Dec 11, 2012
Today Michigan moved closer to becoming the country’s 24th “right to work” state. But more than 12,000 protesters didn’t let the misleadingly-named legislation pass quietly.
About 60 CWA activists joined workers pouring into the streets and flooding the state Capitol in what the Detroit Free Press is calling “the largest public protest the seat of state government has ever seen.” A number of schools even closed as teachers joined the demonstration in Lansing.
As soon as the Michigan House voted, largely along party lines, to bar contracts requiring public and private employees to pay union dues, people in the gallery began chanting “Shame on you!” and “Recall! Recall! Recall!”
The argument that this legislation will spur business investment and job creation is a flat out lie. In the words of President Obama, “These so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has highlighted Indiana’s economic success since passing “right to work” as an excuse for Michigan to do the same. But a new Economic Policy Institute study found that not a single company came to Indiana because of “right to work” and it continues to lose jobs to non-“right to work” states.
Fred Morgan, President and CEO of Oklahoma's State Chamber, admits that he can't even name a company that has moved to Oklahoma because of it's “right to work” legislation.
The Washington Post writes, “The laws appear to tilt the balance of power so that workers reap fewer of the gains from growth. And it’s still hard to find definitive evidence that right-to-work laws help (or harm) a state’s overall economy.”
And The New York Times points out that weakening unions is simply the fastest way for corporations to pull off lower wages and higher profits. “A study by the University of Notre Dame in January found that the average wages and benefits for nonfarm workers in right-to-work states was $57,732, while in states without the law it was $65,567. States with antidues laws have higher rates of poverty and lower rates of health coverage,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote.
The evidence is clear as day: This isn't "right to work." It's right to work for less.