Good for him. I seem to recall just a few short weeks ago that many thought the conservative ideal was dead. The only thing that’s dead is the old GOP machine model. The conservative ideal is live and well. For a worker-friendly state like Michigan to do this sends a huge message that liberals and the union goons better get of their high horse and realize none of us are going to allow leftist wolves to devour this nation.

Another sweet little aside==> Snyder signed the bill at the George W. Romney building at the state capitol. Heh.

Via the Washington Post.

At a news conference at the George W. Romney Building steps away from the state Capitol, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced that he’d signed the contentious right-to-work measures that have sparked protests in the state.

Before dozens of reporters assembled inside a conference room on the building’s second floor, Snyder defended his move as one that would lead to ”more jobs coming to Michigan.”
The two bills bar unions from making contracts that require employees to pay labor dues. One bill dealt with public sector unions, exempting firefighters and police officers. The other covered the private sector.

“I view this as simply trying to get this issue behind us,” Snyder said of his decision to sign the measures the day they were passed. “And I recognize that people are going to be upset. There’ll be a continuation. But hopefully what’s really going to transpire over time is you’re going to see workers making a choice and you’ll see unions being held more accountable and responsive.”

Here’s Krauthammer’s view of the situation: Krauthammer: Right-To-Work “An Adjustment To Reality”

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9 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Shifra says:

    When I was a staff psychologist at a Brooklyn hospital, I was a member of SEIU. Not my choice. All the psychologists were automatically part of the union.

    What did I get out of it? Nothing. The union collected dues, straight from our paychecks. And at the mandatory meetings, we were told to how to vote: I had a ballot shoved into my hand, and a thug barked at me, “Check THIS box and sign it. Now!” Ah, democracy at work.

    Once, the union threatened a strike, and I found a note on my car in the staff parking lot: There was a picture of a skull and crossbones, and it said: “If you dare cross the picket line, we know where you live. And we WILL come after you.”

    I am delighted that the Michigan unions have lost power. I know, first hand, how vicious and dangerous they can be.

  2. jimbo says:

    I am no fan of unions. In my first job as a grocery bagger, I had to belong to the Retail Clerks union. Like Shifra, my dues bought me no benefit but at least nobody threatened me with bodily harm. I understand that unions have their benefits because companies used to exploit their employees, and some would still do that. However, unions got out of control, exacting high wages and benefits for simple jobs, silly work rules that cost time and money, and (of course) providing a cash stream for the Democrat party.

    I am genuinely curious as to how things would work in a company where union members are side by side with non-members. I would think that members should derive some benefit from their membership, otherwise why pay dues? Would they get a higher wage? More holidays? More job security? Who gets laid off first? Can somebody tell me about a company that has such a situation?

  3. Pat_S says:

    Unions came into being because work conditions were deplorable. Employers didn’t treat people right and unions were the consequence. Then unions overreached and used intimidation and thuggery to expand their power at the expense of employers. Now unions are reaping the consequences of not doing the right thing. In the middle of it all is the individual worker who in return for an honest day’s labor is entitled by human decency to a safe workplace, a living wage and regard for his humanity. If employers do the right thing, there’s no need for unions.

    My first job was in an insurance company that had just been bought out by another company. Many people would be losing their jobs. This was in the early 60’s before the Age Discrimination Employment Act was passed. The halls were filled with older workers in tears. In those days the retirement benefits were fairly flat until the later years of employment. The older workers were let go because it saved the employer from paying for their retirement. Again because there were no age discrimination laws, these people were not likely to get a good paying job again or perhaps a job at all.

    I have also worked in a company that let people go to improve the bottom line for a quarterly report. It was not a matter of the company going out of business. A single mom, a man who had just returned from medical leave for a heart attack, too bad, you’re gone. The company also let go the janitor and the employees had to clean up the place. According to one of the managers, why not since we were the one’s who made it dirty. We later found out at the end of that year management threw itself a lavish party and received bonuses for doing such a great job.

    Employees in many jobs are expected to work “casual” overtime, i.e., long hours without pay. It’s supposed to show ambition and devotion to the company’s goals. Conservatives generally applaud such “dedication”. It’s exploitation.

    Family life? Forget it. Don’t get me started on the lack of maternity leave and the brutality of warehousing infants in day care.

    Workers are human beings not machines. Historically employers squealed over every advancement in improving the work place. They couldn’t afford a five day week, an 8-hr day, sick days, etc. If we wish to continue with an economic system that offers the opportunity for a few to get very rich then it has to be worth it for the many as well. I absolutely support private enterprise. I also support the dignity of humankind. Never forget unions came about because employers treated their workers badly.

  4. LJZumpano says:

    OK, I am a TEAMSTER family member, and yes, while it is probably one of the most corrupt of unions, it has also provided benefits for my family. The head of my husband’s local was part of a reform movement which sort to rid the Brotherhood of the thugs and hooligans who controlled it. At one point the federal government took control of the union. I know it’s bad. very bad, and yet I can not ignore the times when the union did look out for the membership. Like all big groups, unions have a tendency to forget why they exist and who they are supposed to represent. The voice of “the little guy” gets lost in the battle of the fat cat union leaders and the bosses. It is my hope that the move toward right to work will convince union members to stand up and demand their union leadership be responsive to them. I hope more decent folks will agree to run for union leadership positions and genuine reforms result. A union that wants dues from it’s members needs to be held accountable, and should be able to justify why a worker is better off as part of the organization.
    When scandal hit the Catholic Church, many cut back on their weekly donations to demonstrate how they were unhappy with what had happened. The hierarchy took notice, and if they weren’t interested in making drastic changes before, the loss of revenue was a potent reminder that they had to. So let it be with unions. If the members are content, they will pay dues. If they are not, well, money talks.

    • jimbo says:

      All of you are making great points and I agree. I have not been a union member since 1971 when I left the retail world. I have firsthand experience with the corporate philosophy of working unpaid overtime (because one is on a “salary”), and I have generally avoided it since I rarely saw anybody improve their lot in life by becoming a slave for the company. In that regard, unions were a great thing. As was previously pointed out the unions then forgot why they came to be. They devolved into a cash conduit for one political party and means to line the pockets of the union leaders.

      I’m still curious as to how union and non-union employees would coexist in the same workplace. (I’m not talking about the hourly factory workers and the salaried office people…I mean two assembly line workers, only one of whom is a union member.)

      • Pat_S says:

        That’s what I’ve been wondering…what is life going to be like for the ones who choose not to pay dues. Not a healthy one I’m guessing.

        • LJZumpano says:

          By the same token, we are all Amerians. Some of us pay taxes, try to understand the issues and take the vote very seriously, and some of don’t. The same with “workers’, as individuals we have to accept that some will be responsible and others will be happy to let others pay for what we all get.

  5. FrankRemley says:

    Try working a non-union mine during a UMWA strike sometime. I did that once. I worked at a non-union surface mine and the UMWA called their members out on strike. For some reason the local UMWA leadership decided to send their members around to all the non-union mines in the area and block the entrances. I don’t know what they were trying to accomplish. These miners might have been non-union but they weren’t taking away jobs from any union member. They had just as much right to work as the union miners.

    Anyway, these four union thugs showed up at the surface mine where I worked carrying the usual placards and posters about scabs and unfair labor practices. They then blocked the road which served as the mine entrance. Fortunately, the entire shift had already reported for work about an hour earlier but unfortunately the strikers could still prevent trucks from entering the mine and picking up their loads of coal. The mine supervisor then called everyone down from the hill (our name for the work area) to the entrance. I guess there were around 15 of us facing the four guys who were blocking the road entrance to the mine.

    The supervisor told the UMWA guys to get the hell off the property immediately and if they didn’t we were going to put them off. All of a sudden they got all apologetic and friendly like (probably because they saw they were out-numbered about four to one). They said that it was their union leaders who had forced them to show up and block the mine. They didn’t have anything against us. They were only following union orders. Then they departed peacefully and never returned. As for myself I was scared for a few minutes. We had some rough boys working in that mine who wouldn’t hesitate to throw down with the fisticuffs and there was always the possibility that the UMWA strikers were carrying firearms or other weapons so there could have been people on either side get seriously hurt in case of a rumble.

    Here’s another story from that same UMWA strike. The owner of another large non-union mining company hired members of a motorcycle gang to ride shotgun on his coal trucks through union picket lines. He even armed them with pistols. When asked by the media why he was doing this the owner said, “I’m hiring thugs to fight thugs.”

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