Tea-Publican Tyranny in Michigan: lame-duck legislature declares war on organized labor


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

RepealPA4-100x100Organized labor and civil rights groups were successful on election day in repealing Michigan's anti-democratic emergency financial manager law (economic martial law), but failed in their attempt to pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to collective bargaining. Michigan voters reject all proposals; emergency manager law repealed.

A lame-duck session of the Tea-Publican controlled Michigan legislature met this week to declare war on organized labor by pursuing "right to work" legislation that would end "union shop" agreements and the obligation of non-union members to pay dues for the benefits they receive from union representation.

You may have heard that police used pepper spray
on protestors at the Michigan State Capitol on Thursday after Gov. Rick
Snyder and GOP legislative leaders unveiled their plan to blitzkrieg
“right-to-work” legislation through a fast-track device during a
lame-duck session.

Ed Kilgore writes at the Political Animal blog, Racing To the Bottom In Michigan:

It won’t be formal until next Tuesday (thanks to a five-day delay
requirement for bills passed by both Houses), but the Michigan
legislature has indeed approved “right-to-work” legislation in a lame-duck session blitzkrieg of enormous audacity. There were no hearings, no public debate, and virtually no warning
before the famously pro-labor state joined the Greater South in
declaring itself union-unfriendly territory
, as Gov. Rick Snyder
abruptly reversed his prior opposition to consideration of such legislation. That very day the hammer came down in a series of votes.

One of the right-to-work bills (the one affecting public-sector workers) passed the Michigan House by a 58-52 margin,
just one vote below the number of Republicans who will serve in the
next session. This reinforces the impression that GOpers feared they
wouldn’t have to votes to enact right-to-work had they utilized the
normal legislative process and waited until representatives elected on
November 6 were in place.

The panic-stricken nature of the GOP coup wasn’t much reflected in the bland and empty public rationales offered for it by Snyder:

In an interview with The Associated Press, Snyder said he
had kept the issue at arm’s length while pursuing other programs to
bolster the state economy. But he said circumstances had pushed the
matter to the forefront.

“It is a divisive issue,” he acknowledged. “But it was
already being divisive over the past few weeks, so let’s get this
resolved. Let’s reach a conclusion that’s in the best interests of all.”

Also influencing his decision, he said, were reports that
some 90 companies had decided to locate in Indiana since that state
adopted right-to-work legislation. “That’s thousands of jobs, and we
want to have that kind of success in Michigan,” he said.

Indiana’s screwing its workers, so Michigan has to do the same
right now! This is very literally a “race to the bottom” if ever there
has been one.

Because Republican legislators shrewdly attached an appropriation to
the bill, it will not be subject to reversal by initiative
. Looks like
November 2014 will be the first opportunity for some accountability,
when the entire legislature is up for re-election, along with Snyder.

The Michigan Senate’s Democratic Leader, Gretchen Whitmer, had a tart description of the entire manuever:

“These guys have lied to us all along the way,” she said.
They are pushing through the most divisive legislation they could come
up with in the dark of night, at the end of a lame-duck session and then
they’re going to hightail it out of town. It’s cowardly

The Tea-Publican tyranny in Michigan continues. There will have to be votes on Tuesday in the Michigan legislature for conforming bills. Protestors are likely to be met with pepper spray again.

UPDATE: But of course they are… Michigan Lawmakers Are Also Trying To Sneak Through Extreme Abortion Restrictions In Lame Duck Session.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.