Free Markets, Free People

How does one oppose a “right to work?”

Well, if you’re wondering, just take a gander at what is happening in Michigan.

The Democrats will be the first to tell you “elections have consequences”, usually followed by ” … and Obama won”.  Well the same can be said of state level elections and in the case of MI, the GOP won.  In fact, they won everything at the state level, enough to pass “right to work” legislation which essentially says one doesn’t have to join a union to work.

The unions, of course, pitched a tantrum.

And, now that he’s solved all the nation’s problems, balanced the budget, reduced the deficit and has long-term debt on a downward trend, President Obama has weighed in on this situation:

“President Obama has long opposed so-called ‘right to work’ laws and he continues to oppose them now,” said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich. “The president believes our economy is stronger when workers get good wages and good benefits, and he opposes attempts to roll back their rights. Michigan — and its workers’ role in the revival of the US automobile industry -– is a prime example of how unions have helped build a strong middle class and a strong American economy.”

The union’s “role in the revival of the US automobile industry”?!

Is he kidding?  It is the unions which essentially helped make two of the big three financially unsustainable.  Remember, GM and Chrysler went bankrupt and had to be bailed out.  And the federal government screwed with the bankruptcy proceedings and handed  a large portion of GM to the union while stiffing bond holders.

That’s the “prime example” in reality.

And the president’s “belief” that our “economy is stronger when workers get good wages and good benefits” doesn’t mean those things only happen with unions.  Apparently, in right-to-work states, unions continue to lose out when they try to organize because workers are getting both good wage and benefits and seem happy with their situation.  What they don’t see is a benefit to unionizing – i.e. paying dues to a union which will be unlikely to do any better.

Finally, how is allowing someone to choose whether or not to join a union “rolling back rights?”

I knew Obama wouldn’t be able to stay out of state level politics, given his base and their demands.  The Democrats have become the party of unions.  Private unions are dying off and they’re getting pretty desperate.  First WI and now MI?  My goodness, can NY and IL be far behind?  How dare the GOP give workers the right to chose not to join a union as a prerequisite to working.  For a party that brags about being the party of choice, other than one particular choice they champion, the Democrats are pretty much opposed to all others.

Unions are the buggy whip of the latest evolution in labor.  Improved communications, a global economy and the realization that businesses have options as well have made unions an anachronism.  Reality and economics say labor is a commodity – a factor of production.  What labor is increasingly realizing is that the jobs they have can be exported or, given today’s technology, mechanized when costs exceed their worth.   Wages are leveling out and in today’s economy, the demands that were once commonly made by unions are no longer economically feasible.    But additionally, bad companies can no longer exist in the dark of a communications vacuum and pay and treat their workers poorly without there being repercussions.  Competition drives wages and benefits as well or better than unions ever did.

It’s a different world.  Unions are 19th century holdovers.

Time they shuffled off into Obsolete-land where they belong.


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49 Responses to How does one oppose a “right to work?”

  • “The president believes our economy is stronger when workers get good wages and good benefits, and he opposes attempts to roll back their rights. Michigan — and its workers’ role in the revival of the US automobile industry -– is a prime example of how unions have helped build a strong middle class and a strong American economy.”

    This is typical Collectivist inversion of reality.  Michigan…the U.S. auto industry more particularly…is a great model showing how discriminatory laws favoring unions destroy a strong middle class.  Other models abound, such as the U.S. steel industry prior to market innovations that had to be sited OUTSIDE mandatory union states.
    Leaving workers free to make choices in the market is what “so-called right to work” does.  These laws RESTORE rights workers held before unions sought monopoly power via government regulation.  And, as McQ points out, when they HAVE that freedom, the choices they freely make are dominantly NOT union.

    • Quite! He’s clueless as to where wages comes from, but seeing that he’s never done it…EVER. it’s “understandable”.

      • I’m sure that…as he believes you can mandate mileage against all thermodynamic law…you can mandate good wages and benefits with no regard for economics.
        Magic thinking, indeed…

  • If the unions didn’t make up such a large part of the Dem money skimming machine. baracky wouldn’t give a rats you know what. The best way to take on the unions is to go after the money, things like the automatic dues collection and maybe pass some laws curbing how much political donations/activism they can engage in.
    That happens, you’ll see how the go under the bus right quickly.

  • ” Competition drives wages and benefits as well or better than unions ever did.
    It’s a different world.  Unions are 19th century holdovers.”
    Competition works both ways. The presence of over 10 million (and counting) “undocumented” workers in addition to 7% or so official unemployment does not promote good wages and good benefits.

    • The presence of over 10 million (and counting) “undocumented” workers…

      Hey, the Princes of Labor have to have someone who will walk the picket lines that Americans won’t…!!!

  • Unions and Railroads, Two holdovers from the 19th century that lefties love. Oh but THEY are the progressive ones!

    • Wait a minute.  I LOVE trains.  Okay – I loved them more before taking a train from Spokane to St. Paul, MN last Christmas.  Those Amtrak trains are filthy.

  • Once again, I missed the memo, I thought Demoncrats were pro-choice?

  • Yeah, we know that “right to work” stuff kills your economy.    I mean, look at Texas.

  • The only brush I had with a union was 51 years ago.  I was 16 and had a job in the Monkey Wards accounting department in St. Paul.  The shop steward told me I had to join the union.  Huh?  I’m 16 years old and a senior in high school, for God’s sake!  Coming from a rabidly union hating household, I said no.  Wards couldn’t fire me because it was part of school program.  They had no idea of what to do and harassed me for a solid year.  I never did join.

  • Unspoken is O-Bambi’s true agenda for the right of legions to be unemployed; therefore, dependent on Big Government.

    • Ah, but remember…
      Classic fascist economics involves a three-part corporatist collective…BIG, compliant unions; BIG, compliant business; and BIG GOVERNMENT controlling both.

  • If unions are obsolete, why does Michigan need a law to abridge freedom of association and freedom of contract in order to suppress them? Seems like the market would take care of that.

    • Why do they need one to force it?

    • Of course, you have it exactly backwards.
      The move for workers’ liberation laws RESTORES freedom of association (and that eclipses “freedom of contract”).  Compulsory union membership forces what is demonstrably unwanted association.

    • Huh?   abridge freedom of association?   How does a right to work law stop you from joining the union at a shop?

    • Where were you standing when the Michigan unions (Democrats) tried to get this crap into the state Constitution? Prop 2…
      This proposal would:

      Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.

      Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.

      Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.

      Define “employer” as a person or entity employing one or more employees.

    • “why does Michigan need a law to abridge freedom of association…”
      Wow. so that’s the new freedom of association, eh? Associate with the union or else. Tony soprano couldn’t have said it better. “Associate with my neighborhood improvement society or go out of business”.

  • Unions grew as response to ills of the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th century.  They also figure prominently in Marx’s Communist Manifesto as the building blocks of socialism and communism.  Today, unions are an anachronism.  They provide no value, they are a parasite on their members and those that employ them, and they can only survive on the back of government favoritism and largess – which they curry by providing the economic foundation for prog politics.  Public sector unions need to be outlawed (go Michigan) and their private sector counterparts dwindle into the dustbin of history in the face of free market economics.  Someone needs to ask Obama the unions role in the “revival” of the twinkie business.

    • While I generally agree, I think you overstate you points.
      If private sector unions were put on parity in the law with all other organizations, they would simply be market players.
      Unions in the private sector DO sometimes perform useful and valuable functions, among them training and education of members.  The Brotherhood Of Operating Engineers is an example.  If you and I have the right to bargain for our labor, there is no harm in you and I associating to do that, too, provided we are not given special treatment in the law.

    • ” Today, unions are an anachronism”
      Really? So today all employers are benevolent, generous, and fair,  always concerned with worker health and safety. I guess that means we also don’t need OSHA, the Dept. of Labor, etc.
      Say hi to Dorothy and the scarecrow for me.

      • To which I’d have to note that the unions and agencies do a lot LESS than does a strong market for labor.  I say that having been both a union and non-union heavy equipment operator, and having a baby brother who is a frothing-at-the-mouth Teamsters exotic materials welder.  Nobody protects me like I do, and yet they will lie to me about it.

        • “To which I’d have to note that the unions and agencies do a lot LESS than does a strong market for labor.”
          To which I will note that the market goes up and it goes down. Even for skilled labor.

  • I notice the ever peaceful Democrats are talking about “blood” now.  Always with the thuggish threats.   The “intelligent” party, I’m sure.
    ““There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state.”
    Just like the tweets about rioting if Obama lost.   Nothing but thugs.

    • Pres. Not Optimal better call off his goons.
      Someone will get hurt, and it will be on him.

      • Hasn’t so far – numerous incidences over the last 4 years where Union thugs did their deeds and walked away Scot free.
        The only time big-ears gets seriously involved is when one of his favorites ends up on the wrong end of the beating stick.

  • Well…
    Tomorrow, the economy of Michigan will begin to improve.  “Watch and learn…”

  • I’m of two minds here, i think its poor business to force a union on workers, yet i can’t help but think that its their choice, and its my choice to not get a job there…Perhaps im missing some aspect of this case? In regards to specifically government unions, i don;t think they should exist in the first place.

    • You can’t work in union only shops if you don’t join the union, it’s NOT your choice.
      Nor is it your choice what the union does with your dues.   They don’t ask if you’d like your dues money to go to supporting Mickey or Goofy.   If they want Mickey, it’s Mickey, even if you’re a die hard Goofy man.
      this doesn’t prevent Unions from being formed, or you from joining one if you want.    Texas has open shops, with and without union employees.   Verizon is a good example – CWA and non-CWA in the same shop.

      • It is your choice not to work in these shops, and the choice of business leaders to allow this practice to go one. I don’t see how this is forced onto anyone.

        • And you don’t see how anyone is forced to send kids to a govt. monopoly school.  Hell, you don’t even have to live in America.  You can move.

        • What if you’re a machinist Josh?  And you’ve just moved from Tennessee to Michigan, and you’d like to do what you know how to do, because it will pay more than becoming a stocker at Wal-mart?  So you go down to any of the union machine shops, and they ask you if you’re a member of the union that represents the workers in that shop, and you say no….
          then your choice, on Monday of this week, was to join the union, or try another shop, where you’re going to be told the same thing.
          Or you can be ‘free’ to make the choice of working as the stocker at Wal-mart, even though you’re a qualified bridgeport operator who doesn’t want to join a union….
          Yep.  Sounds okay to me too.  You made the ‘choice’ not to do what you can do for a living because you choose not to be in the union.   Land of the free, hurrah.

        • And no, the business leaders were bound by law, the union probably formed legally in their shop and that’s who, legally, represents the workers.  and Legally, they can close the shop to YOU if you don’t want to be in the union.  And the business leaders can’t STOP the union from doing it, by law.
          Well, they couldn’t up until yesterday.
          Like I said, land of the free, hurrah.

          • I guess i just don’t get why the businesses would decide to play ball in the first place. I admit my ignorance to how this stuff works legally and want to understand, i just don’t get how the business is forced into this arrangement.

          • The business doesn’t have a choice in the matter. Once the union is in the shop they’re not allowed to kick the out by law.  A business’s only alternative is literally to close the business and move to a non-union state.
            The employees, by law, have a right to organize and select a union to represent them.   There may be a minimum number of employees required, etc.
            There’s a reason those laws came into being.   It stemmed from abuse of the workers by companies that controlled their housing, company stores, their wages, etc.

          • Not everyone is good at negotiating their work benefits, most probably aren’t.  They don’t consider sick time, vacation time, leave, over time rules, break rules, medical insurance, retirement benefits.   They worry about how much an hour, until the day they’re sick, or they need a week off to take care of a sick kid, or they’re suddenly 25 years with the company and hurt themselves on the job, or they’re 40 years with the company and due to retire.    You work for assholes and you may not get any of that out of them voluntarily.  The unions helped do that.
            The problem is sometimes the unions ask for so much that it ultimately helps kill the company.   People start forgetting the purpose of the company is generally to make a profit, not to provide THEM with a job.  It’s a balancing act.  For example, Hostess just got overbalanced out of existence by the Bakers union.

      There you go, josh.  That should explain the deal for you.

  • States with Right to Work laws are the poorest and require the most regular federal assistance in the US.  Right to Work translated into Corporate Welfare.