Tag Archives | Labor unions

Michigan GOP continues its attack on labor, will strip funding for MSU for teaching labor courses

It never ends…

Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education included language in an appropriations bill they voted out of committee last week which will strip Michigan State University of a half million dollars in annual funding if they continue to offer a training program for members of a variety of building trades unions. The legislation strips the funding if they offer any course which includes “participating with any business or union, or group of businesses or unions, in hosting, sponsoring, administering, or in any way facilitating an academy, seminar, class, course, conference, or program that provides instruction, in whole or in part, in techniques for encouraging or discouraging employees in regard to union organizing.”

The penalty for each violation of the provision would be a $500,000 reduction in a university’s state appropriation.…
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Michigan Republicans seek to make illegal union picketing more illegal

Michigan anti-union Republicans: Solving non-existent problems since 2011

Photo credit: Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog

During the 2011-2012 legislative session, House Republican Tom McMillin introduced House Bill 5024 which would impose $1,000/day fines on individuals engaging in illegal picketing in our state and $10,000/day fines for unions that sponsor or promote illegal picketing events. In other words, the picketing involved is already illegal and subject to fines, etc. McMillin just wanted to make them MORE illegal.

HB 5024 was reported out of committee but died in the full House before the second reading.

Ever hopeful that he can screw unions and union members in yet another way, McMillin reintroduced the bill as HB 4643 in April of last year.…

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Tennessee GOP threatens VW for allowing union to form so Virg Bernero invites them to Lansing

You know how Republicans are all about supporting “job creators”? It’s their reason for fighting any increases in the minimum wage, regulations that protect the environment or people, and a plethora of other things that Democrats fight FOR every day. Well, Republicans in Tennessee have made it clear that their adoration and idolization of “job creators” comes to a screeching halt the minute it benefits the workers who allow “job creators” to run their job creating businesses.

Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant is very likely to become a union shop with a vote this week and VW is cool with it. In fact, they are encouraging it.…

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BREAKING: Federal court rules that Republican law banning graduate student unions in Michigan is unconstitutional

Score one for the good guys

Today a United States District Court ruled that Republican legislation signed into law by Governor Snyder in March of 2012 is unconstitutional. The ruling says the law prohibiting Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA) from forming labor organizations was invalid because it was adopted in violation of the Michigan Constitution. The decision will open the door for GSRAs in the State of Michigan to decide if they wish to be represented by a union.

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Michigan President David Hecker released a statement saying, “This is yet another example of Governor Snyder and the Republican-controlled legislature ignoring the rules to advance their own anti-worker political ideology.”

“We’re gratified the judge ruled that the law targeting GSRAs’ rights to organize is unconstitutional.…

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GUEST POST – Oops: Public forgets to hate public employees

They think their pensions are OK, too

This guest post is by Roger Kerson, a Michigan-based media consultant for labor unions, environmental groups, and non-profit organizations. He was director of public relations at the United Auto Workers during the GM and Chrysler restructuring. As an associate of the Arlington, Virginia-based firm PRWRK, he has provided strategic counsel to the Transport Workers Union of America during bankruptcy at American Airlines and to the United Mine Workers during bankruptcy at Patriot Coal.

Aren’t you tired of all those overpaid, underworked public employees, who are bankrupting cities like Detroit with their lavish pay and pensions?…

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Michigan GOP forms special committee to continue attacks on teachers

Michigan Republicans are starting look desperate and obsessed and controlled by the Mackinac Center

It’s no secret that Michigan Republicans are hellbent on destroying unions. Teachers unions seem to be their prime targets, likely because teachers are particularly vulnerable because they are focused on educating our kids, not on political action and activism.

When Republicans rammed right to work (for less) legislation through the legislature and into law without hearings or public input in 2012, only the most anti-union types claimed it was anything less than an effort to kneecap unions and reduce their power. Using the euphemism “Freedom to Work” did nothing to mask their true intent.…

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AUDIO: My interview with Tony Trupiano about exploitation of Teacher of the Year by conservative groups

This story has legs

After my piece on the exploitation of Michigan 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year Gary Abud by anti-union groups like the Mackinac Center and StudentsFirst to promote their anti-union agenda, I was interviewed by Tony Trupiano on his Night Shift radio show about it. The segment ran Friday evening and you can listen to it after the jump.

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ACTION: Panera Bread uses Natl. Labor Relations Review Board dysfunction to exploit bakers trying to unionize


Over a year ago, Panera Bread bakers along the I-94 corridor Michigan voted to form a union. The parent company refused to recognize the union, forcing the workers to file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) demanding that the company recognize and bargain with their union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). The NLRB ruled for the workers. However, due to a decision in Noel Canning v. NLRB overturning President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB, Panera Bread has refused to comply.

Click through for more details and information about June 21st rally to support the Panera Bread bakers.

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Unsurprisingly, Michigan Republicans aren’t done crushing unions. Next up: eliminating exclusivity.

Somehow after Right to Work, they found yet another way to weaken unions: pitting them against each other

Back in the 1930s, our country was wrestling with the idea of labor unions and what rights they should be given. One way corporations, primarily the large automakers, used to keep unions week was implement “proportional representation”. In other words, workers would vote on which union would represent them and then they would be represented by that specific union. In other words, several unions could be bargaining on behalf of different employees at the same shop.

Through proportional representation, the automobile manufacturers were able to keep union members squabbling amongst themselves and forced the unions to fight for a smaller number of workers rather than cooperating for the good of all workers. It’s easy to see why “collective bargaining pluralism” was so attractive to the car makers. Fortunately, with the passage of the Wagner Act in 1935, it was sent to the rubbish bin in favor of exclusivity.

Until now. Click through for more.

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Michigan leaders weigh in on what our state should do to attract jobs (hint: it ain’t “lower taxes & bust unions”)

Wait, I thought Gov. Snyder was a businessman…

A recent study by the Michigan Economic Center asked over 3000 representatives from businesses, nonprofits, and governmental organizations what things Michigan needs to do to attract more business investment in our state. If you listen to Michigan Republicans, including our governor, their answer is “lower taxes and bust unions”.

They might wish to ask the people who actually DO business in this state what they think. “Lower taxes” isn’t even close to the top.

Follow me over the jump for details.

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