The Michigan legislature has just passed a “right-to-work” law, which prevents private and public unions from imposing mandatory fees and membership. It doesn’t allow or prevent people from working, it just gives them the choice to support their union or not. Previously, employees at a union shop did not have the right to make their own decision about whether or not they wanted to join -- their fees were automatically deducted from their paychecks.
Michigan joins 23 other states who have passed similar legislation in an attempt to reign in the largesse of union contracts, which have significantly contributed to state deficits.
Unions are upset because losing mandatory dues will significantly impinge on their revenues and power across the nearly bankrupt state. Losing members who opt out could cost Michigan unions as much as $100 million annually.
Inversely, that means that $100 million will go back into the pockets of hard-working Americans in Michigan. It will also boost state revenues as legislators have more leeway to re-negotiate contracts and pensions for public unions. One study confirms that “right-to-work” states attract more jobs and have lower unemployment rates, and the results in other states speak for themselves. In Wisconsin, where legislators and Governor Walker faced and survived a recall vote, a $3.6 billion deficit has been trimmed down without raising taxes and unemployment is down to 6.7 percent.
This is good news, right? Well not for the unions pissed off at losing their legally mandated cash cow. So they sat down with a cup of tea and had a lovely chat with union employees to encourage them to keep contributing to their cause. Remember, this new law doesn’t outlaw unions -- it gives the workers the free choice to join or not.
I’m totally kidding about that civility thing. Mass protests are underway at the State House in Detroit. Democratic State Representative Douglas Geiss claimed, “There will be blood,” from the floor of the House. Conservative commentator Steven Crowder was attacked multiple times with no provocation, and the protesters pulled down a tent housing the grassroots organization Americans for Prosperity, which supports the legislation.
The teachers are protesting by not showing up to work, even though only 7 percent of eighth-graders in Detroit are proficient in reading. Yeah, teaching is all about the kids to these educators. [*Insert eye-roll here*]
The unions don’t want workers to have a choice. They are bullies to the core, and will resort to violence to silence the opposition. Stay classy, guys.
What do you think these violent protests say about the unions?
Image via StevenCrowder/YouTube