Michigan: When Plutocrats Rule

It’s time for ACTION!

I have a piece up today at the AFL-CIO NOW blog that discusses the travesty that happened at the state capitol yesterday. I wanted to expand on a couple of things that I discussed there. Mainly, that the Republicans, including Governor Rick Snyder are complete and utter hypocrites on the topic of unions and union-crushing Right to Work for Less (RTWFL) laws.

In the piece I said this:

By the end of the day, both the Senate and the House vacated existing “placeholder” bills, dropped in new RTWFL language and passed a total of three bills—two in the Senate and another in the House. No committee hearings. No floor debate. The Democrats could do virtually nothing as the Republicans steamrolled the bills through without any formal public input whatsoever. {…}

One of the biggest ironies — or, perhaps, hypocrisies — of yesterday’s action is the language used by Gov. Snyder and Republicans as they justified what they did. They referred repeatedly to “choice” and “freedom.” However, on the very same day, the House passed incredibly regressive anti-Choice legislation limiting women’s access to reproductive and abortion services and also a committee passed a replacement bill for the now-repealed Emergency Manager law, an anti-democratic law that disenfranchises local communities and takes away their voice in elected government. These are odd ways to celebrate “choice” and “freedom.”

Michiganders are tough and resilient. It’s only through highly gerrymandered state House and Senate districts that Republicans are able to have such complete control over our state legislature. Michigan elected President Barack Obama by a 10-point margin last month and sent Democrat Debbie Stabenow back to the U.S. Senate by an even wider margin. In 2014 and beyond, those who betrayed Michigan’s labor legacy are sure to pay the price politically. What is done can be undone and so it shall be.

It’s not just this. Republicans also put a $1,000,000 appropriation into their bills that prevents a citizen referendum on the new law once it’s passed. So, not only did Michiganders not have any input into the process before the Republicans steamrolled it through, there will be no input afterwards either.

For Snyder and the rest to claim that this is somehow better for unions is a lie. Further, for them to say that this is about choice is ludicrous. The fact is this: their intent is to make unions die in Michigan. If they accomplish this, Democrats will be hamstrung without the support of one of their biggest constituencies. Workers in Michigan already have a choice. Only about 17% of the workforce works in a union shop. There are plenty of opportunities to find employment elsewhere, more than there are where unions help workers obtain better pay, benefits and working conditions. If you take a good job at a union shop, you have benefited from the union the first minute you start working there because you found yourself a job with higher pay and better benefits. Period.

This initiative has been in the works for a long time. Republicans and their Big Business benefactors have been waiting patiently for the day when they could make this happen.

It’s time to fight back. There is still time because the final votes to pass this legislation isn’t until next week.

First, you should sign my petition HERE.

Then, consider participating in one of the AFL-CIO’s phonebanks. Here is the information on how you can get involved:

Join us in the Fight against Right-to-Work for Less!

What: Phone Banking!
Where: Michigan AFL-CIO – 419 S. Washington Square, Lansing, MI 48910
When:
Friday, December 7th
Saturday, December 8th
Sunday, December 9th
Monday, December 10th

Shift Times:
Friday, Saturday & Monday:
10:00am-1:00pm1:00pm-4:00pm4:00pm-7:00pm

Sunday:2:00pm-4:30pm4:30pm-7:00pm

Please come join the fight and stop the Republican effort to bust Michigan unions!

Contact:
Tonya Ellison 614.397.2426 or tellison@aflcio.org

[Graphic credit: AFL-CIO NOW blog, used with permission]

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  • blue tiger

    Doesn’t it make you wonder if there wasn’t some kind of bonous in this from ALEC or the Mackinac Center for passing this legislation? Like maybe the payout would make all the hatred they are going to receive worthwhile?

  • disgusted

    There is a new horror film being made in Michigan. It is called Revenge of the Nerd. The script was written by The American Legislative Exchange Council and is being funded by the Koch Brothers, the DeVoss family and various other businesses. The main players are our illustrious Governor Snyder along with his merry band of republican thieves. They will be in need of many extras (slaves). The pay will not be good, no benefits, working conditions poor, but whoo hoo, you will be employed. This movie will be playing indefinitely because they will be fixing it so it cannot be rewound. I have told my children to not watch it and as soon as possible leave this great state because it will not be great for too much longer. It is really sad that no citizens had a say in the making of this movie.
    There will also be a trailer of the taking away of women’s rights.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      PAGING PHOTOSHOP MASTERS!!! MOVIE POSTER MOCK-UP NEEDED IN AISLE 2!!! STAT!

  • Pingback: The National Memo » 5 Ways ‘Right To Work’ (For Less) Laws Crush The Middle Class

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  • http://www.perfecthindsite.com/chat.html Bobfr
    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Thank you brother. Most appreciated.

      • http://www.perfecthindsite.com/chat.html Bobfr

        The least I could do given ALL you do for our fellow sisters and brothers in MI!!!

        #FORWARD

  • http://twitter.com/LauraLeeAuthor Laura Lee

    There is something here that makes me a bit less optimistic, you wrote: “It’s only through highly
    gerrymandered state House and Senate districts that Republicans are able
    to have such complete control over our state legislature. Michigan
    elected President Barack Obama by a 10-point margin last month and sent
    Democrat Debbie Stabenow back to the U.S. Senate by an even wider
    margin. In 2014 and beyond, those who betrayed Michigan’s labor legacy
    are sure to pay the price politically. What is done can be undone and so
    it shall be.”

    If Gerrymandering allows a party to be in control that the majority of the electors do not support, how will they pay the price politically?

    I have read a number of articles on this gerrymandering phenomenon, but I haven’t found any that propose a workable solution. I support actual democracy, and I would love to see some good minds trying to figure out how to improve the system so it best does what it is supposed to– represent the will of the people.

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