Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Billionaires double down in Michigan, elsewhere, to attack unions

Union membership in Michigan is actually up slightly (by 4,000 members) since billionaire-backed politicians forced right-to-work through the Legislature. So the billionaire-backed front groups are at it again this week.

Michigan teachers can only withdraw from the union in August. And so the billionaire-backed think tank, the Mackinac Institute, launched a campaign to persuade teachers to leave the Michigan Education Association.

(There's a reason, by the way, Charles and David Koch and their billionaire friends use front groups. If the Kochs or the Waltons offered you 'workplace freedom,' you'd probably figure out immediately that 'freedom' is just another word for lower pay, fewer rights and a more dangerous workplace.)

Two billionaire-backed front groups are sponsoring 'National Employee Freedom Week, this week. They are the Association of American Educators (AAE) and the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI), both linked to the Kochs, the Waltons, the DeVoses and most of the other billionaires who want to turn America into a feudal serfdom.

eclectablog, the must-read blog for Michigan workers, tells us they're largely failing:
The good news is that these corporate front groups are largely failing in their mission to push an extreme anti-worker agenda and dismantle labor unions or anything else that gets in the way of unchecked corporate greed. National Employee Freedom Week is largely unknown, though they are clearly well-funded with a slick website and an enticing “please become a freeloader” messaging splashed across multiple webpages. 
Here in Michigan, the MEA is pushing back. They have created a website — — to inform educators about the lies and misinformation being spread by the Mackinac Center.
eclectablog warns readers that anti-union 'reporting' by the news media is the result of Koch-fueled propaganda.
This isn’t true journalism. This is propaganda being disseminated as journalism and the groups that give voice to this propaganda should be ashamed. This includes Michigan Radio and their “reporting” yesterday on this non-story about the Mackinac Center’s anti-union project. 
If you are a union member, educate yourself. If you are encouraged to leave the union, please make your decision knowing that the ulterior motive behind those urging you to freeload from unions who represent you in the work place is ultimately to destroy the unions themselves. 
If that happens, every worker in the USA, whether they belong to a union or not, will pay a steep price in terms of lower wages, worse protections, and dramatically reduced benefits.