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View Diary: Michigan Gov. Snyder signs anti-union bills into law (178 comments)

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  •  For that to occur we need good Dems to run (10+ / 0-)

    And right now I don't see one.  We need to start now with a better Dem party, better candidates and better ideas.  Where are they?
    I've lived in Michigan for 59 years, been a Democrat for all of it.  I'm not surprised by this vote or Snyder signing the bill into law, and no one else should be, either.  
    When Snyder first showed up on the scene everyone was going on and on:  He's so different, a different kind of Republican, a Nerd... blah, blah, blah.  My only reply to that?  Rick Snyder is a JAR... Just Another Republican.  The man ran Gateway into the ground, for Christ's sake.  The last thing we needed in Michigan politics was a freaking businessman, but that's what we got.  Now look where we are.
    It's time for the Democratic party in Michigan to start exposing this guy for what he is:  Mitt Romney with white hair.  You don't want a businessman to be running your city, county, state or nation.  You want businessmen to be working for the person running the show.  Why?  So they can consistently remind the businessmen that government is not meant to be a freaking profit center.  Government is supposed to serve the people that elect it, to help them... not drain them of their last penny and then kick them to the curb.
    Snyder's nothing more than a JAR, and he will be re-elected unless Democrats in Michigan can find someone to run against him.  They don't, then we'll have Snyder for 4 more years.  It'll happen.  The rural vote is strong (and apparently entrenched in Republithink).  Change that vote by a few points and Snyder is out.
    Sorry for the rant... I'm furious.  It's just my 2 cents.

    "Please don't dominate the rap Jack, if you got nothing new to say." - Robert Hunter

    by WSComn on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 04:00:10 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Curious about something... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soros

      I am not saying it will happen, BUT, what if the enactment of right to work and other "business friendly" legislation actually attracts more jobs to Michigan and more people are put back to work? Maybe it won't, but what if it does?

      It is entirely possible that this may never happen, and things could just get worse. But, what if they do get better? Would it be fair then to perhaps contemplate the possibility that maybe the right to work and pro-business legislative climate might have actually helped the people by creating a more business friendly environment that caused more jobs to be created?

      Again, I am an independent, so, I want things to improve and I could not care less what party the people whom improve my economy come from, as long as they get the job done! :)

      George

      •  So a low paying job with no benefits is better (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WSComn

        than unionized wages...is that what you are saying?  Just how low would you suggest is okay?  With the current Corporatist mindset, pro-business  means screw the worker.  

        You did note the report concerning the highest level of Corporate profits lately...right?  Did you also note that as Corporate profits rose, wages and benefits have declined?!

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 08:50:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you from mars? (0+ / 0-)

          Clearly, I have no idea where you ever came up with this rubbish:

          "So a low paying job with no benefits is better than unionized wages...is that what you are saying?"

          There are two reasons that you might make such a statement. One you are lacking in intelligence and therefore were unable to comprehend the full composite of the idea I was trying to proffer, or two, you are quite intelligent and are simply intending to purposefully ignore what the meaning was so you could intentionally mislead people about my statements.

          To clarify what I said (in case you are just lacking intelligence instead of being intelligent and purposefully ignoring what I said): No, I did not say that, you did.

          I said nothing of the sort, and I presume you are smart enough to realize that. Moreover, I am sure that others on this site are smart enough to see what I mean, even if you were not.

          Obviously my "what if" is presupposing that the improved business climate might impel companies to move to Michigan and create jobs where there were none before. We both know that less expensive labor costs are going to attract new business to move to Michigan. There is no MBA required to realize that.

          Are you going to argue that being unemployed is better than  having a low paying job with no benefits?

          Not to mention, I do not believe that the only jobs created by new business coming to Michigan would be low paying or lacking benefits.

          Lets take health care for example: Why would any employer not wish their employees to have health benefits? Who pays for them is a different issue, but, without health benefits employees get sick, call out sick on an unplanned basis leaving jobs undone, become inefficient, etc... No business wants that kind of climate and you know it.

          Moreover, the idea that you are merely giving people "a choice to join a union or not" in no way means that all jobs in Michigan will become low paying with no benefits. And what wreaks most notably is that its obvious you realize that.

          No body is saying that unions should not exist or workers should not bargain collectively, well, unless that is what you are saying, but it is not what I said.

          I am only saying two things:

          1) It makes sense to allow people to choose to not join a union if they feel they can get a better deal themselves negotiating directly. After all, if they fail to get a better deal, you will not be able to stop them from wanting to join the union anyway.

          Do you really think a non-union member would stand desirous of persistently avoiding membership in a union when they see their coworkers that are union members making more money or receiving greater benefits than they do for the same job?

          If you are suggesting that non-union members will be paid less and given less benefits than union members, and one allows both scenarios to exist at a company (granted laws might need changing for that too), then obviously people will not want to leave a union anyway.

          This is logic, not emotion. Why don't you actually think about what is being said here, eh?

          2) The issue concerning political contributions is very simply, merely limit the unions to negotiating and dealing with companies and then that problem goes away. The same people whom join a union can also form and donate to a separate political action committee that will support their political beliefs. Problem solved.

          I would not wish to squelch the political speech of anyone because they are in a union, merely I do not want the unions to be able to collect money from members and force them to pay for political contributions they disagree with, that's all.

          But, as you can see above, that is a small issue that can very easily be resolved.

          Indeed, what people like myself that are neither "anti-union" nor "anti-worker" are concerned about, is simply making sure that people have more freedom vice less freedom. That, ostensibly speaking, is always the better scenario to be operating under and is the very underpinning of the founding of our country.

          George

          •  Me thinks you protest too much! I will not even (0+ / 0-)

            address the insults you intended...it is simply a tactic that is unbecoming an "intelligent" person; it is, however, a tactic just about about every conservative I know uses.  At Daily Kos, commenters let their arguments persuade.  And for someone who claims neutrality on unions, you certainly have the Corporatist spin and propaganda down pat!

            Statistic prove that workers in "Right-to-Work-for-less" states do NOT enjoy the wages and benefits that workers in other states enjoy.

            a. Workers in states with “Right to Work” law average $5,538 a year less than workers in states without these laws.  

            b. Workplace deaths are 52.9% higher in states with Right-to-Work-for-less laws.

            c. Union members earn 28% more per week than nonunion workers.

            d. 78% of private sector union workers have medical insurance through their jobs; 51 percent of nonunion workers do.

            e. 77% of private sector union workers have a guaranteed defined benefit retirement plan through their jobs while only 20%of nonunion workers do.

            f. 2.9 % of union workers are uninsured compared to 14.2% of nonunion workers.

            See the chart based on government stats (the Fed): "Corporations made a record $824 billion in profits last year...In the third quarter of this year, 'corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago.' Corporations are currently making more as a percentage of the economy than they ever have since such records were kept. But at the same time, wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low, as this chart shows."http://thinkprogress.org/...

            Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

            by ranton on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:47:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hang on a second... (0+ / 0-)

              Lets presume for the moment that your statistics are correct (I do reserve the right to do my own research, and I will), but for now, lets presume they are correct and union members make more money than non-union members, and they have better benefits.

              If by having a union you are forcing someone at law to join and pay dues, then its wrong. Anything that takes away a freedom I have is bad, and I certainly do not wish to be forced to sell my freedom. Perhaps it is worth more to me than the money. I ought to get to make that choice. But having the freedom to make that choice should not stop you or anyone else from forming and joining a union. I want you to be free too, just as I am, to have the same choices I have too. And if I choose to not join and not pay to be a member of the union, I will gladly agree to realize that the union is not going to support me or take care of me, I'll do it on my own, thank you very much. However, if I do join the union, then I am fine to pay the dues as I have elected to make that choice then because I see value in it for me.

              Moreover, I have seen how some unions treat their management, and their company's customers too; maybe I do not want to be a part of such a beligerant mechanism (at least when I worked with the Communications Workers of America and PacBell I saw that, granted, I was a consultant, so not an employee at all). I willing to suggest that this is just one single example and may well not at all be representative of the greater aggregate of unions, but, at PacBell I would never have wanted to join their union.

              I watched as a union steward told another union employee at PacBell to stop working until management arrived because the union steward had a grievance (it was NOT safety related). The worker told the union steward that if he did that, emergency communications lines for the county would probably go down entirely and not get fixed until the next day. The union steward said, "whatever - you are to stop working on that now." I do not think that I, with good conscious could obey such a directive. Even if that same union has worked to make sure he has a helmet and eye goggles and safe tools to use, it doesn't justify putting emergency communications to hosptials and firehouses at risk.

              It just is not all about the money and benefits, there are many other issues at play as to why someone might want or not want to join a union. Sure, dues are a component, but there are other reasons too.

              No matter how much more improved a situation maybe for any group of workers, it should not be a justification for limiting any individual from making their own choices, even if those choices are to their own personal detriment. Because once you get to force me to join a union and pay the dues, then I am being forced to sell my freedom, something that I nor you nor anyone should ever be forced to do. NEVER.

              The more interesting question is why are unions not fighting to be able to cut loose supporting the "free loaders" as you put it, instead of fighting right to work laws?

              Lets consider this: Lets say I am allowed to not join a union at a company that has a union, and I do the same job that union members do.

              Perhaps I will conclude that the fact that the company's willingness to offer to pay me a bonus while working during a strike is a better financial choice for me than being a member of the union and being on strike. And if it is not, then I ought to get the choice to make that mistake, even to my own detriment. Its my life to run, not the unions to run.

              People need to be empowered to be able to make their own choices.

              No union would want me to join if I didn't want too anyway, it would not help them at all. If I felt forced to join and pay against my will, then maybe I'd just attend all the union functions and head into work during a strike and tell management what was planned. And why not? I didn't want to be a member, but I was forced, so, I'll take advantage to the greatest benefit I can get for me then. I mean after all, isn't that what a union does when it's members say we get to force you to be a member and pay because it benefits us having better pay?

              Bear in mind, I am not saying I'd never join a union or that they are all bad, not at all. I am just saying that the value in being able to make that choice for myself is significant to me, worth more to me than any difference in pay I might get.

              I just think you need to consider a little about why people might want to make these choices and realize that it might not be entirely monitary, or political (those were just two items I picked to speak out on initially, but there are other reasons obviously too). Maybe I just think that there are too many stupid people in the union and collectively they will force me to subject myself to bad choices. I am sure there were people in the Baker's union at Hostess that didn't want to go on strike, yet now, everyone is out of a job there, union and non-union employees.

              It is just not as simple as someone wanting to be a freeloader or not, there are an enumerate of other non-monitary and non-benefit related issues that might well impell someone to be desirous of not joining.

              George

          •  When you join a union you do NOT have to pay the (0+ / 0-)

            part of your dues that go for political action...people can request a refund.  That lie is used by anti-union forces to bolster their position.  

            Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

            by ranton on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:53:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Interesting indeed (0+ / 0-)

              I certainly have no interest whatsoever to assert incorrect facts, so of course, I am interested to understand a few things about your comments (if you are aware).

              1) Do people need to give a reason why they disagree or can they just request a full refund of dues spent on political actions for a particular year?
              2) Is that refund provided quickly?
              3) How can someone be assured there is no reprisal if they make that request?
              4) Is this a right that union members have in every union in every state that does political action activities?

              Again, I am not trying to be skeptical, I truly am curious (as clearly, I never knew this before as evidenced by my prior statements).

              I feel that having to request a refund and draw attention to yourself as an "unwilling contributor" so to speak, should not have to occur or be burdened upon any union member.

              Now, that being said, if each union member is asked to sign a special political contribution form that authorizes the union to automate the deduction of political contributions from their cheque, I take no issue with that at all. They agree, they contribute, its a proactive action on their part, the know about it, so be it - contribute away!!

              I also want to point out that I'd NEVER want to stand in the way of anyone in a union from having their money spent on political speech they believe in, regardless of if I agree with it or not. I believe very strongly in people have choices, real, meaningful choices. Including the right to choose to support who and what they politically believe in.

              I have made no reference to any union, contribution, or anything, that I disagree with that any union did. I just believe in the members having to take a more proactive, assertive action for it occur. That's all. If they do, great!

              Moreover, there are things that the unions do lobby for that I do not disagree with. I am not a wholesale hater of unions, I just want people to be able to easily choose and not be reprised against for what they choose.

              I want to be clear, I am not against anyone speaking out politically (with contributions to pay for political speech), regardless of if I agree or not with that speech.

              I appreciate your remarks, and will do some more of my own research on that. But, again, I do think it ought to be a situation where a proactive, assertive action needs to be made to contribute not one that is required to get a refund.

              George

      •  Actually, UAW contracts were bringing MI back (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terminus

        economically.  Snyder was just lucky enough to be elected by the Republicans in 2010.  We had nowhere to go but up economically and, in a sense, Snyder can claim his Freedom to Freeload bill helped turn around the economy even though the UAW negotiated about 10,000 new jobs in Michigan auto plants in 2011--which are currently being implemented.

        This has a ripple effect with suppliers in and around the state.  It also improves all the other businesses in the state from restaurants to customer service to tourism.  That is why Michigan's unemployment rate has been dropping.

        •  It is possible... (0+ / 0-)

          It is possible that what you suggest is true (I have not studied the facts enough to know one way or the other, so I will presume you are correct for the moment).

          I understand the freeloader argument, and I agree, that the unions need to be unbound from having to support or deal with non-members. To require them to do so is as wrong as requiring people to join and pay.

          The best way ahead is to make a union like any other thing in life, if you are not a dues paying member then you do not gain the benefits of what the union can offer. Then you give people the ability to choose to join or not.

          But, what seems to be rather surprising is that unions do not espouse this idea. Why if you gave people the freedom to join or not and the freedom to get service or not, they would make their own choice.

          I have the freedom to choose to cut my own grass or to hire a lawn boy. Despite having the freedom to choose to do this menial labor myself, I also have the freedom to choose that for a small amount of money its not worth my time or that the lawn boy will do a better job than I would anyway, or even, he can buy chemicals and things in bulk and do it cheaper than I can.

          That said, no matter how many jobs the unions bring to Michigan, and no matter how good the effect is on the overall economy in Michigan, giving people more of a choice (to join a union or not, and ALSO, to loose representation if they choose not too) is always better than having less freedoms and less choices.

          George

    •  what district are you in? (0+ / 0-)

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