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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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SteveMT's picture

Right. Forcing people to pay union dues is slavery.

GM and Chrysler both went bankrupt because of unions.
Appreciated the first bump.

deacon's picture

people are forced to pay dues?

how so? they take them jobs as they have a union
they aren't forced to get a job
and they did not go bankrupt,GM spent theirs on another
plant,in another country
and if they were so bad off why them did the execs get such big bonuses?

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

Because in most cases, there

Because in most cases, there are no other options in certain industries besides union jobs. When I welded for a couple years after high school, I had no option but to join the Boilermakers to get a welding job in my region.

If you're a liberty lover but think unions are good for the economy, you need to study some more economics. A great Austrian economics book to start with would be Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. You can get it for $10-15, and they have them at Barnes and Noble. It was probably the best BASIC Austrian economics book I've read.

free in pdf

and, if you cant afford the book, here is a place where you can download it and read it for free...


That said, we (Austrians) aren't anti-union per se.

In the chapter on unions, it lays out the basic value of unions, which aren't bad in and of themselves. And, having an attitude of "Liberty" certainly has to include letting people decide that a union is best for them. Freedom of association, pursuit of happiness and all that stuff.

Unions can be helpful in making sure that all employees in a particular industry get paid the market rate, thus elevating them from having to negotiate a better deal one by one, when their specialty is labor not negotiation. Unions also argue for better work conditions, which is really a wonderful thing.

However, when a union inflates their wages above the actual market value for a particular kind of labor, this sort of inflated market value is a drain on the rest of the economy, and comes at the expense of laborers in all other industries. Read the book for details on why that is the case.

But the only serious problem with unions (from a liberty perspective) is when they resort to violence when striking in order to keep other potential laborers out of their jobs. If that many people are willing to take your job, for that much less than you are making, then you are holding the rest of the workers in this country hostage, and if violence is required in order to get your way, we call that extortion.

deacon's picture

where in anything that i typed

did i say or advocate for unions?
it's so nice to have people put words in my mouth
what i asked and eluded to was the comment about being forced
to pay union dues,this has nothing at all to do with
backing them nor liking them
the only reason you paid dues was you took that job
you yourself got that job with the union,it was not forced on you
unless you did that yourself,then it is your fault, not the unions
oh,I appreciate being called stupid and or ignorant by telling me to
buy a book and read it
thank you

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

I recommended a book because

I recommended a book because if you truly believe what you're saying here about unions, you have no comprehension of Austrian Economics and how it works.

Either 1) you're not part of the Liberty movement and you're here to troll... 2) You're interested in Liberty but have not fully grasped it yet... or 3) You say you're part of the Liberty movement but support unions, which means you don't really support Liberty.

The role of unions are extensively covered in Austrian Economics, and if you really do support Liberty, you owe it to yourself and the rest of us in the movement to understand it better. Because Austrian Economics is the most important part of the Liberty philosophy.

deacon's picture


point out one word,sentence or paragraph
where i said i was for unions
i asked this twice already
show me

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

It's that what you're saying

It's that what you're saying insinuates that you do support the ability of unions to collect dues and negotiate wages and benefits (negotiating for better work environments is perfectly fine). If that's not what you believe, then I apologize for assuming so. But I must say, your words come off very strongly in support of those things. If you do support those things though, you do not understand Austrian economics.

deacon's picture

no,my only point

in all this,was them people knew they had a union job,and would be paying dues to the union,i do not call that force
force would be,getting a job,then finding out they were unions
and had to pay
so they did not go in blindly,they were all aware,and that was why they took job in the first place
i will say this,though,do we really have a free market now? or are we competing with other countries with our hands tied behind our backs?
and this was legislation done to better our country
the only thing i see coming from any gov,is more of a screwing of
the american people

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

This is why it's not right to

This is why it's not right to collect dues even though workers "had a choice" and I can use my old job as an example. I joined a welding company, it was overseen by the Boilermakers. Could I have not joined? Yes. But Boilermaker jobs were the only welding jobs. You didn't have the option to not be in the Boilermakers if you were a welder.

No one was forcing me to work there, but that's not the point. Unions created a region where those were the only jobs, where you were indirectly forced to go there. There's repercussions for sure, a lot of good workers with those skills begin to leave. I did. I moved to South Carolina. But there's also repercussions on the companies. Unions use those dues they get to negotiate wages and benefits. Manipulating the market price for a welder artificially higher. Obviously hurting the company.

There is nothing wrong with workers unionizing for safer work conditions. But the minute they start demanding union dues and higher wages, that's when they've crossed the line.

But please don't take this the wrong way. You're very curious about the role of unions, which is why I recommended a book. If you haven't read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, you should. It was the first book on Austrian economics I read a couple of years ago, and it caused to read even more about it. It's just a friendly suggestion. I think you'd enjoy it!