Posts tagged Gretchen Whitmer

    COMMENTARY Is a Worker Revolt Brewing After Michigan Repeals Its Right-to-Work Law?

    September 5, 2023 // Michigan employees affected by this law don’t have to put up with this violation of their freedom of association. They don’t need to pay dues to a forced-membership organization. They don’t have to keep supporting a union’s radical political agendas. They don’t have to watch a portion of their paychecks going to pay for union oligarchies out of state. They certainly don’t need to pay for fancy dinners, cars, vacations, and political junkets and pad the pockets of union bosses. By tossing out the union altogether, employees can keep their money in their own hands and out of the hands of political machines and their elected attendants. The Center for Independent Employees, which assists employees seeking to prevent unionization at the workplace or remove an unwanted union, is already hearing rumblings of this revolution through our offices and our ground game in Michigan.

    Under new Michigan law, schools can value seniority over quality

    August 18, 2023 // Critics of the bill, such as Michigan House Republican Leader Matt Hall, claim that the law harms teachers and unnecessarily gives organized labor more control. “Now they’re giving union bosses free rein to lord over the most important decisions at our schools,” Hall said in a statement on the bill. “Teacher placement, performance evaluations, and communication with parents are all vital to creating an effective learning environment and fostering good working relationships with families.” Most states allow some form of collective bargaining in public schools. Six states — Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas — explicitly ban it. Nine states — Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming — have no statewide basis for collective bargaining. Instead the decision is left to individual jurisdictions. Michigan also stands apart with its law on seniority pay. Public Act 116, which Whitmer signed this month, includes a provision prohibiting “length of service as the sole factor in personnel decisions.”

    OPINION: Pritzker risks bankrupting Illinois to curry favor with Big Labor

    August 14, 2023 // Members of AFSCME Council 31 eagerly voted in local union meetings over the past two weeks to ratify the contract, which negotiators had tentatively agreed to on July 1. And who could blame them? The contract also includes a $1,200 “stipend” paid to every worker merely for ratifying the contract. Pritzker, a Democrat, included these bonuses in his last contract negotiation in 2019, ostensibly to compensate workers for the financial “hardship” of being state employees under his Republican predecessor, Bruce Rauner. Predictably, such payoffs have now become standard operating procedure. The governor celebrated his and AFSCME’s windfall by tweeting out, “Illinois is a pro-worker state through and through.” The pronouncement was eerily reminiscent of Biden’s one-time campaign promise to become the “most pro-union president you ever saw.”


    July 12, 2023 // The success of the climate program will require continued federal commitment. Biden is placing a bet that clean energy investments could ultimately work the same way as the military-industrial complex. The military and its allied contractors have made sure to set up bases and/or manufacturing facilities in nearly every congressional district in the country, with extra attention paid to areas represented by key lawmakers. That has produced durable support for ever-expanding military budgets. Whether the same could be accomplished for the clean energy industry is an open question, but so far, Republicans from districts that have won federal awards have nevertheless voted to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which funds the tax breaks. By subsidizing the decline of union jobs, the Biden administration risks empowering lawmakers who will then move to end the subsidies altogether. “The total lack of consideration for workers could certainly make the difference in 2024.” “What Biden is doing is politically insane, environmentally bankrupt, and it’s poor economics,” Larry Cohen, former president of the Communications Workers of America and board member of Our Revolution, told The Intercept.

    Michigan Democrats want to make it easier to give to unions (who give to Dems)

    May 24, 2023 // Democrats-backed legislation would allow unions to collect political contributions from members via payroll deduction The legislation would reverse restrictions put in place by Republicans Unions typically donate to Democrats and have given big to the party since it took control of Lansing this year. Public resources — such as fees associated with administering the deduction program — would also be allowed to be used for payroll deductions as long as unions reimburse the costs. Employers are already allowed to deduct income tax withholdings, Social Security, overpayments and more from employees’ wages and benefits under federal and state law. They can also deduct payments for health benefits and charitable donations with employee consent.

    When workers in Michigan had a choice, they left unions

    April 17, 2023 // Although the state has seen a 20% increase in the number of jobs since 2012, union membership has declined by 26.4%. Some 143,000 members chose to leave their unions while they had the right. The state’s largest unions shed an additional 5,250 members last year, according to their Form LM-2 financial reports for 2021 and 2022. Freedom will come to an end for many workers. Employees at unionized workplaces will likely be forced again to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The American Federation of Teachers lost 15.3% of its Michigan members during the right-to-work era, the biggest percentage loss of any union in the state. Membership in the teachers union crashed from 20,063 to 16,994 between 2012 and 2022. AFSCME Council 25 had the second biggest percentage loss at 14.4%, losing 150 members.

    Michigan: Prevailing wage, Right to Work reforms’ effect unclear here

    April 10, 2023 // The recent reforms are a net positive for unions in every industry, he said. Indeed, for the construction trades, in particular, prevailing wage requirements help prevent non-union bidders from undercutting union workplaces on public construction projects, Fashbaugh said.

    New union head for auto workers promises militant contract bargaining and activism

    April 7, 2023 // FAIN: We're here to come together to ready ourselves for the war against our only one and only true enemy - multibillion dollar corporations and employers that refuse to give our members their fair share.

    Michigan’s Repeal of Right-to-Work Law Helps Democrats, Not Workers | Opinion

    April 5, 2023 // More importantly, preventing right-to-work protections ensures a steady flow of funds into the coffers of a union movement that has been bleeding members for decades. That's been true, even in Michigan, where the UAW—the auto workers' union that has now expanded to other industries—formed the activist heart of the movement, providing organizers, foot soldiers, and a bottomless well of campaign contributions for the Democratic Party. But after a sweeping victory in last year's midterm elections, Democrats found themselves back in control of both houses of the state legislature as well as the governor's office, where Gretchen Whitmer survived the blowback from her heavy-handed COVID regulations to win reelection. Among the first items on Michigan Democrats' agenda was to reward their loyal union supporters by repealing the state's right-to-work law. Helping ensure the cash flow to their union donors makes sense and might even be good politics in Michigan—which remains bluer than many pundits assumed during the Trump era. But the notion that repealing right-to-work laws is the path to bringing working-class voters back to the Democrats is a mistake.