Monday, November 26, 2012

Ruh-roh: Fight brewing in MI over right-to-work scam

Though large majorities of Michigan voters support workers' right to bargain collectively, state lawmakers may try to weaken that right in the next few weeks.

The Associated Press today reported the right-to-work-for-less scam could be on the agenda for the Michigan Legislature in its lame-duck session:
The majority of Michigan voters likewise had no interest in approving a ballot proposal that would have enshrined collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution and ban right-to-work laws limiting unions' ability to collect fees from nonunion workers. That provides an invitation for some Republican leaders to come forward with right-to-work legislation. But this again represents a challenge: The issue typically finds favor with Republicans but it's politically dicey in a state with such long and strong ties to labor unions. House Speaker Jase Bolger appears ready to put it on the table, but Snyder and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville say it's not on their agenda. Does "not on my agenda" mean not supporting or signing it? That's a big unknown, perhaps even to them.
Pollsters at Lake Research Partners report that's not what the voters want:
A strong majority of Michigan voters (70%) continue to support the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively over wages, benefits, and working conditions, including a majority (55%) of those who voted No on Proposal 2. Michigan voters support collective bargaining because they believe it helps provide people the good wages and benefits that can support a family and build the middle class in Michigan. 
Lake further notes that only 7 percent of people who voted against the right-to-work ban did so because they oppose collective bargaining rights:
The most common reason for voting against Proposal 2 was that voters were convinced not to change the constitution.
Wouldn't it be nice if Michigan lawmakers just did what the voters want them to, which is to create jobs and improve education?