Career Calling

December 8, 2012

The Next Battleground: Michigan

Filed under: Commentary — claycerny @ 2:07 am
Tags: , , ,

Michigan’s governor and Republican state legislature have followed the Wisconsin model in trying to make the state “right to work.”  They are fast-tracking legislature, ignoring large protests in the capital city Lansing.  Governor Snyder and his allies claim that they need this law to be competitive with Indiana, which has similar anti-union work rules.

As John Nichols points out in The Nation, if this anti-union action can happen in Michigan, where are workers safe?  Nichols quotes a union official who says that wages are $1,500 lower in right to work states.  Too many people have forgotten how unions led the way to better wages, benefits, and security.  Here in Chicago, our teachers union showed that a united group could win the day.  We’ll see what happens in Michigan now, and what happens in two years when the governor and legislature have to go before the people.  I don’t simply blame the politicians.  They were elected.  We who support union rights need to make a better case – and get to the polls.

Travis Waldron of Think Progress breaks down what is happening in Michigan and the consequences for working people.  Beyond the immediate set back, one positive I see is a new vitality in the labor movement.  Labor is fighting for its life.  The politicians are only doing the bidding of masters like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch, rich men hungry for a few (billion) dollars more.  It may take a while, but labor will triumph, and the bigger winner will be democracy in America.

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