Events, Labor, Michigan, Michigan Republicans — December 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

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women’s access to reproductive and abortion services and also a committee passed a replacement bill for the now-repealed Emergency Manager law, an anti-democratic law that disenfranchises local communities and takes away their voice in elected government.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
Friday, December 7th
Saturday, December 8th
Sunday, December 9th
Monday, December 10th

Shift Times:
Friday, Saturday & Monday:


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

Tonya Ellison 614.397.2426 or

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