The right to NOT join a union

Michigan GOP approves right to work amid union protests

Republicans slammed right-to-work legislation through the Michigan House and Senate Thursday, drawing raucous protests from throngs of stunned union supporters, whose outnumbered Democratic allies were powerless to stop it.

Just hours after they were introduced, both chambers approved measures prohibiting private unions from requiring that nonunion employees pay fees. The Senate quickly followed by voting to impose the same requirement on most public unions.

Although rumors had circulated for weeks that right-to-work measures might surface during the session’s waning days, the speed with which the GOP-dominated Legislature acted Thursday caught many onlookers by surprise. Details of the bills weren’t made publicly available until they were read aloud on both floors as debate began.

The chaos drew raucous protests from hundreds of union supporters, some of whom were pepper-sprayed by police when they tried to storm the Senate chamber.

Contrary to what you may have heard, “right to work” laws do not outlaw unions. All this new Michigan law will do is prevent unions from deducting dues from the wages of non-union employees. Currently they can’t make you join the union but they can force you to pay dues anyway.

Workers should be free to form unions and bargain collectively. But no one should be forced to join a union or pay dues whether they join or not. That’s what “freedom of association” means.

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53 Responses to The right to NOT join a union

  1. myiq2xu says:

    I blame Mitt Romney (IBMR)

  2. this is one area I haven’t resolved in my mind since leaving the Democratic Party in 2008. I had huge union support when I ran for office. However, I can see both sides better than I used to, and both sides have important points to make.

    For sure, the union scale priced the unions right out of the market and was a reason for all of the outsourcing. But they also get credit for some good things too.

    It is ironic that the right-to-work law passed in Michigan, and I must say that their timing was stupendous. The entire country is watching DC for the fiscal cliff histrionics, and it gave cover to the folks in Michigan to pass this without the kind of rancor that was seen in Wisconsin.

    The unions like to paint the picture of what the world was before unions, but I wonder if this law would really take us back to the horrible conditions that workers used to find themselves in at the turn of the 20th century.

    we’ll see what kind of backlash occurs…….if any.

    • myiq2xu says:

      There is nothing inherently good or bad about unions. They are just groups of people with a common purpose.

      • Rangoon78 says:

        Right to work genreally meansThe union contract will still cover all workers where Ther is a union contract, but they won’t have to pay dues. The right to work laws started in the south.

        Out here in California we union workers applauded Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1966 attempt to eliminate such laws by seeking repeal of section 14(b); the effort was thwarted in the Senate with a filibuster led by Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois.

        State of the Union Address, 1966 . LBJ
        “For those who labor, I propose to improve unemployment insurance, to expand minimum wage benefits, and by the repeal of section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act to make the labor laws in all our States equal to the laws of the 31 States which do not have tonight right-to-work measures.”

    • 49erDweet says:

      A smart union would morph itself into a Guild of sorts for the betterment of it’s worker-members AND the industry involved, IMO. Unfortunately……….they don’t seem to exist.

    • Rangoon78 says:

      “We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights… Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone. Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights.“
      – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking on right-to-work laws in 1961

      • myiq2xu says:

        Appeals to authority are a form of logical fallacy. Quoting MLK and LBJ is not a cogent argument against RTW laws.

        Please explain why giving workers the freedom to choose whether or not to support a union is bad.

        • angienc says:

          Morons can’t explain things, they can only parrot talking points & repeat quotes (which, btw, they don’t even understand).

        • Rangoon78 says:

          I wasn’t arguing. I just wanted to jog your memory of where liberals have stood on the issue. So now I’m a moron? Sheesh. This place sucks.

        • Rangoon78 says:

          Women and right to work. (Freely adapted from Anglechel)

          [Behavioral economics tells us that if one is forced to opt-out of a program rather than opt-in, participation rates will be higher] Why does this matter? If your focus is on the abstract individual and structuring choices for the individual, then you are not addressing the larger environment in which the structuring takes place…

          [In non right to work states in jobs where there is a union security clause] The employer automatically [deducts dues] from the employee’s paycheck. In right to work states a non- member can opt-in to contributing to the union giving her ‘choice.’

          This “choice” ignores the environment in which [union contributions] occur. The concentration on the individual does not offer an opportunity to interrrogate the conditions in which “right to work” laws discourage unionization, living wages, the gendered face of poverty and how women are disproportionately harmed by poor benefits, lousy pay, and having to work the “second shift” at home, etc.

      • angienc says:

        Aw look, it thinks it can just repeat another quote to prove it can think on its own.
        So precious.

  3. 49erDweet says:

    Seems to me those unionized protesters in the video share an obvious characteristic with Camille Paglia.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    Ruh roh!

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Good article I found on Herman Cain’s site has the timeline for how this vote came about.

    I know our country owes unions for better pay and working conditions, but aren’t most of those laws now ? Why can’t unions expand to other countries to prevent such tragedies such as the recent Bangladesh garment factory fire that killed hundreds of trapped workers.

  6. tommy says:

    Yep, absolutely right. No worker should be forced to join the union, or pay dues. Its upto him/her. If they want to join, they can.

    • leslie says:

      Unfortunately, tommy, not where I live and work. I was not only forced to join the SEIU where I work, but my credentials and job category were stripped from me and the rest of my profession (licensed clinical social workers) and I/we have now become little worker ants who have to punch in in the morning when we arrive, and report our time when we leave at night. (We of course are still are not paid for the real hours we work, and we are forced to pay union dues whether they do anything for us or not. (They have done almost nothing for the union members they have “represented”.) In fact, the civil service employees (of which I am now one) have been working without a contract for at least 2 years. And if I were not so near retirement, I’d leave and look for another place to work.

  7. Democrats. Pro-choice, until they’re not.

  8. DandyTiger says:

    OT: But since Dems were saying Romney was trying to buy the WH because he was spending more than Obama, I assume they’ll all agree now that Obama bought the WH since it turns out he spent more. Right?

  9. HELENK says:

    unions were so good for Detroit,.maybe the right to work law would help the Michigan cities get some jobs brought there.

    I was a union member most of my working life and do respect the unions that do the job to make better places for workers. But many union lost sight of just what they were supposed to do and sold out their workers and became worst then what they were supposed to fight

  10. HELENK says:

    For those of you that live close enough to go. pictures would be apprieciated

    • angienc says:

      Obama’s the one putting Detroit into bankruptcy.

    • driguana says:

      Wasn’t Obama supposed to speak there today? Just wait, his next move will be to establish massive “public works” projects in places like Detroit to sink massive stimulus money into their deteriorating infrustructue without doing anything for their socio-economic problems or lack of private sector investment. He has said numerous times that he is going to start major infrastructure reinvestment projects….he’s gonna start fryin’ the bacon real soon!

  11. myiq2xu says:

    Burglar Calls 911 To Save Himself From Gun-wielding Homeowner

    A suspected burglar called 911 after the owner of the home he broke into caught and held him at gunpoint.

    The suspect, Christopher Moore, placed the emergency call in Springtown, Texas, during the botched burglary attempt early Tuesday after James Gerow, the homeowner, and Gerow’s son pointed guns at him as he sat in his pickup truck parked in the driveway.

    “I’m out in the country somewhere,” Moore told the 911 operator during the 10-minute call. “Some guy’s got a gun on me.”

    Gerow’s wife, Lindy, placed a concurrent call to 911 that confirmed Moore’s account.

    “You better come quick,” she said, “or my husband’s going to shoot him.”

    “If he gets out of the truck, shoot him in the legs,” James Gerow told his son, according to the Dallas Morning News Crime Blog. “You ain’t gotta kill him—just shoot him in the legs.”

    When police arrived, both Moore and Lindy Gerow were still talking to 911 dispatchers.

    According to CBS’ Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate, Moore was arrested and charged with burglary. He’s currently being held on a $35,000 bond.

    • votermom says:

      For some reason I love this. 😀

    • angienc says:

      God Bless Texas.

      Remember that story that came out a while back about the dad who caught a ranch hand molesting his little 5 year old daughter & killed him on the spot? Not only wasn’t the dad charged, the towns people basically responded to media questions with “Some people just need killing.” That was in Texas too (Shiner).

    • 49erDweet says:

      That Gerow is a racist facist. Guy’s like him need to be imprisoned. Poor Moore was subject to despicable trauma. And the Raiders should be favored in the Super Bowl.

  12. yttik says:

    I hate my union. Seriously, talk about crony capitalism! All they ever do is take away any pay increases and benefits and use the money to sign deals with big corporations that are going to allegedly do licensing, regulation, education or some other bit of BS. For the privilege of getting screwed, I pay dues.

    This is not to say that all unions are bad or that no one has ever benefited from them. It’s just that mine really sucks and I resent the hell out of being forced to pay them. My corporate overlords left unregulated would not screw people over as badly as the idiot union bosses with their gold chains and fancy cars have done. I now serve two overseers and to tell you the truth, I prefer the corporation to the union. At least they understand that they have to treat you somewhat fairly or they won’t have any employees. The union…well, everything is mandatory so employees are completely powerless. What are you going to do, quit the union? Well, you can’t and they know it, so that’s pretty much the end of the discussion.

    Good for Michigan.

  13. myiq2xu says:

  14. piper says:

    Long ago, I was a member of the association then teachers voted for the union to be our bargaining agent. At first we paid a small amount to them then 2 years later we had to pay full dues which could be paid in full at the beginning of the school year or by monthly payroll deduction. We had a really good agent for many years who sadly went to prison for tax evasion. Our next agent operated under his mother maiden name because as it turns out his father was part of central admin. collected his sizable salary as he sold us down the river. Thankfully I’m retired now and can collect my pension until the funds run dry.

    • piper says:

      Good for Michigan, my childhood home. Wonder what Scott Walker will do in Wisconsin since the legislature is back in repug. hands.

  15. HELENK says:

    press is unhappy with backtrack.
    what are they going to do ?, he really does not need them anymore.


  16. HELENK says:

    this NLRB ruling sounds like it is close enough for government work

  17. HELENK says:

    Camden NJ entire police force being replaced by non union workers

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