In a Monday night editorial published in today’s paper, we also learn that if Big Labor hadn’t attempted a serious overreach in November, it’s likely that none of this would have happened (bolds are mine):
Worker Liberation in Michigan
Another state gives individuals the right not to join a union.
The economic policy drift in Washington is antigrowth, but here and there in the states are glimmers of hope and change. The best news of late is in Michigan, which is poised this week to pass a landmark right-to-work law.
… Republicans and Governor Rick Snyder … have the moral and policy high ground. Union activists want voters to believe that right-to-work laws deny union organizing rights, or ban collective bargaining. President Obama peddled this distortion on Monday in Redford, Michigan, claiming that “what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions.”
Right to work does no such thing. It empowers individual workers. As allowed under the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, right to work merely lets individual workers choose for themselves if they want to join a union. The laws prevent closed union shops, which coerce individual workers to join unions and to pay union dues. A teacher who opts out under right to work, for example, could save several hundred dollars in annual union dues that go to political causes he may not even believe in.
Unions loathe right to work because they know that many workers would rather not join a union. Americans have seen what happened to the auto and steel industries, the Post Office and so many others. Unions can extract monopoly wages and benefits for a time from a profitable industry, but often at the cost of making that industry less competitive and eventually at the cost of union jobs. Thus did Teamster work rules—cake and bread had to be delivered in separate trucks—cost the bakery workers their jobs at Hostess. Right to work gives workers a choice.
… Because the final right-to-work bill will contain an appropriations rider, under Michigan law unions won’t be able to overturn it by referendum, as they did to Ohio’s collective-bargaining reforms in 2011. Unions can still try to overturn right to work with a constitutional amendment, but that’s a harder slog. The union attempt in November to enshrine collective bargaining in the state constitution, which won only 42% of the vote, broke a longstanding tacit truce in Michigan politics on union rules and prompted Republicans to pass right to work.
Let’s see now. Osama bin Laden is dead. GM is alive — and in no small part because of its blank-check resuscitation, its Treasury-granted, bankruptcy law-twisting exemption from federal income taxes, and a prevailing belief that Uncle Sam can somehow pick winners and losers better than the private sector, our government is on life support.
Oh, and the gullibly emboldened labor movement in Michigan may have dealt their brothers and sisters throughout the nation a fatal blow to the closed shop.