Jan 18, 2011

First order of business for House GOP is to shrink the middle class

It appears Michigan House Republicans are ignoring the wishes of new Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, and one of the first issues they plan to take up is the union busting so-called “Right to Work” law.

Rep. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, introduced House Bill 4054 on the first real session day of the 96th Legislature on Jan. 13 that would establish so-called “Right to Work” zones. Snyder said something so divisive is not part of his agenda.

The concept of RTW zones would resemble tax-advantaged enterprise zones, and in these zones, employees could decide individually whether they wanted to join or financially support a union. The concept is not new, and last session, former Sen. Nancy Cassis, R-Novi, pushed similar bills.

Republicans claim the law would do away with the requirement that workers must be in a union to be employed at a union shop. However, federal law already protects workers who don't want to join a union to get or keep their jobs, and the law gives workers the right to opt out of a union. But they must still pay union dues. RTW would give them the option of not paying dues while still enjoying the benefits of being in a union.

Unions in RTW states are required by law to defend non-dues-paying members involved in a dispute or charged with a grievance at work, but even those employees do not have to contribute dues. Making Michigan a right to work for less state does not give workers more rights, but instead it weakens unions and their ability to bargain for improved benefits and working conditions, which is the real intent of RTW. The union, by law, must represent all workers equally.

A better name for RTW is right to work for less. Workers in RTW states make an average of $5,900 less in annual salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the rate of workplace deaths is 41 percent higher in RTW states, according to the bureau, and 20 percent more workers in RTW states go without health insurance.

Passing RTW has long been a Republican goal, and in the last four years they have really made a serious push. However, they have failed to pass a state wide right to work for less law, and a threatened ballot initiative has also failed to materialize. The RTW zone seems to be a scaled down assault on the middle and working class that has been ongoing for more than 50 years.


brad said...

how are those other right to work states in the country doing? take texas for example, high wages and low cost of living and no income tax and RTW, awesome.

Communications guru said...

Glad you asked. Not so well, as I said in the post: “Workers in RTW states make an average of $5,900 less in annual salary, the rate of workplace deaths is 41 percent higher in RTW states, and 20 percent more workers in RTW states go without health insurance.”

Wages are higher, for example, in Michigan than Texas, so that “high wages” claim is a lie.

I don’t know about the rest of your claims about Texas, but they do have a $26.8 billion budget shortfall compared to Michigan’s $1.1 billon.

I’ll take Michigan over Texas any day, or season, of the week.

Not Anonymous said...

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, RTW states gained 1.5 million private sector jobs between 1999 and 2009. During that same time frame, Union states lost 1.8 million jobs.

While you're right that Governor Snyder did say that making Michigan a RTW state is not on his agenda, if this does pass the House and Senate, he'll likely sign it since he's in favor of RTW. It's not on his agenda, but it is on the agenda of the legislature, which after all, is where the laws come from.

This is another example of you skewing the facts. You mention it's not on the Governors agenda, but you fail to mention that he's in favor of it.

Comparing income levels between states is also misleading. The cost of living is different between states and even cities. It's alot more expensive to live in New York than it is to live in Alabama, Texas and other states, including Michigan. But the cost of living in Michigan is higher than it is in Texas as well.

I like how you say people aren't required to pay union dues if they don't want to, but they still have to pay for the representation. Since the representation comes from the unions, where do you think that money goes that these people that don't want to pay dues, goes?

It only makes me wonder if you really believe that people are that unsophisticated or if you are that unsophisticated.

Communications guru said...

Any proof of that? Private sector jobs? Like what, at McDonalds? Most union states are manufacturing jobs, and those are going overseas. No amount of union busting can compete with a wage of a $1.50 an hour.

How am I “skewing the facts?” Do you really think a Republican governor would veto something a Republican congress sends him that they have been lying about for years to make happen? He would not be governor long if he did that.

The cost of living might means something in large urban areas, but when you take out those, it means nothing. The cost of living in Texas and Michigan are not much different.

No, I never said “people aren't required to pay union dues if they don't want to.” I said the exact opposite because that’s what RTW is all about: kill the unions by cutting off funds but require the union to still represent people who do not pay dues. It only makes me wonder if you read what you write.

Once again, anonymous coward, I am still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

brad said...

What Illinois Democrats did last week and what Republicans have done in Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia and New Jersey, could not be have provided a clearer contrast. In Illinois, Democratic legislators and a Democratic governor pushed through a massive 67 percent personal income tax hike (and a 46 percent boost in corporate taxes), claiming an accompanying "cap" would mean no new spending. Sure.

Illinois is caught in a trap of its own making, agreeing with unions (the Democrat base) to pay exorbitant amounts of retirement and health benefits to public employees the state cannot afford. Governors in nearby states are inviting Illinois residents and businesses to move from Illinois. No doubt many will accept those invitations, taking their money and their jobs with them.

Just an interesting quick tidbit.

Communications guru said...

I knew you didn’t write this; there was actual punctuation and no misspellings. I see you plagiarized Cal Thomas.

brad said...

thats right, i dont know cal thomas, but it was from something.

anywhores, the white house and the first lady (she must now be a conservative) are working with the non-unionized bastards known as walmart now. screw them all!!!!!! http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/business/20walmart.html?smid=tw-nytimeshealth

Communications guru said...

Ah, now I know it’s you; I recognize the misspelling, lack of punctuation, complete sentences and sense.

The word plagiarizing is a big word for stealing; look it up.

The First Lady is working to promote healthy eating and reducing childhood obesity. I don’t see anything wrong with that. It has absolutely nothing to do with unions or Wal-Mart.

brad said...

stop the presses, Govt Motors plans on spending $550 million in mexico for cleaner engines, thus making around 1000 jobs in mexico. so obama is for the middle class and unions yet govt motors is going for cheap non unionized labor and in another country no less; lets hope he doesnt want to shrink the middle class right? what a guy:)

Communications guru said...

There is no such thing as “Govt (sic) Motors.”

You are correct; President Obama is for the middle class.

brad said...

sorry since the govt owns over 50% of GM its run by the govt currently. so you dont rail obama admin for allowing them to build in mexico and cost the american taxpayers and middle class jobs and income? gotcha. hypocrisy thy name is kevin.

Communications guru said...

Oh, you meant GM. The government has no say to day control of a private company, so there is no such thing as “government motors,” at least not in this country.

I’m not sure how much stock the federal government holds anymore. I do know that when GM offered stock for sale for the first time in November, it raised some $23.1 billion and the government got much of the money back. By law, the company has to wait six months to offer another stock offering. When that happens, the federal government will have made a profit; even though the loan was just about saving jobs and stopping the Bush recession from turning into the Bush depression.

I’m just amazed you can spell hypocrisy, but there is none here. President Obama has no control over a private company. I can only imagine the way teabaggers would scream about socialism if he did.

What should happen is more labor unions to raise the wages of all workers. If we killed every union in North America, we still could not, hopefully, compete for a wage of $26 a day. It appears you want to go back to the days of the only two classes were peasants and the rich. We’re getting there so you may get your wish.

brad said...

just last week it was reported, even with more IPO's GM wont be able to pay back its loan.

So GM of Detroit, MI your state is spending money in other countries when it could build the stuff in our country, but cheaper in Mexico because of NAFTA a Clinton approved process. So $550 million goes to their economy and new jobs in their economy instead of in ours. On top of that Govt Motors can dictate it, as they have in the early past because they have controlling interest. Thats how businesses work najority rules, and they got rid of wagner and put in their own guy of their choosing. It shouldnt have even been someone of their choosing as they shouldnt have been in it in the first place.

speaking of nbc GE being conservative media, GE sells NBC to comcast and the CEO of GE is now part of Obama's administration. It truly is crazy how conservative big corps are and end up working for obama admin. pure insanity.

Communications guru said...

It was, where? Again, GM is a private company. Tell me how we compete with $26 a day? NAFTA has nothing to do with it. If the rules of NAFTA were being enforced, this would not happen. Once again, there is no such thing as “Govt (sic) Motors.” Are you saying the government should not have lent the money to GM? That’s ridiculous. That was the only good thing Bush ever did.

My state? BTW, GM is a multi-national company; only the world HQ is in Detroit.

That proves my point, the media is conservative, and Obama is not and has never been a liberal.

I would really like to know what this has to do with the post.