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(Detroit Free Press)   11AM: Michigan Republicans introduce right-to-work legislation. 9PM: After locking Capitol doors, bill forced through lame-duck sessions of both state houses. Bonus: "right to work" classified as appropriations, so voters can't overturn it   (freep.com) divider line 265
    More: Asinine, capitols, Lansing, Michigan, Republican, appropriations, legislation, union shops, Senate passed  
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2708 clicks; posted to Politics » on 07 Dec 2012 at 11:41 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-07 09:30:13 PM

lohphat: Mentat: You provide an attractive alternative to unions in order to divide the workers and weaken the unions

That, unfortunately, is the outcome of free choice.

The workers are free to make bad choices.

If the unions are so great, then why would workers not join them?


Again, you're ignoring what RTW is all about. You first offer the workers a deal where they get all of the benefits of being in a union without the costs. Of course people are going to take that choice. At the same time, you pass legislation to weaken the unions or use firms like Bain Capital to destroy unionized companies. With the unions sufficiently weakened, they can no longer compete with the benefits RTW workers get, which further divides the workforce. When the unions are broken, however, there is no longer a need to provide competitive benefits. At that point, the companies are free to do whatever they want to the workers who will suddenly discover that they've given away all of their rights and there's no one left to fight for them.
 
2012-12-07 10:36:49 PM

Stone Meadow: I see that the law would exempt police and firefighter unions. Didn't a Federal judge put the kibosh on the Wisconsin law that did the same thing?


The only way ALEC can win is if they divide the cops and firefighters from everyone else. When they don't, you get states like Ohio that steamroll things.

That said:
Now can the next session's legislature repeal it? If ALEC doesn't like giving the people a say, all they're doing is moving any coercion over to the business.


ryarger: This law *removes* your right to choose to make your business a closed, Union-only shop


Does not apply to employers' unions such as staffing agencies. They can still run a closed shop with contractors.
 
2012-12-07 10:40:50 PM

Mentat: minoridiot: I'm not entirely sure why folks are concerned about Right to Work laws. Right to Work laws don't ban unions. I'm in a Right to Work state, and I worked in a union shop in the 80's. What the Right to Work laws do is give the employee freedom of choice whether to join a union or not.

Bullshiat. Right to Work would better be described as Divide and Conquer. The initial purpose is to provide a competitive alternative to unions so that workers will voluntarily give up their collective bargaining rights and weaken the unions. What you're seeing now is the end game. If they can break unions in the Rust Belt, then they no longer have to compete with the unions and then they can do whatever they want to the workers. Don't like it? Sorry, you gave up your collective bargaining rights.


People still have the right to join a union. If the Union improved the workers lives then wouldn't they still join? Or should people be forced to give part of their earnings to a group that may or may not do anything to improve wages, benefits, or conditions?

The people of Michigan have a choice in who to elect to office, now they will have a choice on whether they give part of their pay to a union official.
 
2012-12-07 11:17:46 PM
Mentat
At that point, the companies are free to do whatever they want to the workers who will suddenly discover that they've given away all of their rights and there's no one left to fight for them.

Workers never got anything because they were given a "right" to it. They got it by using their power.

/could also change "workers" to "people"
 
2012-12-08 12:12:35 AM

Lt_Ryan: People still have the right to join a union. If the Union improved the workers lives then wouldn't they still join? Or should people be forced to give part of their earnings to a group that may or may not do anything to improve wages, benefits, or conditions?


I've already answered this twice in this thread.
 
2012-12-08 02:58:59 AM

Satanic_Hamster: Right wingers;
Can you explain to me why there's an exemption for police and fire fighters?


Simply put: Emergency workers already don't have the right to strike. It's in the public interest of safety, after all. Police and fire unions are largely for legal fees, training, and occasionally help if someone gets injured and the cities try to weasel out of paying.
 
2012-12-08 04:32:11 AM

dwrash: meat0918: Baz744: meat0918:
Because in reality, unions spend a lot of money for political causes that the rank and file have no say in. Unions should spend their dues on educating their workers so they will have a stronger position next time they collectively bargain.


My question is why do the Republicans, who so vehemently oppose unions making political donations, have no issue with allowing corporations to make political donations? As a shareholder in a corporation, shouldn't I get to "opt out" of making such contributions? I'd MUCH rather get my cut as a dividend payment, rather than it go to lobbyists and campaigns I disagree with. Yet Republicans prevent me from asserting that right. And employees, whose labor yields the profits that a company chooses to spend making political contributions, also have absolutely no say in where those contributions go.

It's almost as though the Republican party simply wants to deny workers any attempt at equal bargaining power, while at the same time depriving the Democrats of a major funding source. In this "jaded" view of the party, they might also oppose any and all measures to limit their own funding sources, and even oppose simple disclosure rules so that everyone could at least know who it was that was spending so much money on their campaigns and causes.

// But I AM Jaded, so I'm sure it's all totally innocent and merely a coincidence. In fact, CLEARLY the Republicans care very much for the FREEDOMS of employees, while not wanting to give unnecessary protections to evil capitalist shareholders. Yeah, that must be it.
 
2012-12-08 06:01:35 PM

PreMortem: That being said, I have no problem with right to work laws (I'm in a union). But if someone decides to not pay dues, they still get all the benefits and rights as a due paying member. I'd say if you don't want to pay union dues, fine... negotiate your own wages and benefits.


That's not very realistic either... And still leads to abuse..The company negotiates great deals with all who come to them, thus destabilizing the union and in the end eliminating it

Canada dealt with this issue in the 40's.... Rand formula
 
2012-12-08 06:51:26 PM

Mentat: "Again, you're ignoring what RTW is all about. You first offer the workers a deal where they get all of the benefits of being in a union without the costs. Of course people are going to take that choice. At the same time, you pass legislation to weaken the unions or use firms like Bain Capital to destroy unionized companies. With the unions sufficiently weakened, they can no longer compete with the benefits RTW workers get, which further divides the workforce. When the unions are broken, however, there is no longer a need to provide competitive benefits. At that point, the companies are free to do whatever they want to the workers who will suddenly discover that they've given away all of their rights and there's no one left to fight for them."



Are you under the impression that if this were to actually happen, the poor, abused workers wouldn't promptly re-unionize and restore their bargaining advantage? Because that seems to be your justification for advocating so strongly against the emergence of (heaven forbid!) a non-union environment that is favorable to workers.

Apparently it needs to be said again: Not requiring someone to join a union before they can get a job is NOT the same as outlawing unions. If policies become such that workers' conditions are disadvantageous, it will take zero effort by agitators to unionize them. If those conditions are truly intolerable, there won't be enough workers who opt out of union membership to allow the company not to improve them. In other words, so long as forming a union remains legal (which it always will), there exists a self-maintaining balance where the solution is built into the problem. Anything beyond that -- i.e. forced union membership -- is nothing more than legal sanctioning of a labor monopsony.
 
2012-12-08 10:23:54 PM

spmkk: Are you under the impression that if this were to actually happen, the poor, abused workers wouldn't promptly re-unionize and restore their bargaining advantage? Because that seems to be your justification for advocating so strongly against the emergence of (heaven forbid!) a non-union environment that is favorable to workers.


Tell that to a Wal*Mart worker in the US. You sound like you need a good spit-bath.

I'll address this utter twaddle when my laughter isn't leaving me breathless.

spmkk: Anything beyond that -- i.e. forced union membership -- is nothing more than legal sanctioning of a labor monopsony.


The formation of unions is what gave labor enough power to create a middle class. Given the relative power of the players, a labor monopsony is the only way to balance the scales.
 
2012-12-09 07:48:52 AM

minoridiot: Collective bargaining is covered by Federal Law which is why the Wisconsin law was struck down in court. And the Hostess thing, the Baker's union should share in some of that blame as much as the company.


I can see how you'd think something like this if you were a complete idiot moron.
 
2012-12-09 08:24:54 PM

dwrash: lennavan: dwrash: I also tend to think people get the treatment they deserve.

The domestic violence victims had it comin thread is elsewhere on the page.

Nothing to do with domestic violence.

If you drop out of highschool or college and don't work to get ahead and are satisfied working a union job on an assembly line... then you deserve to live at the poverty line.


The Just-World Fallacy
 
2012-12-10 03:10:16 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: HotWingConspiracy: joness0154: Philip Francis Queeg: joness0154: Oh you raised your voice at me? Grievance

My God, they demand to be treated with respect? You need to put those people in their place.

Respect is earned.

Your employees know that too. Notice how they don't respect you?

He really is doing a great job of illustrating the sorts of management failures that unions exist to protect the employee from.


You are all being somewhat unfair. I have spent the majority of my career managing labor relations in union shops, and the fact is that people respond poorly to the us/them mentality created by organised labor. Of course management starts yelling at labor. After spending a year or two watching a small percentage of your employees take advantage of union protections to be lazy, ineffectual, rude, or flat out corrupt, even the most well meaning of management will eventually snap and throw respect to the wind. Employees act like that, but why shouldn't they? All they hear about from their union is how management is out to get them and take away money, rights, benefits, hours, perks, etc... Then someone has a bad day, and everything each sode thinks about the other becomes true.

The union stirs the pot. The management gets stirred. Us Vs Them mentality grabs hold, and it all goes to hell with self fulfilling prophecy.

I'm not a fan of unions, but even I understand that unions existed to protect employees from certain behaviors that may or may not exist in their current working environments. I have worked places that were Union for very good reasons, and the management was truly horrible to deal with. I have worked other places that had no need for Unions, but the the Union has so indoctrinated its membership that all they can see is the opportunities for entitlement and advantage over Management that could be gained. In both cases, the Union isn't working tho protect the employee from abuse as much as it is there to keep itself in business.

Most of my employees are great, union and non union both. Its that bottom 8% that take advantage of their position as management or union that create problems for the the rest of the group.

To continually place situations in one camp or another (constantly pro/anti-union) shows a level of naivety that i find distressing. To constantly assume the behaviors of all based on isolated examples without fuly looking at the situation or circumstances is pure ignorance.

/nonsensical rant off
 
2012-12-10 05:30:45 PM
it's astounding how much bad information is in this thread.

- under Michigan's current law (that is, pre-RTW), no one can be forced to join a union, even in a "closed shop." if you work in such a place, though, you are in a bargaining unit that is represented by a union when it comes time to negotiate a contract, so you pay representation fees (to pay for lawyers and stuff). the bone of contention is that some people do not believe that that's what the representation fees are used for. as a union supporter and RTW opponent, i will admit that rarely but occasionally, this is the case.

- Right to Work (RTW) proposals in Michigan would make it so that a worker in a closed shop bargaining unit can choose not to pay representation fees. this means unions (who do the negotiating) would have fewer resources with which to negotiate with management, and in those rare cases when representation fee money is misused, less money for whatever they use it for.

- RTW introduces a huge new freerider problem. as it is, fee-payers do not pay union dues, so they are - to a small extent - freeriding. the difference is small though. after RTW, however, a worker can avoid the ENTIRE representation fee, meaning they have a MUCH larger incentive to freeride. simple economics indicates that this will lead to a lot less money in the unions' hands, which they use almost all of to negotiate. therefore, contracts that are less advantageous for workers will be negotiated - to disagree with this is to disagree with the most basic ideas behind collective action. you can't go to a Tea Party rally expecting political change AND back RTW laws without some cognitive dissonance, i don't think.
 
2012-12-10 07:00:15 PM
I work in the auto industry, having taken a job that I didn't know was UAW controlled. I found it amusing that my union steward introduced himself to me today. I've been there since May.
 
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