likely face a number of challenges and I would be very surprised if an activist judge somewhere along the way didn't attempt to overturn it by judicial fiat. Still, wouldn't it be ironic if after the rough years the auto industry has had lately, the new right-to-work law started bringing the auto industry back to its 'home' in Michigan?

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