- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 11, 2012) —Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a “right-to-work” bill which Obama claimed in an address in the state on Monday was a political move. Badly stuttering, Obama told unionized auto workers in Redford, Michigan that “These so-called right-to work laws – they don’t have anything to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics.”
ABC News has characterized the governor’s signature as having “dealt a painful blow to organized labor.” U.S. News & World Report states that the right-to-work bill “deals a significant blow to unions,” although it does not preclude anyone from joining a labor union. Reuters indicated that the bill was approved by members of the Michigan House of Representatives “to weaken unions.”
The bill allows precludes labor unions from requiring employees to join. Detractors of the legislation claim that it is unfair to those who pay union dues because those who choose not to join receive the same benefits and wages.
In October, Michigan’s unemployment rate was reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be 9.1%.
Although Obama reportedly won the states of Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania on November 6, he continues to speak to groups in campaign style in an attempt to garner support for his solution to the “fiscal cliff” facing the U.S. government at the end of the month. However, the groups Obama is addressing would not be part of the top wage-earners who would be taxed additionally if Obama gets his way.
While Obama has been described as “taking his case to the people” for support on his fiscal cliff plan, scores of reports of election fraud during early voting and on November 6 have left many doubting that Obama actually received the majority of either popular or electoral votes. Citizens have begun to address their county commissioners, secretaries of state, governors and electors regarding the reports of stolen votes. At least one state legislator has called for a voting machine to be checked for irregularities reported on Election Day.
Obama does not customarily ask the American people to approve his plans to raise taxes, impose government health care, sign legislation allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens by the U.S. military, and leaking national security information.
A Michigan Democrat lawmaker threatened that “There will be blood,” and on Tuesday, his prediction materialized when a right-to-work opponent “punched repeatedly” Fox News contributor Steven Crowder during a demonstration outside of the state capitol in Lansing. Crowder stated on a radio show later that his forehead was cut, a tooth chipped, and that his life was threatened by another protester.
Once the hub of American auto manufacturing, the city of Detroit now shows decay, destruction and abandonment. Gov. Snyder has been attempting to grow Michigan’s economy, and his support for the right-to-work legislation has been termed a “determination to emasculate, once and for all, the Democratic Party’s most reliable source of financial and organizational support.”
Labor unions are reportedly considered by economists as reducing the number of jobs which companies can offer because of their demands for high wages. An article from The New York Times written in January 1989, at the time when President Ronald Reagan was about to leave office, states that the unemployment rate was 5.3% and that unions had generally not been successful in obtaining work security guarantees.
Right-to-work legislation has been passed by nearly half the nation in 24 states. The 1947 Taft-Harley Act made it illegal for “closed shops” requiring union membership for a person to retain employment and “forbids unions from contributing to political campaigns.” The United Auto Workers of Detroit clearly endorsed Obama and Biden on its website and publicized a campaign to hold a “mass protest” on Tuesday against the right-to-work bill. At least three protesters were arrested.
A Michigan publication reported that 26,000 school children missed school on Tuesday because their teachers chose to attend the protests in Lansing rather than report to work.
Union membership in the United States has been falling since the 1960s. Obama received considerable support from the SEIU in 2008 and boasted a year later that it “changed America forever.” According to The Wall Street Journal, SEIU President Andy Stern visited the White House on 22 occasions in 2009 alone.
Despite Obama’s public support of labor unions, U.S. jobs have continued to be outsourced under his watch.