A nasty assault on collective bargaining rights is playing out in the Michigan Legislature.
A series of anti-worker bills introduced by the conservative led legislature is threatening the existence of public unions across the state.
Labor unions are particularly concerned about the Emergency Financial Manager legislation.
The bill was recently approved by the House and awaiting a vote in the Senate would allow financial managers appointed by the state to void contracts negotiated between unions and municipal governments without a court directive. The state has been training some 175 emergency financial managers to help with the process.
If that’s not bad enough, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants the 50,000 state employees to concede $180 million in benefits. The governor said he would like to see the money come from collective bargaining.
In a speech to unionized construction workers Tuesday, the governor declared that “Michigan is not Wisconsin.”
Unfortunately, from our standpoint we can’t tell the difference because the outcomes are the same with hardworking people having less say in their futures and more families struggling for economic security.
Snyder is also using a familiar political strategy, pitting private and public union members against each other. The governor has asked private sector union members to support cuts for public employees, playing up the perception that public employees haven’t sacrificed enough of their earnings.
Don’t fall for the political line.
It looks like old-fashioned union busting — at its worst.