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Update: MI 'Voluntary' Union Dues Bill Passes, Signed By Gov., Riots Result,

Jimmy Hoffa Warns Of "Civil War" As Michigan Governor Signs "Right-To-Work" Into Law

Hours ago, the US labor union movement was dealt another crushing blow (the most recent being the recent liquidation of Hostess which left thousands of workers cold and unemployed just in time for Thanksgiving) when the Michigan legislature gave final approval to "right-to-work" restrictions on public sector unions in a state considered a stronghold of organized labor.

In the meantime, over 10,000 protesters had gathered outside the legislature, chanted in the gallery, and generally expressed their displeasure quite vocally with this development that further set back labor in its endless fight against capital.

As Reuters reports, "the House passed the measure making membership and payment of union dues voluntary for public sector employees such as teachers by a 58-51 vote. The only government workers excluded would be police and fire unions. The Senate approved the same bill last week so it will now go to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who has promised to sign it into law."
This is how close the US is from violence at any one moment.
Video clips and story continues here:
Michigan Governor Signs Right to Work Bill Into Law

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I find this rather comical.A

I find this rather comical.

A friend and I were debating whether or not unions MUST use violence(or threat there of)to sustain themselves.

He suggested that unions can "get together and negotiate as a group" without causing violence.

I submitted that unions function exactly like cartels. There will always be a member of the union/cartel that sees an opportunity to underbid the union/cartel. If the individual members aren't FORCED to join the union/cartel, they will leave, negotiate directly, and reap the profits.

This is also explains why police and fire unions are always excluded from these voluntary membership laws. Imagine if our civil "heros" were to join in the riots!!!

Unionism = legal violence outside of the gov't monopoly

Unions did serve a purpose in the past... and it's the same purpose they still serve: To perpetuate the lie that life as a worker in a factory is worse than living on a farm, praying to god that the crop is bountiful enough to keep you and your family from starving during the winter.

Pure Marxian B.S. that suggests that the worker and the employer are in competition with each other. The undeniable fact is that life as worker is uncomparably better than a life of bare sustenance, and the worker and the employee are on the same friggin team!!!

My boss and I compete against other companies in the same market. We do so by attempting to satisfy customers better than the rest. The customer sets my wages/benefits AND my boss's, and the customer does so by voluntarily exchanging the fruits of his labor for the fruits of mine.

We have never competed against each other. To suggest such a thing is utter illogical, and an obvious lie.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

Just so. See also Tom

Just so.

See also Tom DiLorenzo, "The Myth of Voluntary Unions," http://mises.org/daily/1604

SteveMT's picture

Similar to that sign on Ron Paul's desk:

Don't Steal "Unions" hate competition

liberty folk and teabaggers never behave like this

Should be a clue.

Right to work is the best and only solution a state and people have in a situation where federal law gives unions an unfair bargaining advantage.

Economically and morally if the playing field was fair, unions can, and did do good. Firms should be able to contract with a union to exclude any non unions workers, as well firms should be able to exclude any union workers. But until the labor market is freed, anyone whining about right to work being people wanting to 'freeload' on unions 'work' are just lying about the situation.

End the NLRA (Wagner Act), RLA, etc etc and then you have a case. Until then your fascist squeals of indignation fall on deaf ears of the people your unions disemploy.

Oh and Read some Hazlitt

The Union members are mad

The Union members are mad because they pay union dues so the union can negotiate a good contract in hopes for good pay and benefits. They also pay dues so the union can protect the rights of workers.

With this new law workers will have the option of "free loading". They can reap all the benefits without contributing. Sort of like you and I having to buy our own phones and pay the bill while others get "Obama Phones".

This has NOTHING to do with protecting workers rights and everything to do with busting the unions so the rich will get richer and the poor working man will get poorer.

It's all about Corporatism. Think about it...... When is the last time that the government has done something to help "WE The People"?
It doesn't happen.

You will see that this law will take more rights away from the worker then it will do to protect them.....

not exactly

What it usually does, is it loses those workers their jobs, example Twinkie workers - no mo money now - thanks bakers union some help you were, and oh by the way the leaders of the baker's union still making big bucks.

you need to site some evidence of what you say

where has take home pay been lowered in states that are right to work? a post below says the opposite.

Unions are extortionists for the benefit of union leadership and democrat party. Nothing else, not like when they were started. Workers are just pawns in their game.

Being a union member I

Being a union member I obviously have no issues with unions...they do(or used to) serve a purpose. However, I live in a right to work state where my membership is voluntary. I would never support manditory union membership to have a job, voluntary is fine....force is not. The reason these people are so angry is the benefits package(more specifically the pension plan). These packages are what I hate most about my union. For instance our benefits package is about $8/hr worth of benefits. Lets say a certain union craft gets $20/hr, if it werent for that package they would be getting $28/hr instead. Non union people doing the same job average $26-27/hr. Within the union this stupid package is MANDATORY. If I ever brought up a change in a union meeting asking that it be made optional, allowing me to opt out and find my own health insurance(which I could do for less) and take care of my own retirement so I could get that extra $8/hr to use as I see fit, I would be beaten bloody in the parking lot. What these people are afraid of any threat to their pension and health plans, they expect me to contribute to their ponzi scheme pension plans..which just like SS wont be around when I retire...the falling birth rate makes that certain. And THAT is why they are rioting, this undercuts the base needed for their ponzi scheme benefits package.

SteveMT's picture

If your membership is voluntary, can you just opt out?

Or is being in a union a "once in, always in" kind of situation? $8/hour difference is a big chunk of change, $320/week going to your union benefits. As you say, you could do better with that money on your own.

I can leave the union any

I can leave the union any time I choose, but to me its convienent to stay...its like a giant temp service. They find the jobs and call me to go work them for anywhere from a few days to a few years, and thats what I pay my dues for...that convienence. I cant opt out of the worthless benefits package. Also, another issue is that a lot of employers in the business hire only union workers. All the ones in this state do. I work at nuclear power plants(well, at least on a lot of jobs). Nuke plants in TN are all owned by TVA...which was nationalized(along with all power plants) under Carter I think? TVA hires only union workers. Other owners such as the ones in NC and SC, KS etc. hire non-union workers. I travel a lot over the country working at different plants. There is definately something to be said for union workers in this field(union workers follow procedures much better than non union ones do...and when you are dealing with nukes, procedures are EVERYTHING.....look at cherynoble for an example of what happens when you dont...or 3 mile island). I have been thinking of moving on to another field...but this one pays well and allows me more time off than I would get in a normal 9-5 job.

why all the fuss?

nothing has changed for those people rioting? They still have their union.

oh wait, they are mad because they can't force others to pony up money for them to use as they wish. Nothing to do about being a benefit to workers.

The union mindset is disgusting.


Unions are glorified thugs. The government is slowly doing away with them. I can't believe I'm saying this but thank you USGOV, its about time you did something positive. Although the motives are probably suspect. I have dealt personally with these people in the past as a non-union worker in a non-union company in Maryland. Well they just threw rocks at our cars and formed human barriers at our work entry threatening violence all the way. Every single one of them, those members not in attendance are in support and are no better. Think they have no idea?
We were working and hired by the friggin' post office(pre-911) which is also union(as were the police). They let u settle into your job site and get comfortable then they show up. The PO then said, "we have to shut you down until an agreement can be reached, and one must be reached". Oh yeah, and they got/demanded pay twice, up to three times our salaries, and got it. .If your union, your probably laughing at this, but no more., Now I laugh..

Great news Michigan.

Workers should have the right to participate in a Union or not if they choose. Perhaps competing Unions within a company for different issues to eliminate corruption. To force people to pay for something they do not want is theft. The next step should be to prohibit Income taxes, then individuals should donate money to the government if they wish to or not.

jrd3820's picture

I do not have strong feelings on unions either way

I feel like the corporations have unions in the form of lobbyists, so labor might as well unionize. However, I am from MI and we saw the auto industry crumble at Union demands as they sent jobs overseas, and I have always been confused by the union support here after that.

The existence of a union

The existence of a union should be determined by its ability to accomplish good things for the employees. I too am surprised that those in Michigan still support the unions when they were unsuccessful at keeping jobs in the state. Union leaders have not proved the worth of their services.

Public sector unions should be illegal entirely.

Getting paid out of the public treasury is a privilege and no one has any "right" to demand anything from any taxpayer.

But why not make it voluntary for people working for PRIVATE companies? Why do only PUBLIC employees now have the right not to be FORCED into a union?

Why is it okay in Michigan to be FORCED to join a union to work somewhere, especially if the business owner would be happy to hire you if you weren't a member? (an employer requiring membership is one thing, but if he doesn't require it, who the hell are the other workers to demand your membership?)

Absolutely agree public

Absolutely agree public employee unions should be illegal.

second that...

second that...

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.” ― Henry Ford.

Unions have hurt Oregon education

Out here in Oregon we have a thriving private school sector. Unions make it impossible to fire bad teachers, and where does all that dues money go? Towards lobbying legislators to keep the unions in place. I think it is especially malicious in education because the kids suffer. Unions claim to protect the teachers but that did not come to pass when there were budget cuts. New teachers where let go and those that stayed found themselves teaching subjects they had never taught before! The parents are furious, the school districts mismanaged labor resources, and the unions couldn't prevent any of it. In the long run the unions didn't protect anybody.

Just because a person is pro

Just because a person is pro freedom does not mean he has to be anti union. A person should be free to join or not join a union but if the people are united they have more bargaining power. I believe that corporations just like the police and the government must be held in check or they will become too powerful. Unions can and have played a role in that. I know many people on this site think corporations have too much power in the world. I don't understand why they are so anti union. Right to work,yes Anti union, no

Private sector unions are

Private sector unions are "OK" and protected by the Constitution (freedom of association) as previously described by Dr. Paul. PUBLIC SECTOR unions on the other hand, should be illegal. There is no representation of the public's side when it comes to negotiations, strikes and contract disagreements between public servants and government employers. They ALL exist thanks to our money, typically extracted without representation. Their growth and unchecked power at the public's expense is almost single-handedly driving California into the ground (as one example).

It's okay to unionize for

It's okay to unionize for better/safer work environments, but it's not okay to set artificially high prices for production. Someone got mad at me earlier telling them to read this book, but go check out Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. It's one of the most popular Austrian economics books of all time and even has a forward in it by Ron Paul. It covers unions extensively and the book is very entertaining.

Well, whatever the reasons,

Well, whatever the reasons, if a union causes the wages and compensation of union workers at one business to become so out of whack that they are uncompetitive with other businesses in their field, the business may go under (like at Hostess). However, that threat is an effective one ONLY in the private sector.

My personal view on Unions

My personal view on Unions are that if Employers find it beneficial to seek organized labor as efficient, it should be no business of government to intervene with legislation to persuade or dissuade the issue. Upon the Michigan business, Iv learned that "Right to Work" is not as influential as a once thought. It simply lifts the mandatory stipulation that union dues are mandatory. If public officials believe in this, which is a fair view, they need to repeal these " employee tax's" that they have levied in some states. In Pennsylvania, you have to pay $10 at the beginning of the year if you are employed as a right to work. Its ridiculous. Is it minor, yes. Is it the same exact concept? Yes.

SteveMT's picture

San Diego orchestra just went bankrupt, union was reason.

[No more Mozart in San Diego.]

Written by Angela Chen
12:01 a.m., Dec. 11, 2012
Updated 10:01 p.m. , Dec. 10, 2012

San Diego’s longtime chamber orchestra, Orchestra Nova, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

According to a statement released by Chief Executive Officer Beverly Lambert on Friday, the bankruptcy was caused by the orchestra’s inability to reach an agreement with the Local 325 branch of the American Federation of Musicians.

deacon's picture

i'd bet that wasn;t the case

but it sounds sooo good to say
i sure hope people believe it
oh sure the sheep will,they believe everything we tell them

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)

So, does that mean that the

So, does that mean that the employees get to vote if they want a union or choose to be a part of an existing one?

Hurrah for Michigan

Maybe our State will be a little more attractive to employers now!

Oh, in case any union supporters think they've done well for our state, you should talk to my buddy who has a union job... tearing down auto factories. Lots of cars are made in USA, DOWN SOUTH in non union shops.

I'm still shocked that our Republicans did something right here!!!

deacon's picture

it sure will be attractive

seeing no one can get a decent wage
i bet them vampires will return in droves

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)

Really? You argued with me

Really? You argued with me earlier about how you never actually said you were for union wages, you were just asking a question. And here you are saying this (and other comments as well I've read).

I will tell you again....

deacon, you have absolutely no comprehension of Austrian Economics. I want to believe you're a troll, but you've been registered here for a few years. How someone can claim to be part of the Liberty movement but then support unions to negotiate higher wages and benefits, is beyond me. You obviously don't understand how unions alter the economy. Mostly everybody here understands Austrian economics, you don't, that's why I keep seeing down votes next to your name.

Go read a book on Austrian Economics. Seriously.