Thursday, December 6, 2012
It is hard to believe that one of the homes of the labor movement, Michigan, is about to enact "right-to-work" (or right-to-free-ride) legislation. Such legislation will permit workers in both the public and private sectors in Michigan to receive the services of unions (collective bargaining and grievance handling) without paying for any of the expense of such services through agency fees (membership dues).
Needless to say, such laws make it hard for unions financially to maintian their operations and make it also difficult for unions to organize workers in the first place.
Here are the latest details from the Detroit Free Press on the Michigan situation:
There was chaos and high emotion at the Capitol today after Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP legislative leaders announced fast-track plans to make Michigan the nation’s 24th right-to-work state.
At a news conference, Snyder said the Legislature will proceed with right-to-work legislation for public and private employees — which would exclude police and firefighters — and that the bills will be introduced today during the lame-duck session. He said he plans to sign them when they reach his desk.
“The goal isn’t to divide Michigan. It is to bring Michigan together,” the governor said, as hundreds of union protesters stormed the Capitol and the governor’s office, vociferously voicing their opposition to the plan.
Union activists demonstrated outside and inside the Romney Building, which houses Snyder’s offices, and poured into the Capitol across the street. At about 12:30 p.m., State Police said no one was being allowed into the Capitol -- including employees -- because it was at capacity. Even UAW President Bob King and Michigan AFL-CIO head Karla Swift were having trouble attempting to get inside.
If Michigan does enact this legislation, which appears very likely at this point, it will be the 24th state to do so.