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Posts tagged "Michigan Unions"

liberalsarecool:

Organized labor and its allies essentially have two options to overturn the state’s new “right-to-work” law signed yesterday by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R).

First Read: “First, they have filed legal actions charging that the process violated the state’s Open…

Fox News Contributor Steven Crowder went to the right-to-work protests outside the Capitol in Michigan today looking for trouble, and succeeded in finding it. We know Governor Scott Walker considered putting troublemakers in the crowd during the collective bargaining fight in Wisconsin, and now Fox News appears to be doing the dirty work for Governor Rick Snyder in Michigan.

In an attempt to make the pro-union workers in Michigan look like violent thugs, Crowder put himself in the midst of a passionate crowd and made a nuisance of himself, shouting provocative questions at workers whose livelihoods are on the line, until he finally got clocked.

H/T: WeGotEd.com

Protesters are marching on the Michigan Capitol Building today, where lawmakers are expected to approve the final version of a so-called “right-to-work” law. Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI), who had previously said he wouldn’t pursue such anti-union legislation, has indicated he’ll sign the measure.

During an interview on WWJ Newsradio 950, Snyder claimed that the law is necessary in order to boost Michigan’s economy. “This is about more and better jobs coming to Michigan,” he said:

“Michigan is not unique in doing this. Twenty-three other states are right-to-work states and they’ve been fast growing, in terms of their economic growth in relationship to other states… If you look at Indiana, Indiana’s had at least 30 companies accept offers from the Indiana Academic Development Corporation since they did this in February that are bringing thousands of good jobs to Indiana. And we could use those jobs here in Michigan,” he said.

And more jobs in Michigan is something Snyder said will benefit all the state’s residents.

This is about more and better jobs coming to Michigan because a lot of companies do look at this as a major factor in their analysis. We’ll then be more competitive as a state and that’s good for all of us. It’s good for workers and good for unions, because it gives them more of an opportunity to grow themselves,” he said.

However, the economic research isn’t on Snyder’s side.

Instead, right-to-work laws simply result in lower wages and fewer benefits for workers, union and non-union alike. In Michigan (and across the country), as unionization rates fall, so does middle-class income. President Obama yesterday blasted right-to-work as “giving you the right to work for less money.”

h/t: Pat Garofalo at Think Progress Economy

Deranged anti-union extremist Dana Loesch is lying as usual. This particular “offense” in Loeschworld: A Democratic Michigan State Representative by the name of Douglas Geiss had the nerve to say that “there will blood on our hands” because of Michigan likely going to be the latest state added to the Right-To-Work For Less list.


image

BTW, Geiss is right on those points and he was NOT inciting violence or murder, despite what deranged conservative media liars say on this.
Here’s where Loesch makes false accusations about “Michigan’s House Democrats twitter account (@MIHouseDems) aiding and abetting violence”:
Dana’s husband, Chris, also makes phony accuasations about “Democrat violence”:








She even takes a cheap shot at Michigan native Michael Moore:

The vocally anti-union activist Dana Loesch was in rare form today… by cheerleading for Michigan’s disastrous Right-To-Work For Less legislation that was passed by both the Michigan State House and the State Senate. That state’s Governor, Rick Snyder (R), is very likely going to be turning Michigan into yet another RTWFL state by signing the bill, possibly as early as tomorrow.

Loesch’s defense of RTWFL on her blog:

The President went to Michigan with the obvious purpose of throwing punches in the right-to-work battle. Interesting. Remember when Obama told a senator “I won” when questioned on his stimulus plan? Well, Republicans won in Michigan. Elections have consequences.

More importantly, the President’s argument makes zero sense. He presupposes that with right-to-work comes lower wages, which is categorically false
From 2000 to 2010, employment in right-to-work states increased 2.3 percent, compared to a 4.0 percent decline in non-right-to-work states. Indiana saw employment decrease 6.9 percent over the same period. That means Indiana lost roughly 207,000 jobs over the past 10 years. In contrast, 1.2 million jobs were created in right-to-work states. 
The President’s claim that RTW brings with it lowered wages is demonstrably false. It’s the statement of a politician working to save one of his biggest cash cows: union bosses.

Loesch further mocked unions in another blogpost:

Yet these are the same individuals who vote for a party whose mantra is “spread the wealth” and “pay your fair share” towards entitlements mostly used by 46% of people who don’t pay anything into the system via income tax. “Freeloaders,” as my caller would describe them. 

It’s illogical and betrays the truth: it isn’t about workers’ rights, it’s about control. Maybe big labor should “spread the wealth.”

Amanda Terkel at the HuffPost has the details on Obama’s opposition to the RTWFL law in Michigan.

HuffPost’s Terkel:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama weighed in on the contentious labor battle playing out in Michigan, condemning the Republican push to make Michigan a so-called “right-to-work” state as nothing more than a partisan maneuver that will hurt the working class. 

"And by the way, what we shouldn’t do — I’ve just got to say this — what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions," he added to loud applause from the audience. "We shouldn’t be doing that. The so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws — they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."

Michigan is set to become the 24th right-to-work state, with Gov. Rick Snyder (R) poised to sign the controversial bill after it was fast-tracked by the GOP-controlled legislature. Thousands of union supporters protested at the state capitol in Lansing last week, and more protests are planned for Tuesday. 
Michigan’s rules require that the House and Senate wait five days before voting on each other’s bills. The legislature is set to approve final passage of the right-to-work legislation on Tuesday, and Snyder could sign it the same day.


Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat in the Michigan State Senate who has likely statewide ambitions, correctly points out in a HuffPost editorial what Snyder and his GOP minions are doing is nothing more than a power grab to harm workers’ rights and to solidify his Teabagger and possible 2016 GOP Presidential Primary bona fides.


HuffPost:

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder rose to power in 2010 cloaked in the veil of a moderate. He appealed to voters by saying he was going to be “laser focused” on the policies that grow Michigan’s economy rather than get mired in the politics that have kept us off that track for too long. He promised he understood what it would take to prop up the middle class despite being a millionaire himself. He said time and time again that he would run Michigan like a business and forge bipartisan coalitions to end politics as we know it. 
The one problem with that? It was all a lie. 
Last week, in a press conference hidden safely away from the scrutiny of Michigan’s public, Governor Snyder removed any remaining shred of credibility as a moderate with a stunning about-face on “Right to Work,” a policy that he himself had recently declared “too divisive” and not something that was in Michigan’s best interest. Snyder said not only was he now going to sign Right to Work into law, but that he and his fellow Republican legislative leaders had already schemed to set the bills for a vote that same day, eviscerating the public’s right to input. 
In a matter of moments, Governor Snyder did more than go back on his word to the people of Michigan, he exposed the “tough nerd” persona he rode to office in 2010 as a complete fraud. This was not a decision based on economics, it was one based on partisan politics driven by special interests at its absolute worst.
In the days since, the governor’s allies have defended his actions by saying that the legislation provides workers “freedom” and “choice.” 
No matter how they try to spin it, Right to Work is solely about taking away the strength of workers as they collectively bargain for a decent wage, better working conditions and improved benefits. It’s anti-worker, anti-family, and the way they’re subverting the democratic process to pass it is simply anti-American. 

The answer is simple. He lied.
Whitmer is totally right on this.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama weighed in on the contentious labor battle playing out in Michigan, condemning the Republican push to make Michigan a so-called “right-to-work” state as nothing more than a partisan maneuver that will hurt the working class.

"And by the way, what we shouldn’t do — I’ve just got to say this — what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions," he added to loud applause from the audience. "We shouldn’t be doing that. The so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws — they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."

Michigan is set to become the 24th right-to-work state, with Gov. Rick Snyder (R) poised to sign the controversial bill after it was fast-tracked by the GOP-controlled legislature. Thousands of union supporters protested at the state capitol in Lansing last week, and more protests are planned for Tuesday.

Michigan’s rules require that the House and Senate wait five days before voting on each other’s bills. The legislature is set to approve final passage of the right-to-work legislation on Tuesday, and Snyder could sign it the same day.

Snyder met with Democratic members of Michigan’s congressional delegation on Monday morning. They urged him to veto the bill or, at the very least, request that the state legislature delay its Tuesday vote. According to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who attended the meeting, the governor said he would “seriously” consider their request.

The bill would ban automatic payroll deductions of union dues. Supporters of right-to-work laws say workers who don’t want to belong to a union shouldn’t be forced to pay dues. Opponents, however, point out that these non-payers will reap the benefits of a unionized workplace without paying their fair share.

While labor officials acknowledge there is little they can do to stop the Michigan bill from becoming law at this point, unions are essentially declaring an all-out war on politicians who back right to work — including raising the possibility of recalling them from office, as was attempted in Wisconsin.

Democrats won’t be able to overturn right to work at the voting booth, because Republicans turned it into a spending bill, which can’t be put forward as a public referendum. But Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who was also in the meeting with Snyder, said the governor and the legislature could get around that restriction.

h/t: Amanda Terkel at Huffington Post

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) yesterday backtracked on his previous assertion that a union-busting move to pass a so-called “right-to-work” provision into law wasn’t on his agenda, and by the end of the day, both the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan state Senate had introduced and passed separate pieces of legislation aimed at the state’s union workforce.

Michigan Republicans are pursuing the laws because Indiana Republicans passed “right-to-work” last year and, according to Snyder, the state needs such a law to remain competitive. In reality, though, such laws have negative effects on workers and little effect on economic growth, and Michigan Republicans are pursuing the laws without public debate:

The legislation: Both the state House and state Senate passed legislation yesterday that prohibits private sector unions from requiring members to pay dues. The Senate followed by immediately passing a law that extends the same prohibition for public sector unions, though firefighters and police officers are exempt. The state House included a budget appropriations measure that is intended to prevent the state’s voters from being able to legally challenge the law through a ballot referendum. Due to state law, both houses are prevented from voting on legislation passed by the other for five days, so neither will be able to fully pass the legislation until Tuesday at the earliest.

The process: Union leaders and Democrats claim that Republicans are pushing the legislation through in the lame-duck session to hide the intent of the measures from citizens, and because the legislation would face more trouble after the new House convenes in January. Michigan Republicans hold a 63-47 advantage in the state House, but Democrats narrowed the GOP majority to just eight seats in November. Six Republicans opposed the House measure; five of them won re-election in 2012 (the sixth retired). And Michigan Republicans have good reason to pursue the laws without public debate. Though the state’s voters are evenly split on whether it should become a right-to-work state, 78 percent of voters said the legislature “should focus on issues like creating jobs and improving education, and not changing state laws or rules that would impact unions or make further changes in collective bargaining.”

The effect: While Snyder and Republicans pitched “right-to-work” as a pro-worker move aimed at improving the economy, studies show such legislation can cost workers money. The Economic Policy Institute found that right-to-work laws cost all workers, union and otherwise, $1,500 a year in wages and that they make it harder for workers to obtain pensions and health coverage. “If benefits coverage in non-right-to-work states were lowered to the levels of states with these laws, 2 million fewer workers would receive health insurance and 3.8 million fewer workers would receive pensions nationwide,” David Madland and Karla Walter from the Center for American Progress wrote earlier this year. And right-to-work laws and the drop in union membership that follows have a significant impact on the middle class. Multiple studies, meanwhile, show that such laws have a negligible impact on economic growth. “Research shows that there is no relationship between right-to-work laws and state unemployment rates, state per capita income, or state job growth,” EPI wrote in a recent report about Michigan. And “right-to-work” laws alsodecrease worker safety and can hurt small businesses.

Union leaders are, of course, aghast at Snyder and the GOP’s right-to-work push. 

h/t: Travis Waldron at Think Progress Economy 

LANSING — The Michigan House and Senate each passed controversial right-to-work legislation today, amid loud protests and a walkout by Democratic legislators.

The state House passed the first right-to-work bill late this afternoon in a 58-52 vote, but that bill can’t move on to the Senate until the next session day — possibly Friday, if a session is scheduled — because of a procedural move by Democrats who are asking that the vote be reconsidered. The state Senate voted 22-16 to pass a right-to-work bill. Four Republicans — Tory Rocca of Sterling Heights, Tom Casperson of Escanaba, Mike Nofs of Battle Creek and Mike Green of Mayville — joined with all the Democrats in opposing the bill.

The House and Senate bills are two of three separate right-to-work bills now in the Legislature that will eventually be consolidated into two bills. Both the House and Senate bills deal with private sector employees. The third bill deals with public sector employees, excluding police and firefighters.

That bill passed the Senate by a 22-4 vote this evening.

Democrats in the Senate walked out of the chamber before the vote was taken.

The mishmash of bills is creating head-crashing possibilities over when any of it will make it to the governor’s desk.

The quickest the Legislature can now pass the right-to-work bills through both chambers and send them on to Gov. Rick Snyder is five days from the next sitting, or session day, said Ari Adler, a spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall. The next session day could be set for Friday, a day this weekend or Tuesday, Adler said. The five-day clock then starts after that.

The House vote on the bill followed a brief walkout by Democrats to protest refusal by police officials to open the Capitol doors. Right-to-work legislation was introduced in the state House just before 3 p.m., bringing loud protests from Democrats and protesters inside the Capitol building.

"You’re doing this in lame duck because you know next session, you won’t have the votes," said state Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids. "This is an outrage."

Sen. John Gleason, D-Flint, said it was a “shameful day” in the state Legislature when a bill is allowed to be rammed through with no public hearings.

Democratic senators offered amendments to the bill that would: delay the implementation of the bill for one year; put the issue up to a vote of the people; remove an appropriation from the bill that would make the bill one that couldn’t be up for a repeal by voters, and tie the bill to repeals of same-sex benefits for the partners of state workers, the item pricing bill and the tax on retiree pensions. All failed.

“Here we are, less than a month after the election, and the choice voters made at the ballot box shows that voters don’t want this type of divisive agenda,” said Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing.

Snyder said at a news conference today that the bill is about freedom to choose and equality for Michigan workers.

h/t: Detroit Free Press

After insisting all last year that an anti-labor “right-to-work” law was not on his agenda, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has changed his mind. This morning, he called on the state legislature to introduce and pass so-called “right-to-work” legislation and promised to sign it should it reach his desk.

Snyder was among the Midwestern Republican governors who leveled an assault on unions in 2011, but right-to-work, which effectively undermines union activities by allowing non-union workers to free-ride on union-negotiated contracts, is a new front in that fight. Indiana passed right-to-work legislation earlier this year, and by following suit, Michigan can remain competitive with its neighbor while also becoming a better place for workers, Snyder claimed in a video posted by The Detroit News:

Though Snyder refers to his agenda as “pro-worker,” a quick glance at studies of “right-to-work” legislation paints a different picture. According to the Economic Policy Institute, right-to-work laws have virtually no impact on job growth and have a negative impact on both union and nonunion workers, reducing wages by up to $1,500 a year. A Ball State University study conducted during Indiana’s push to pass right-to-work found that “no impact is likely” for job growth or wages in the manufacturing sector. Another EPI study suggests that right-to-work laws had a negative impact on Oklahoma’s economy and that right-to-work is “is ineffective as a strategy for increasing a state’s employment.”

The right-to-work experiment failed miserably the last time it was tried in the Midwest. Indiana originally passed right-to-work laws in 1957, but workers hated the new laws so much that they were repealed just eight years later.

h/t: Travis Waldron at Think Progress Economy

In a transparent attempt to punish teachers for organizing union efforts, Michigan Republicans are pushing a bill through the legislature that would prohibit public employees from sending political messages through their work emails. The bill is an attempt to stifle any union-related communication between teachers and other public employees, imposing ridiculously harsh penalties for teachers who send “political” messages:

Michigan educators could face a year in prison for conducting union or political business over public school e-mail servers under a bill advancing in Lansing.

State House Bill 4052 was reported out of committee last week, and would prohibit a public employee from using public e-mail for political campaigning, union activities, union recruitment, and fundraising.

Violators could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, which would carry a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in prison or both in the bill’s amended version. Organizations found guilty would face up to a $10,000 fine.[…]

The bill is an example of ongoing “classic scapegoating” in Lansing against teachers, and is being used to appeal to the Republican-led Legislature’s base, said Doug Norton, former Howell Education Association president.

I think that they hate the fact that teachers are able to join a union and collectively bargain. I think they have targeted teachers in their organization,” Norton said.

The Michigan Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the state, says the bill is political retribution after a conservative activist lost a legal battle over the use of school districts’ email service for union lobbying efforts. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that teachers’ emails were not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which would’ve made all personal communications subject to public scrutiny.

Instead of abiding by the court’s decision, Michigan Republicans are determined to circumvent the law and crack down on unions by completely banning “political” communication by public employees. The Livingston Daily notes that the bill actually cannot be enforced without modifying the state’s Freedom of Information Act.