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  • Right-to-Work Grassroots Effort Coming to True Blue Union Michigan?

    It took Nixon to go to China, and now it’s taking a coalition of union members to push for right-to-work legislation in big labor’s heartland of Michigan. Our friends at The Mackinac Center’s Michigan Capitol Confidential report:

    “A grassroots coalition called ‘Michigan Freedom to Work’ held a news conference June 30, 2011, at several locations around the state, including Lansing. Several union members and others gathered in the Capitol building to announce their new coalition and plans to push for legislation to add Michigan to the list of states that have enacted right-to-work laws. These laws allow workers to choose whether or not to join a union at their place of employment.”

    In the video above, Michigan union members speak of their experience with Michigan unions and why they’re now pushing for right-to-work legislation. Coalition organizer and UAW member Terry Bowman explains the core belief of his organization:

    The Michigan Freedom to Work coalition believes all employees should be free to join and financially support a labor union if they choose without fear of discrimination or penalty. We believe all employees should be equally free to choose not to join or financially support a union, again without fear of discrimination or penalty.

    Outside the coalition’s meeting in Lansing, 100 union members, mostly from the Michigan Education Association, gathered in protest. The Detroit Free Press reports that Zack Pohl, spokesman for the counter-demonstrators, called the right-to-work push “the latest in a long line of attacks on working and middle-class families in Michigan.”

    But for members of the pro-right-to-work coalition, it’s a matter of civil rights–and bringing new jobs to Michigan, which is currently suffering a 10.3 percent unemployment rate. The Free Press reports:

    Tony Amorose, a history teacher in Dearborn schools and a member of the American Federation of Teachers, was part of the Freedom to Work team. He said he comes from a union family with a father who “taught us the value of a union.”

    But he said economic forces have made right-to-work laws necessary.

    “Michigan must respond by becoming more business-friendly,” Amorose said.

    Those union members aren’t the only ones who support right-to-work in Michigan. In a poll conducted last Labor Day, “51 percent [of Michigan voters] said they supported this question: Should Michigan pass a right-to-work law that means employees cannot be forced to join a labor union?” according to a Grand Rapids Press report.

    Their support isn’t surprising. Investors Business Daily reports that “Right-to-work states have generally lower unemployment, higher job growth, lower taxes and better business climates. They have growing populations and have been attracting businesses from other states.”

    In Michigan, a state beholden to unions that is bleeding population and has lost more than 800,000 jobs in the past decade, right-to-work might be an answer.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to Right-to-Work Grassroots Effort Coming to True Blue Union Michigan?

    1. David says:

      And who can argue that it is not better for everyone to chose whether they want to participate in the union membership or not? isn't that what we are all about – the freedom to choose?

    2. GreenPus says:

      I lost out on a police dispatcher job even though I was the most qualified candidate. Why? Because less qualified union members had first dibs. Why is that? Union members don't pay any more taxes than I do. So why should they get preferential treatment in taxpayer-funded government jobs? That's discrimination against the rest of us, pure and simple. Time for Michigan to become a right-to-work state and end this travesty.

      • Chris says:

        The point that you are leaving out is the fact is you would have had to join that same union you are bad mouthing… I bet once you got that dispatch job you would have been loving your rights as a union memeber and enjoying your benifits… What a hypacrit you are applying for a union job but you are bad mouthing unions????

    3. Ron Estrada says:

      These guys are real heros. None of them are opposed to the unions, they simply see it as a matter of choice. The union members will gain a stronger voice if they have the ability to leave their union. The union leaders will be more responsive to the members. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved. We now have plenty of history with 22 right to work states to prove that this is job creator. Go Michigan!

    4. Brenda Battle Jordan says:

      {http://youtu.be/_1GXehmckiE, } Ken and Brenda Battle Jordan Support Michigan 's freedom To Work Effort..

    5. Rudy says:

      The ten states with the highest poverty rates (including that stalwart of "best for business" states, texas) are right to work states. Coincidence?

    6. Brenda Battle Jordan says:

      Ken and Brenda Battle Jordan Support Michigan Freedom To Work Effort. 2011 … Obama Thanks His Friends: Government Spending and Union Support http://www.aier.org
      Since 1990, labor unions have contributed over $667 million in election campaigns in the United States, of which $614 million or 92 percent went to support Democratic candidates. In 2008, unions spent $74.5 million in campaign contributions, with $68.3 million going to the Democratic Party. Already,..

    7. Mark Ward says:

      If you choose not to join, then you choose not to pay dues, and it is theses dues which funds the Representation you recieve under a collecting bargaining agreement.

      What happens when the dues do not support the Representation? You loose the Representation, then you immediately loose your Benefits that you enjoyed receiving that someone else fought to provide for you under Union representation. Ray Charles can see that one……..remember, you get what you pay for!!!! Pay nothing, you get nothing!!!! If you think you can buy what Union Representation provides for less than $60 bucks a month, then tell the rest of the world so we can rush out and buy it!!!!!!!

      • Jim says:

        What you fail to point out is that unions spend a large percentage of that $60 on political campaigns that many members may not support. They should have the right to opt out of this misuse of their funds.

      • Redfray says:

        Not sure which type of unions you are talking about? Are you saying government tax funded jobs and private sector jobs should have the same collective bargaining power? Why should I pay more taxes because a union forces the government to pay employees more money without having a say in the bargaining? Don't understand how this is a choice.

      • Brad - Detroit says:

        Mark. In the real world, it really doesn't work that way. A certain company in Grand Rapids had 2 plants. One decided to unionize, the other did not. The unionized plant saw a small bump in pay for a short period due to their collective bargaining and threat of strike efforts. After a couple of years, the unionized plant workers were actually making less than the non-unionized plant. Why ? The non-unionized plant would routinely beat the snot out of their cross-town counterparts in efficiency, delivery and quality – thus receiving performance bonuses. They also got pay increases as a way to hold onto some of their best people. What did the union shop get ? They got stuck paying union dues out of a smaller paycheck.
        Also, the argument that unions (outside the public sector) are the only way that the middle class can make a living is pure garbage. Tell that to the workers at Toyota's Georgetown, KY plant of which I had 3 relatives work for the past 20 years. They are doing quite well.

        • Chris says:

          This is a very very rare case!!! The truth of the matter is it usually goes this way….. I have a buddy that has been a Consumers worker for 15 yrs. Consumers gave his shop the choice to unionize, they made the faital decision not to unionize. 15 yrs into his career Consumers says we want all of you workers to take a 3% pay cut and work 12hrs shifts not 8hrs. So it was going to reduce the shift work from 3 shifts to 2. The guys (8 in total) went back to managment and said this is a change of working conditions and this is difficult for people that have been working 2nd or 3rd shift for 20 yrs. and have their family life set up around their shift work.

          • Steve says:

            Are you suggesting that there is…GASP! … Unexpected change in the workplace?!?!?! Oh the horrors! Get real. If you can't handle that, then you are destined to be unemployable. You can't expect someone or something (Govt, union, mommy) to protect you from everything in life. Deal with it.

      • han57 says:

        Anyone with half a brain knows that all you have to do is research the company. You can easily find what it pays current workers (benefits & so forth). Fiqure out what you need for you/your family to meet needs and plan for retirement. Then negoitate with the company to meet an agreement acceptable to both of you. Of course most union members do not know about these techniques because it's always been done for them thusly cementing the "union workers are just lazy" arguement.

    8. Steve says:

      Once again the leftist union political machine shows its true colors with this quote… "the latest in a long line of attacks on working and middle-class families in Michigan". How can that be, when the source of the "attacks" are the working and middle-class union members themselves????? Wake up people. The power grab that these union bosses keep talking about is accurate, but don't let that scare you, because it's a grab of power AWAY from the those same bosses who NEVER HAD THE RIGHT TO HOLD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! It's always been meant for the workers themselves.

    9. Joan of Snark says:

      Sounds like Michigan's private sector is starting to understand that you do, indeed, get what you pay for. Which in the case of unions is the bosses fat and happy while the workers watch their jobs be sent overseas (and in some cases training their "best shore" replacements to boot). And in the case of the auto companies is union members paying threefold: once in union dues, again with their federal tax dollars and yet again by losing more jobs.

      Next step: ban public unions.

    10. Mark Ward says:

      What you fail to understand is that it is ILLEGAL to use members any percentage of dues monies for political activity. Members may choose to donate directly to a seperate politcal pack if they choose……….that is the FACTS!!!!! This gives them the right to participate or not!!!!!

    11. Brad - Detroit says:

      My old man was a union guy, but if the unions DID have their member's best interests in mind, Right-to-Work or Freedom of Choice laws would not be seen as a threat. But, as you can tell by some of the comments here and protests to the rally. They obviously DO NOT. Just saying . . .

    12. gwilso2 says:

      Michigan was the heart of our auto industry. In the last 20 years where have new auto jobs located? Right to work states. I find that ironic when all the experienced auto workers were located in Michigan area. While I despise mandatory membership of unions, My state and several others in the southeast have benefitted greatly. Hyundai just added 200 more jobs this year in Alabama. The KIA plant in Georgia is probably in full operation. So, I guess I owe a thanks to the unions for collapsing our auto industry and pushing the competition to my home state.

    13. carl boscarino says:

      if you think that a right to work state is the cat's meow well then you should take a look at florida! it too is a right to work state, and it's not working here!

      • Steve says:

        How is it not working? If you are referring to manufacturing jobs, FL has never been big in that market to begin with. Godd businesses take advantage of the resources available to them, which is why tourism in FL is huge. If you want/have to work in manufacturing and you live in Florida, you either have to take what you get, or get off your butt and go someplace else to find your job. Don't whine and complain because of choices you make!

    14. Brenda Battle Jordan says:

      http://youtu.be/_1GXehmckiE, Ken and Brenda Battle Jordan, See are video of Flint effort of Michigan To Work..

    15. Andrew Linko says:

      I guess it depends on who is stating the facts. The top 10 states with the highest unemployment were Nevada, California, Rhode Island, Florida, Mississippi, Michigan, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, and the District of Columbia. These facts are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not a drug induced talk show, nor a so called 'Fair and Balanced' media empire. 6 of these states with high unemployment are 'Right To Work' states. So how has being 'Right to Work' created employment in their state? NOT AT ALL! The problem with job creation and elimination is unfair trade and the flee of needed capital investment in our Country, not RTW.
      When John McCain was running for President against Senator Obama, he avoided South Carolina to talk about the economy because even Conservative Republicans like Senator Jim Demint knew his state was hurting because the textile and furniture industry moved to China.
      Right To Work is only a solution for those who have captured all of the Political power from the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, FEC vs. Citizens United, to crush any opposition and political education. They want complete control of our econonmy, and the political process, crushing any chance of what our forefathers wrote in the U.S. Constitution as DEMOCRACY.

    16. Andrew Linko says:

      I guess it depends on who is stating the facts. The top 10 states with the highest unemployment were Nevada, California, Rhode Island, Florida, Mississippi, Michigan, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, and the District of Columbia. These facts are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not a drug induced talk show, nor a so called 'Fair and Balanced' media empire. 6 of these states with high unemployment are 'Right To Work' states. So how has being 'Right to Work' created employment in their state? NOT AT ALL! The problem with job creation and elimination is unfair trade and the flee of needed capital investment in our Country, not RTW.

    17. Brian Pannebecker says:

      As a union member, I strongly endorse allowing each worker to decide for themselves if they want to "join" the union. Forced unionism is unfair to individuals who have a constitutionally protected "freedom of association" that allows them to join , or not join, groups of their own choosing.
      Just because I choose to apply to work at Ford Motor Co. , that does not mean that I can be "forced" to join the UAW. I should be allowed to make that choice. That decision is for the individual to make, not a labor union.

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