December 11 2012
This Just In: The Michigan House has just approved a right-to-work bill dealing with public sector unions that makes the Wolverine state the 24th right-to-work state in the nation.
As Hadley pointed out in an earlier post, Michigan is strong union territory. This makes the victory for right-to-work forces there particularly significant.
Fox News reports:
The final votes on the House side Tuesday deliver a blow to the labor movement in the heart of the U.S. auto industry. The measures ban unions from demanding dues from workers.
One bill dealt with public sector workers, the other with government employees. Both measures cleared the Senate last week, and are expected to be signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder as early as Wednesday.
I heard Alan Colmes, a Fox house liberal, explain the other night why forcing non-union members to pay union dues is justifiable: they still get benefits for which the unions bargain, according to Colmes.
I suppose this is the common position among union supporters. But it is seriously flawed: for example, if you think that the union is making such unrealistic demands that the solvency of your company or indeed your state is threatened, you might understandably not want to be required by law to pay union dues. Ditto the family that has a recent college graduate who can’t get a job because unions have made hiring so expensive.
There is also the little matter of coercion—but arguing against coercion is unlikely to convince a rapacious union boss.
It should also be noted that threats of violence from union members were not the best public relations.