For everyone grieving as I am tonight regarding Michigan, it's important to note that this is not new.  In the 1950's Republicans in rust belt states also tried to pass right to work--the most famous case being Ohio in 1957.  This was OHIO in the 1950's manufacturing boom, and the GOP had the balls to pass something like that.  Ohioans used their right to referendum and repealed the legislation by about the same margin as they did SB5 more than half a century later.

More over the jump

Indiana wasn't as lucky.  They didn't have (and still don't have) referenda. They got right to work in 1957 as well... passed in the cover of night during a lame duck, just like this one.  There were massive protests at the statehouse, just like this one.  They managed to repeal it 7 years later when LBJ swept the country and the Indy statehouse.  We have easier options than they did.

I don't believe that we can wait that long for a repeal, or that even repeal will happen.  Once something like this gets locked in, it's very hard to shake off 'cos business digs in its heels.  I'm hopeful that it will be repealed.  I'm just trying to say that this shit has happened before, even during the height of the union movement... Hell, the whole concept of "right to work" was passed in the Taft Hartley act during a time when labor was king!  And the bill was from a Republican from the same labor heavy Ohio.

It is important to note that over the course of labor's history, it lost way more times than it won... often brutally.  The "good times" for labor post-FDR were a brief respite between some very horrible times.  Labor usually lost and lost badly:

Ford's strong opinions on benevolent labor relations—he increased his workers' minimum wage from $2.83 per 9-hour day to $5.00 per 8-hour day in 1914 while establishing some living style requirements of decency—did not extend to acceptance of the 1935 Wagner Act establishing trade union rights. He refused to join Chrysler and General Motors in their post-strike agreements with the United  Automobile Workers Union (UAW), instead using company enforcers and spies to discourage unionization in his plant. The 1937 "Battle of the Overpass" in which the enforcers attacked and severely injured canvassing union representatives marked a historic moment in labor history. Ford was censured by the National Labor Relations Board despite their denials. In 1941, Ford Motor Company finalized a contract with the UAW.
That was a win, but it came at a bloody price over 5 years, even during FDR's heyday!  Going back before FDR, it wasn't so rosy, either...

I do think there are some brighter times ahead... maybe way farther ahead, but still ahead... Labor is adapting to the new situations such as Wal Mart and the fast food strikes in New York City.  As conditoins worsen for most Americans, some of them are saying, "Enough!!"  It will take a long time for them to awaken from their submission and demand a better life, but the seeds of it start to be sprouting... just like they did in the gilded age.  As you well know, this is our gilded age.

We must remain vigilant and keep fighting and keep voting.  The only way to stop this stuff is to vote...

Get some rest, fellow travelers.  They tried to bust the UAW before.  We got the better of them with the bailout that time, but we won't get lucky every time.  I'm hopeful something good might come out of this.  Maybe...

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