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Right To Work Laws

Unions in the age of right to work laws. We’ll look at labor and organized labor nationwide after the big fight in Michigan.

Protesters gather for a rally outside the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. The crowd is protesting right-to-work legislation passed last week. Michigan could become the 24th state with a right-to-work law next week. Rules required a five-day wait before the House and Senate vote on each other's bills; lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene Tuesday and Gov. Snyder has pledged to sign the bills into law. (AP)

Protesters gather for a rally outside the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. The crowd is protesting right-to-work legislation passed last week. Michigan could become the 24th state with a right-to-work law next week. Rules required a five-day wait before the House and Senate vote on each other’s bills; lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene Tuesday and Gov. Snyder has pledged to sign the bills into law. (AP)

In the 1950’s, nearly 40 percent of American workers were covered by a union contract.  Oh, how things have changed.  Today, it’s maybe 12 percent.  Maybe seven percent actual union members.

And yesterday, in the deepest of deep union country – Michigan, UAW country, America’s industrial heartland – a stunning, direct blow to organized labor.  “Right to work” legislation rushed through and signed into law. In Michigan.  To shouts of shame, and conservative celebration.

This hour, On Point:  Labor and organized labor in America, after the big punch in Michigan.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Chad Livengood, capitol reporter for the Detroit News.

Richard Freeman, professor of economics at Harvard University. He also directs the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Katie Oppenheim, chair of the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, a union which represents nearly 5,000 nurses .

Dallas Woodhouse, state director of the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity, which advocates for the passage of right to work laws.

From Tom’s Reading List

Detroit News “Pepper spray, heated exchanges and loud chanting over controversial right-to-work legislation came into focus Tuesday with eyes on Michigan’s historic showdown between Republican lawmakers and organized labor. Michigan State Police confirmed Tuesday afternoon that a trooper used pepper spray to subdue one of the thousands of protesters outside the Capitol.”

New York Times “Before the vote, Democrats in the state’s House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a 64-to-46 majority over Democrats, were desperately trying to offer amendments to the measures in order to derail them. Among the suggestions: Send the question to a public vote. So far, all amendments had been rejected.”

USA Today “President Obama blasted Michigan Republicans on Monday for seeking “so-called right-to-work laws,” saying they represent anti-union politics.  “What they’re talking about is giving you the right to make less money,” Obama told union members at an engine plant near Detroit.”

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  • Flytrap

    How much discussion is going to be had about the violence at the rally yesterday?  Conservative comedian, Steven Crowder was attacked http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/11/Arrest-This-Man-Obama-s-Union-Goons-Unleash-Violence-in-Michigan and property was damaged http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/11/Exclusive-union-crowd-destroys-tent-with-people-inside-at-Michigan-protest but it seems that little is said about it.  I remember when the TEA Party was in full swing and you didn’t hear a report about a rally where you didn’t hear about fears of TEA Party violence of which there was never any, except where the union thugs beat the black man in a wheelchair selling pro TEA Party paraphenalia http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/07/gladney-trial-defense-claims-gladney-was-selling-obama-in-white-face-pins-ergo-they-beat-his-a-on-pavement/
    And don’t forget that when obamacare was passed and Pelosi marched through the protesters with a giant gavel, there was hooting and hollering, but no violence.  Of course when members of the CBC walked through they said they were spat upon and called racial epithets, which despite the congressmen’s own cameras, the news cameras and the protesters cameras, no evidence has ever been produced. 

    So, in short, I am hoping that the violence is what you focus on and not the issues because that seems to be what has been important for all the protests against obama and everything to do with his agenda.  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Breitbart and Gatewaypundit are pretty revealing links.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Haaaaahahahaha!!  Busted on your partisan sources!!!

        • StilllHere

          LOL! That you can’t refute!

        • Gregg Smith

          I almost replied to Flytrap telling him someone would say because it came from Brietbart meant the pictures and video were fake and it never happened. But then I thought that’s just silly, who would do such a thing?

          I should know better than to  underestimate my ability to underestimate liberals.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Sod off.

            Breitbart was a boil on the media’s ass.
            Not a journalist, not a jester going after truths, just a hack with an agenda getting fluffed by the idiots you get your “information” from.

            Keep deluding yourself about his (and his site’s) “good name”.

            Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a pimp costume to return to the shop; it’s seven weeks overdue.

          • Flytrap

             So why don’t you enlighten us all as the nonpartisan news sources we should cite?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Do your own homework. I’m fascinated to find out what you consider factual.

          • Flytrap

             I did my homework and provided video links.  Being the narrow minded bigot you are, you refuse to acknowledge any info that doesn’t suit your world view.  So if I get the same vid from NPR or MSNBC, Media Matters, BBC etc you will accept that, but if it comes from a “right wing” source, it’s simply inpugnable?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            In a word, yes.

            Rule number one of real sources: If it’s for effing real, it’ll be somewhere besides Breitbart, Pajamas Media, The Corner, Investors’ Bidness Daily. (The list may get longer.)

            If you were running a website, you’d want real sources. Your actions suggest that they don’t matter. The rest of us aren’t in the business of providing clicks (for advertiser counts) for whatever you throw up here.

            If it’s real, and you can’t find a real link to it, that’s your issue.

          • Flytrap

             Let me get this straight, a link to an undoctored video that you can evaluate yourself isn’t sufficient because it isn’t on a what you consider a “real” source?  Here is a search that also contains the same vid, http://www.bing.com/search?q=crowder+punched& As you can see, the Huffington Post an Salon have it but the only major network that does is Fox.  Do you not think people getting attacked at a protest is news?  Compare  that with the coverage over the congressman that was “spit” upon.  You know, the debunked story.  http://www.bing.com/search?q=tea+party+spit&qs=n&form=QBRE&pq=tea+party+spit&sc=8-13&sp=-1&sk=
            Your precious “real” sources are very selective with what they report.

            form=OSDSRC

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Breitbart” and “undocumented video” don’t go in the same sentence.

          • Flytrap

             Add Politico and The Daily Kos to organizations conceding that Breitbart News is reporting stories they refuse to cover. 

            In an article describing the
            violent pro-union demonstrations in Michigan on Tuesday, in which
            protesters rallied against Michigan’s historic right-to-work
            legislation, Politico promptly finished the piece with two paragraphs
            that served to dismiss everything that was written leading up to that
            point, quoting a poster on the liberal website The Daily Kos lamenting
            about the “Fox News-Breitbart” crowd.
            http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/12/12/Politico-Daily-Kos-Upset-Fox-News-Breitbart-Crowd-Gaining-Influence-By-Reporting-News-Mainstream-Media-Ignores

      • Flytrap

         Funny how the mainstream press has no interest in the violence this time around. 

        “All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning ignored the
        violent assaults by union protesters in Michigan, instead vaguely
        insisting that activists were simply “voicing their anger” at the
        “showdown raging in the heartland.” Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2012/12/12/networks-skip-union-violence-mi-insist-protesters-are-simply-voicing#ixzz2Erm52vqs
        http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2012/12/12/networks-skip-union-violence-mi-insist-protesters-are-simply-voicing#ixzz2ErOzI0Xx

    • Shag_Wevera

      You are clearly correct.  The right is beyond reproach, and the dirty lefties should be driven into the sea with pitchforks and bayonnettes.

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      WOW – it’s amazing how viewpoint clouds perception. MSNBC spent a great deal of time talking the violence, and there was discussion of it during this show. I also seem to remember a good deal of violence: swearing, spitting and physical lashing out, name calling and other disgraceful behavior during the healthcare debates. Our political debate in this country has gotten very boorish from all sides. It is time that we address the underlying problems, recognize that neither side has all of the answers and just plain grow up!

      • Flytrap

         “The Ed Show at MSNBC
        was quick to run with the left’s “setup” narrative.  The cable
        network’s website even specifically called out Lee Stranahan of
        Breitbart.com, who had filmed one of the many videos out there of the
        incident.   AFL-CIO representative Eddie Vale referred to the activists
        at the AFP tent as “disciples of James O’Keefe.” 
         In a bizarre effort to twist the story into some sort of Breitbart
        setup, some left-wing blogs and Twitter users even blamed individuals
        who weren’t anywhere near the state of Michigan on Tuesday, much less
        even aware of the event before the incident occurred.

        Other MSNBC programs followed suit, and
        further shifted the narrative to focus on AFP’s financial connection to
        the Koch brothers.  Chris Matthews interviewed
        AFP Michigan Director Scott Hagerstrom, who is also said to have been
        inside the tent throughout the day.  Rather than asking questions to get
        to the facts about the incident, the MSNBC host instead badgered
        Hagerstrom about his employer, demanding to know whether or not the Koch
        brothers sign his paycheck.  Hagerstrom stated repeatedly that his
        employer is Americans for Prosperity, but apparently Matthews was not
        content to accept that fact.”
        http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/12/Headline

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    I’m all for Right To Work laws as the unions, while accomplishing some positives decades ago, now simply kill jobs and cripple the economy.  They represent intransigence and oppose any kind of productivity and common sense as clearly evidenced by absurd work rules which have killed manufacturing in in this country including steel, autos (except for government bailouts), electronics manufacturing, etc.  The only place where they have gained membership is with government, due to the fact that they have the Democrats in their pockets and the government can simply run the printing presses to cover multi-billion dollar losses and unfunded pension liabilities that are out of step with financial reality.  I give you the post office as a prime example.  Other government examples too numerous to mention include city workers that pad their last year of employment (notice that I referred to it as employment, not working) with high overtime so that they can collect ridiculous pensions for the 30 years of retirement that they parasitically enjoy after retiring at the ripe old age of 50.  Reagan had it right when he called the air traffic controllers’ bluff and fired the whole lot of them. There are plenty of unemployed people who would willingly take their place if we put policies in place which they oppose to make wages and benefits better reflect the global economy and competition.

    • margbi

      Who benefits from seeking the lowest possible labor costs all over the globe? Was globalization ever supposed to raise the status of workers in third world countries to that of those in industrialized nations? I doubt it. And I wonder what good it does to bring jobs back to the U.S. when the wages aren’t high enough to sustain a middle class, which is so necessary for a stable economy.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Of course, you did not address the issue that I raised concerning the raping of the public by governmental workers unions.  But of course, those issues are never addressed in any responses to the issues that I raise.  I know of a governmental worker who will get a $70,000 check for unused sick days, something that would be unheard of in the private sector.  Do you support that?  How do you feel about paying for that kind of obscene benefit?  This is what the unions support and stand for.  Rape of the American public.

        • StilllHere

          Psychiatrists were among the highest-paid employees in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and New Jersey, with total compensation $270,000 to $327,000 for top earners. State police officers in Pennsylvania collected checks as big as $190,000 for unused vacation and personal leave as they retired young enough to start second careers, while Virginia paid active officers as much as $109,000 in overtime alone, the data show.
          The numbers are even larger in California, where a state psychiatrist was paid $822,000, a highway patrol officer collected $484,000 in pay and pension benefits and 17 employees got checks of more than $200,000 for unused vacation and leave. The best-paid staff in other states earned far less for the same work, according to the data.
          from Bloomberg

        • margbi

           Please source your comments about governmental workers.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            There are countless stories about police officers and other city/state employees whose retirement pay is based upon their wages/salaries during their final year of employment and therefore scratch each other’s backs to have high overtime pay during their final year so as to inflate their retirement pay. The technical term is pension spiking. Below is a link of just one case (there are thousands).
            http://www.twincities.com/stpaul/ci_22148781/public-pension-spiking-no-ones-monitoring-overtime-spiking

          • Prairie_W

            There’s something sleazy about using “countless stories” as sources!

            That said, if the “countless stories” add up to a real problem — “pension spiking” — then let’s address pension spiking and not toss babies out with bath water.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            Actually, what’s sleazy are the union members and officers who support the practice of pension spiking and rather than opposing it as immoral, fight changing it when it finally does come to the light of day as an abusive practice.

          • keltcrusader

            You mean like the way Romney manipulates tax law to benefits his bottom line. It is legal, but unethical. You mean, that way too?

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            Yep.  That’s sleezy.  People of both parties take advantage of that loophole, which I vehemently oppose.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Now Prairie, the only thing more reliable than countless stories are anec-data.

            If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a million times.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            The governmental worker that I was referring to is a relative of mine, who works for the post office.  

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          So your crooked relative, they’re cheating, filing false timecards, doing what now?

          Hey, the employer being held to their contract shouldn’t be so amazing to you.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            My relative isn’t crooked or doing anything illegal.  Just taking advantage of a ridiculous benefit that the postal workers union obtained by holding a gun to the head of John Q. Public while he wasnt’ looking (and supported by the union-controlled Democratic Party).

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            It’s a contract. Management signed it; live up to it.

            I’ll tell my mortgage company the same thing and see how far that gets me.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            If Murder is made legal tomorrow will you run out and kill a bunch of people? Ridiculous I know, but you get the point.

  • StilllHere

    It seem like the central issue is freedom.  A Right to Work law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union.  Simple as that.  I’m not sure why the union thugs have to get all violent, maybe because they’re fearful their freeride is in jeopardy. 

  • 1Brett1

    There’s nothing wrong with Right to Work laws in and of themselves. The laws just simply (ostensibly) put the decision to join/not join a union in the hands of the workers, as it should be. A spokesperson for the UAW said yesterday the organization doesn’t have a problem with Right to Work laws themselves. And, unions have often gotten a little too obstreperous in recent years. 

    The problem is that in states that have Right to Work laws, workers wages are often part of a race to the bottom. Employers tend toward taking advantage of workers and giving them substandard pay and little benefits, while the workers have little or no recourse. Adopting Right to Work laws often signals a disintegration in public and private investment in workers. 

    • anamaria23

      Nice balanced comment.  Agree, some unions have demanded way too much.  However, Toyota moved it’s plant from Michigan to Indiana and worker’s wages went from $28.00 an hour to $14.00 an hour with more meager benefits, according to Mike Elk reporter for In These Times.
      It does seem that some compromise from both sides could be reached, but those days seem to be over in USA.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        But why the odd turn from “unions have demanded way too much” to passing laws against it?

        • Gregg Smith

          It is not a law against unions.

          • 1Brett1

            Come on, in spirit it may not be, but all too often businesses will use Right to Work as a way to undercut employees empowerment and what the spirit of unionizing represents.

          • 1Brett1

            If what you say is true, Gregg, than it is also equally true that union standards are not against business, but we’re really talking about the reality and not the spirit of a law/practice.

          • Gregg Smith

            Not really but we actually agree on most of this as evidenced by  another reply. To me  (and I thought you) the  issue is the freedom to conduct your business the way you see fit. I don’t see a law that confirms that as a law that is against unions. I am more concerned with a law that inhibits how a business can operate.

            Let’s look at it this way. The “law” requiring employees to pay dues to a union in certain states is what changed things from the default. So now a new law is passed to reverse it. Would you agree that “right to work” is the default policy?

          • 1Brett1

            Well, in my case, my businesses are so small and so service oriented, and in a very small community. If I treated employees badly or offered a less than stellar service, I’d be out on my rear in no time. So, by virtue of their size and position in the community, I’m “forced” to conduct my self in a certain way; I don’t really have a choice in that I would fail miserably in a matter of weeks if I did otherwise. Of course, if I could get by with shirking what I feel are responsibilities and actions that would ultimately unfavorably reflect what I want to stand for, I still wouldn’t do it. 

            Being in business for the sake of being in business for myself isn’t my thing. I believe in what I’m doing. I do see musicians, however, for example, who always start gigs late and finish early; I see teaching musicians who really offer a crappy service because they don’t wish to put in the time and energy into being a great teacher; I see landscape businesses that use poor plant material (it’s cheaper), plant improperly (because planting fast can get more in the ground faster), and tackle jobs they have no business tackling (they haven’t the skills). Some still get by through sheer volume. I have made a distinct decision NOT to be that kind of business person. 

            You and I agree on concepts, mostly, but I perhaps value unions a little more because I’ve seen a lot of worker abuse in Right to Work states. It’s difficult to argue the spirit of a given concept and the reality, all in the same comment, I’ll admit. I wish Right to Work worked both in spirit and in practice, all the time, so that it could be championed as the default policy, so to speak…not sure about the reality of that though…

    • Gregg Smith

      It is more profitable to treat your employees well. Henry Ford is my favorite example. If unions bring higher wages that’s fine but not if it is an unsustainable business plan like for instance GM. I wonder if the studies refer to average salary or median salary. Averages don’t mean much. If George Soros speaks to an inner city Kindergarten class, what is the average net work of those in the room?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        “It is more profitable to treat your employees well.”

        You’re absolutely right, so why the hell don’t they?

        • Gregg Smith

          They do or they would go out of business. Henry Ford paid his employees enough so they could afford cars.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            BullSh*t. You’re telling me that you can support a family on a twenty hour a week minimum wage job? Oh, that’s right, how could I forget: People don’t get paid a substantive wage because they are too stupid to quit and take another job.

            When another Part-Time Minimum Wage Job is all that awaits them, they’re fools for not jumping ship right?

          • Gregg Smith

            What world do you live in? Why would someone working 20 hours/week for minimum wage start a family? That’s dumb.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            lol

            What if you’re making twenty dollars an hour at your job with benefits when you fall in love and have children, then, BAM!!! You wake up in an eight dollar an hour job in your shiny new Right To Work State.

          • Gregg Smith

            It can happen but you still have options like moving. People do it everyday.

            I know you are a victim of identity theft. That’s an extenuating circumstance and a different issue.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            So if you’re not currently making enough money to feed your family, provide shelter, or afford transportation you’re going to have the means to pick up and move?

            I wasn’t talking about my situation, that should have been pretty obvious.

          • Gregg Smith

            I went to 7 schools by the 6th grade.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Now Drew, if I’ve learned anything from Gregg it’s that wealth is a choice, and everyone who isn’t Gregg has somehow chosen so much less wealth over (say) the last decade, since the end of the early 00′s recession.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            This wasn’t what your comment said when I replied to it, doesn’t matter though.

            You do realize it is almost 2013 don’t you? How do you think Henry Ford would feel about twenty hour a week jobs paying minimum wage today? Yeah you can buy a car on today’s ‘worker’ wage…a twenty year old dinosaur that needs twenty thousand dollars worth of work, ‘workers’ are so fortunate…

          • Gregg Smith

            I edited a misspelling that’s all. 

          • DrewInGeorgia

            That’s odd, all it said when I replied was “They do.”

            Like I said it really doesn’t matter.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sometimes I elaborate after I hit the button, I can’t keep track. It must have been immediate. I  also make a lot of spelling mistakes that are much easier to see after it’s posted. Apologies, I wasn’t trying to be sneaky.

      • 1Brett1

        My point being that a comment giving examples of some cop somewhere getting some outrageous retirement package isn’t an argument for or against anything. Or that some private sector place being too much in a union’s back pocket isn’t necessarily absolute evidence that unions are bad. 

        I work for myself, so, like you, I am free to work as I see fit (and, I hire employees in spring and summer – for my landscape business – so far, I have been able to treat them really well with good wages, etc., including buying/making them lunch on most days!). So, while at most, I’m only hiring three or so employees for that business, and I will sometimes hire accompaniment for my music gigs (for which I pay them upfront, whether I take a cut at the door or not), I do like the freedom to conduct my business as I see fit. I’d also like to think my business conduct is well managed by being self-directed. I don’t think, as a society, we can always leave such concerns in the hands of business organizations left to their own devices, though, unfortunately. 

        These issues don’t affect me personally, but I used to work for a county governmental organization; and, while, we weren’t unionized, our benefits packages were good, yet they weren’t nearly as cushy as those for employees hired before 1973 (also non-union). 

        Some municipalities consistently show fiscal responsibility, some don’t. Many California counties/cities, for example, have been shown to have made really irresponsible decisions with regard to union-type benefits/pay. Yet, some public organizations I’ve seen that are also unionized have seemed to have been great at balancing responsibilities to workers and fiscal responsibilities to the organization itself.

        I do wonder how all of these concerns get churned up and manipulated for political purposes (on each side). I haven’t seen any evidence that Right to Work prevalence in certain areas has done anything to ensure business stability, workers’ rights, or corporate responsibility, etc. It appears that in states where Right to Work is the law, those states have just as many fiscal problems as other states, workers tend to be treated poorly, organizations don’t seem to follow best business practices in taking care of workers or helping them acquire and maintain success, workers are often targeted/fired for wanting to organize unions, and workers have little or no recourse. 

        This often doesn’t seem to be a simple matter of wanting a spirit of ensuring workers’ freedom to either join or not join a union. It’s political, and it’s often Republicans’ engaging in union bashing/being pro-corporate freedom or anti-government demonization. I find some of the conservative comments regarding what’s going on in Michigan about Right to Work simply wishing to protect workers’ freedoms to be disingenuous. 

  • 1Brett1

    Average pay per state government employee, according to Bloomberg news:

    New York: $55, 650            

    New Jersey: $54,064

    Illinois: $51,387

    MIchigan: $49,022

    Ohio: $48,812

    North Carolina $41,878

    Pa.: $39,868

    Virginia: $39, 004

    Texas: $35,442

    Florida: $34,481

    Georgia: $28,682 

    Many of these states are Right to Work states, some are not; ALL paid out huge sums, into the millions in overtime pay.  None of the salary averages seems exorbitant. And, I don’t mind any honest discussion about unions vs. Right to Work. However, pointing out some aberrant salary of one individual or salaries from certain out of whack counties/cities/jurisdictions, or giving examples of salaries run amok because of some glitch or abuse/improper use of a system, are NOT intended for honest debate; these simply cite crazy examples to further some ideological narrative. 

    • Prairie_W

      Maybe the Economic Policy Institute has some helpful info here, certainly with respect to the salaries and benefits for public sector workers who were being maligned at a time when Wisconsin governor Walker was going after public employee unions: 

      “Comparisons controlling for education, experience, hours of work, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity and disability, reveal no significant
      overpayment but a slight undercompensation of public employees when compared to private employee compensation costs on a per hour basis. On
      average, full-time state and local employees are undercompensated by
      3.7%, in comparison to otherwise similar private-sector workers. The public employee compensation penalty is smaller for local government employees (1.8%) than state government workers 7.6%)…”

      That’s an excerpt from a larger study.  More here:http://prairieweather.typepad.com/big_blue_stem/2011/02/the-truth-about-government-vs-private-industry-pay-and-benefits.html

      • 1Brett1

        Thanks, P.W.

  • Gregg Smith

    The violence of the union thugs is typical. Remember Kenneth Gladney? These protest are nasty.

    • nlpnt

      Any better ideas for registering your protest at a surprise piece of legislation racing through the statehouse in barely a week with no time made for public comments?

      • Gregg Smith

        Union thugs are always thugs, the circumstances don’t matter.

        • jefe68

          And right wing thugs are always thugs, the circumstances don’t matter.

          • Gregg Smith

            Show me the widespread violence from the right that compares to this, or Wisconsin. Show me the right wing leaders calling for blood. Show me another President who has advocated getting in peoples faces or bringing a gun to a knife fight.

            Have you thought this through?

          • Gregg Smith

            Show me the widespread violence from the right that compares to this, or Wisconsin. Show me the right wing leaders calling for blood. Show me another President who has advocated getting in peoples faces or bringing a gun to a knife fight.

            Have you thought this through?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I remember Gladney, but somehow differently than you do. Two misdemeanor charges, two not-guilty verdicts. All the right wing noise machine fluffing in the world couldn’t make that into anything.

      http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_972c5eb0-accb-11e0-8614-001a4bcf6878.html

      • Flytrap

         OJ was found not guilty as well.

        • jefe68

          Hyperbolic.

      • Gregg Smith

        I could be wrong but my guess is you don’t remember Gladney. You probably never heard of him until you just googled him. It’s on video.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “(I) probably never heard of him…”

          Keep assuming things. You know what that makes you.

          • Gregg Smith

            As I said, I could be wrong but I smell a rat. Why on earth would you downplay this if you had been paying attention at the time? Don’t condone it.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Your senses fail you. That’s all I can say.

  • Gregg Smith

    Right to work states do not prohibit unions. What’s the problem? 

    • nlpnt

      (Reply made to wrong comment removed).

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      Everyone here knows you are paid to comment for the elite.

      • Gregg Smith

        Yes and my blogger union set the wage high. 

  • J__o__h__n

    I’ve had it with the annoying pop-ups.  I’m done for the week.  I’ll check in next week and see if they are still here. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Sorry to see ya go man. There are ways to block them but I completely agree that we shouldn’t have to.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    ‘Right to Work’ is just another effort by the financial elite to trickle up more profit to themselves.  When added up with all other business costs, wages distributed across products and services have a relatively small impact on total cost while on the flip side, a small increase in wages has a huge increase in spending power of John and Jane Workerbee. Increasing worker purchasing power will drive economic growth more than any other single factor.

    Our neofeudal lords have starved their milkcows for too long! The herd has been weakened and is nervous: conditions are ripe for a stampede. The 2012 election was just a warning sign. They had better wakeup and start feeding their milkcows.

    • Gregg Smith

      What if Michigan required everyone to join the NRA and made them pay dues that ended up funding Republican campaigns?

      • Mike_Card

        Is there a noticeable difference between requiring membership in a recreational organization–the NRA–and requiring support for an untaxed organization?  Like religious or educational organizations?

        • Gregg Smith

          It’s all silly, unions are unique in that regard. I suppose there is a “greater good” argument for requiring childless couples to pay for public education but I’m beginning to question that too.

          • keltcrusader

            Yes, the country benefiting from having an educated populace is really a bad idea. Really, only those who can afford to educate their children should be able to do so. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Speaking of Michigan, only 7% of eighth graders can read proficiently. Is that what you call “educated”? Why do you assume if government doesn’t pay for it, it won’t get done?

            http://cnsnews.com/news/article/only-7-detroit-public-school-8th-graders-proficient-reading 

          • John_in_Amherst

            History.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Now that you mention it, why should anyone who has not been a crime victim or had their house burn pay for police and fire protection?  I trust you are driving on your own private road to your perfect job.  And I KNOW you have lots of guns & ammo stashed in case your back yard is invaded, so screw the defense budget, right?
            Psst… Gregg… John Galt was a fictional character….. 

          • Gregg Smith

            All I have is an old 22 and a half box of bullets. 

            I pay for those services to be on call 24/7 just in case. I pay the police to patrol even if they find no crime. I depend on the highways everyday even if I never drive.

          • John_in_Amherst

            sounds sorta like everyone paying taxes to educate the next generation, just in case parents aren’t able to home-school or  pay for private schools… Unless you figure our society would work without education…

          • Mike_Card

            I was scanning the spectrum and must have lost my train of thought–sorry.

            My second point was to have been about “free riders,” who only seem to be distasteful when they’re part of “the 47%”–not when they’re skirting union dues while accepting the union’s efforts on behalf of employees.

            To continue in the off-topic vein, I’ve got to confess that I see more good in tax support for educational institutions (including voucher programs).  Religious scams are just too widespread for me to stomach those subsidies.

            But that’s just me.

  • NewtonWhale

    Right wingers have a genius for Orwellian Newspeak.

    They invent names for laws and front groups that mean the opposite of what they are.

    “Right to work” laws are designed to eliminate the ability of workers to bargain and give business a free hand to drive down wages and impose abusive conditions.

    “Hobo Laws” is more like it: “Hands Off Business Owners”.

    “Hand’s Off” is what they want and “Hobos” are what we’ll get.

    That’s why “Americans for Prosperity” was founded and funded by the Koch brothers.

    It’s purpose is to create an endless supply of cheap labor powerless to improve its lot. It will give Americans the right to work, all right…for the prosperity of the Koch brothers.

    You should ask your guest from “Americans for Prosperity” how, exactly, these laws create jobs? All they do is encourage states to poach jobs from each other in a race to the bottom that is a death spiral for the middle class.

    Want proof? Take a look at the graph.

    • tn_amygdala

       nice graph

    • sickofthechit

       A great comedic example of their doublespeak is the opening segment on the Daily Show Tuesday 12/11/2012.  They had two correspondents posing as reps from the respective states of Indiana and Michigan one upping each other with outrageous concessions to employers.  Worth watching the segment I promise. charles a. bowsher

  • StilllHere

    Why do lefties and union thugs hate choice and freedom?

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      They like choice and freedom when it comes to the murderous act of abortion and the perversion of gay marriage.  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      Everyone here knows you are paid to comment for the elite.

      • Flytrap

         Put me in touch with his employer, I could use a commenting job.

  • nlpnt

    If the Michigan GOP thinks Right-To-Work is so great, how come it was introduced and raced through the legislature in a lame-duck session and democracy-proofed with an otherwise unnecessary appropriation?

    Why wasn’t it introduced early in the session so that there could be proper public debate, or at least before the election so that the Michigan Republicans could stand or fall on their policy beliefs?

    • Flytrap

       If the dems like obamacare so much, why did they pass it with a reconciliation vote in the Senate and allow no debate or amendments?

      • jefe68

        Hyperbolic.

      • StilllHere

        Amen

      • DrewInGeorgia

        The topic is Right To Work, not Right To Antagonize (Though I certainly admit you seem to have the latter down).

      • 1davidkiroshabteselassie1

         Were you asleep?? there was debate and there were amendments. If anything, Obamacare didn’t go far enough, as there is no public option and it was basically written by big Pharma.

  • Flytrap

    My favorite argument the unions were using yesterday is that if people don’t have to join the union, they will be benefiting from all the money and labor the unionists have contributed to secure the rights and privileges the new non-union worker might enjoy. It is an ironic argument for the leftists to make since they also support those policies in the form of welfare and other govt spending.  Maybe they are secret TEA Partiers?
     

    • jefe68

      How so?

      • Flytrap

         They are arguing against redistribution and are upset others will benefit from their organization and labor if right to work passes.  How is that different than wealthy folks arguing against raising taxes?  It’s the same principle in a different context.

  • toc1234

    does Steve Greehouse know you are having this discussion w/o him?  or is he booked solid on msnbc all day?  probably the latter…

  • rvl1

    Unions won us the 8 hr a day/40 hr work week, overtime pay, paid holidays and vacations, health and retirement benefits, protection from unsafe and unfair labor practices, work and pay standards. All the things many of us in the middle class took for granted and now sadly see disappearing as we speak. Look at the plight of workers in China and Third World countries – that’s where we’re headed over time if unions disappear. That’s probably what some of these heartless, greedy, multinational corps who buy Republican politicians with the change in their pockets want and lobby for. They buy Democrats too but at least the Democrats have some shame and don’t wear it like a badge of honor as do conservative Republicans.

    • Shag_Wevera

      “Unions won us the 8 hr a day/40 hr work week, overtime pay, paid holidays and vacations, health and retirement benefits, protection from unsafe and unfair labor practices, work and pay standards…”

      That’s why we need to get rid of those goddamned unions, they are bad for business and shareholders.

      • rvl1

        You are being short sighted. How can well paid, healthy, well-trained, job secure workers be bad for business and shareholders?  They can afford the products and services sold by these same businesses and feel confident enough to make long term investments in homes, vehicles, stocks, etc.  Unions helped to make these standards by which most people measure having a good job.  Power to the people my friend.

        • Shag_Wevera

          Either one or both of us is being sarcastic, I certainly was!

  • AC

    this is where the pendulum is swinging, don’t worry, it’ll swing back…..

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Don’t bet on it. And what if it’s dragging an Angry Starving Mob in tow on the return trip?

      • AC

        that’s why it’ll come back – there are good points on either of the extremes of this issue, but there are some seriously bad ones too.
        the only thing that’s different and interesting the next time around is the slow replacement of labor in general – you know my usual spiel, i haven’t done it in a while so here goes:
        look out farm labor – you’re about to be replaced!

        http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-software/vision_robotics_new_intelligent_robotic_vineyard_pruner

        • AC

          underline on the ‘why’ – i hate that we can’t do stuff like that in disqus….

  • toc1234

    will Tom acknowledge the thuggish/violent behavior by the unions?  or will it be laughed off as Labor being serious about their message?

    • Wahoo_wa

      I suspect the later.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Wrong place Disqus.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Should have been a reply to AC, good morning Disqus.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I’m beginning to think that Disqus follows you around like that black cloud over the fellow in Lil Abner. (Can’t remember his name.)

      • DrewInGeorgia

        It feels that way sometimes. I just try to remind myself that Disqus is an Equal Opportunity Irritant.

  • tn_amygdala

    can the new legislature reverse this decision?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Pay very close attention to Americans for Prosperity’s Dallas Woodhouse. He’ll be speaking for the criminal Koch brothers. 

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriebennett/2012/03/31/tracking-koch-money-and-americans-for-prosperity/

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Anyone else wonder why the press takes up the drumbeat of it always being labor’s problem to justify their next raise (or next not-giveback) with the health of the company 15 years from now?

    Becase, as discussed yesterday, management gets to pocket almost anything not nailed down, and what I hear on The Evening News is “Creative Destruction, beeyotches! That’s what capitalism does.”

    • Shag_Wevera

      Awesome!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Thuggish and violent is the rich exploiting their workers.

    Like the WalMart heirs do to millions.

    • Gregg Smith

      I especially hate how they force employees to work for them.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        The elite don’t know what’s coming. Why? Because they believe they control everything, even the future.

      • StilllHere

        And customers to buy from them.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

          Everyone here knows you are paid to comment for the elite.

          • StilllHere

            Everyone knows you’re a paid toad for the union thugs; and apparently they don’t pay much and get what they pay for.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

            You’re a tool of the elite thugs. Everyone knows your long history of kissing the $ss of the elite.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        Everyone here knows you are paid to comment for the elite.

      • OnPointComments

        In liberal land, if I advertise a job for $12 an hour, and someone applies, gets the job, and I pay them $12 an hour, the employee been screwed because he was paid $12 an hour. 

      • Shag_Wevera

        Cuz other alternatives are SO abundant.

      • jimino

        Of course its business model depends on the existence of  publicly funded programs to provide benefits to its employees that the greatest generation took for granted as a condition of employment in the good ol’ USA.  Times certainly have changed.

  • Wahoo_wa

    I believe in right to work laws.  With only 11.4% of the work force in labor unions (with only 61% +/- of those members in the private sector) I think the unions hold the rest of the population hostage.  They create for themselves a favored class of people that has little use for the common good in our current culture.  Unions point to the 8 hour work day…40 hour work week…etc. as a reason why they are important.   What have they done for society lately except line the pockets of the few?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

      Well, the typically cowardly Repugs could have had a public debate on this rather than ramming it through before they’re out on their azzes after being thrown out aas such in the last election. How’s that, Right-To-Work statistician. They’re cowards, plain, simple and abundantly evident.

      • Wahoo_wa

        If you’re going to respond please keep the comment relevant to the post.

    • Shag_Wevera

      A favored class in that they have LEVERAGE to negotiate with management and ownership.  You are ignorant of history and sociology.

      • Wahoo_wa

        “you are ignorant of history and sociology”…that’s quite an assumption you’ve got there.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Police and firefighters are the biggest union thugs and this law exempts them.

    Why?

    • Shag_Wevera

      Because they vote and have money.  Righty politicians are afraid of them.

    • jimino

      Exactly!  It’s similar to Congressional members who are really, I mean REALLY, serious about reducing government spending but won’t even consider cutting the most obvious source of waste, inefficiency and incompetence (the military), and targeting programs that actually pay for themselves instead. 

      In truth, this is about gutting political opposition and its funding while protecting their own political support. 

  • Davesix6

    Funny how the left is throwing a fit about legislation they say was passed by a majority of lawmakers without a chance for any discussion.
    Can you say Obamacare?
     
    The notion of valiant union members struggling against the evil rich to protect the rights of the down trodden is as out dated as the effectiveness of the Unions themselves.

    Todays Unions are nothing more than special interest groups who care only for the self serving interest of their membership.

    • StilllHere

      It’s actually even worse, the head union thugs only care about lining their own pockets at the expense of their membership.

    • Shag_Wevera

      You are ignorant of history, and will repeat it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

      I seem to remember a long and protracted national discussion about health care reform…

  • DrewInGeorgia

    My heart goes out to all those who will be ultimately be raped by this change in legislation. I’ve seen the results of Right To Work play out in my state over time and it hasn’t been pretty. Right To Work = Right To Servitude.

    The saddest part in all of the Union vs. the ‘Job Creator’ battles is that if people could earn a LIVING WAGE they would never seek to form a union. Wanna keep the serfs happy Benevolent Overlords? Try rewarding their toil with enough money to put food on their tables and a roof over their heads.

    • StilllHere

      Hyperbolic nonsense.

      • jefe68

        This from the king of hyperbole. Hilarious.

    • Gregg Smith

      I make a living wage without a union. A union would hold me down. I’ll let my skills and work ethic set my pay and determine the demand. I embrace that.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCZ6YOEX4P7YG2MEYBW43IZC6U Tom

        That’s cool. But do you pre-suppose that everyone else thinks as you do? That’s arrogant, and typical of the dying GOP mindset: legislate our opinions, forget the facts.

        • Gregg Smith

          I don’t control or concern myself with how others think. Anyone can nurture skills or establish and display responsibility. In a union that means zip. That’s fine if you want to be a number. I don’t.

      • Ringwoodsteve

        You are 100 percent correct Greg. I have work for a union for 20 years. All it does is keep everybody equal whether you’re an excellent worker or a freeloader. It takes away all incentive to try to improve your skills if some jerk with more seniority there and less ability takes priority.

      • Shag_Wevera

        We aren’t all as excellent as you…

        • Gregg Smith

          We determine our own excellence.

          • John_in_Amherst

             nice platitude.  However a lot of working stiffs don’t get to determine when or how they work, regardless of their own excellence.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sure they do.

          • John_in_Amherst

             keep dreaming.  Maybe you’ll make it to retirement without having to wake up…

          • Gregg Smith

            Who commanded you to work where you do?

          • John_in_Amherst

             so you know lots of folks with their own assembly lines, factories, warehouses, schools, etc.?

          • Gregg Smith

            A few.

      • John_in_Amherst

        While working my way through grad school, I had a union job and became a shop steward, and saw both sides: freeloaders expected me to go to bat for them to facilitate their screwing the pooch, and employees wrongly or capriciously disciplined needed help defending themselves against unsafe working conditions and unfair supervisors.  I hold that anyone who has a pat answer for this is ipso facto wrong.
        What is clear is that the decline in union membership in the US parallels a decline in real wages and a steep rise in the income of the top 1 or 2 percent.  Coincidence?  Or reinforcement of the call for workers of the world to unite?
        It is often a lot easier for senior company management to move production to non-union shops or countries than it is for workers and their families to pick up and follow. 
        Given the GOP’s lengthy history of anti-worker, anti-union, anti-OSHA and anti-environment legislation, any claims Republicans make about this rollback in labor law encouraging freedom and workers’ rights is somewhere between sardonic and ridiculous.  The GOP has been able to split the blue collar vote with religion, social issues or gun rights, but as their agenda (enriching the already rich) is made increasingly more obvious, Progressives and unions need to redouble their political efforts to return political control to the working middle and low income majority.

      • Prairie_W

         Me, me, me?

    • Shag_Wevera

      Gotta compete with the Chinese and Indian serfs, y’know!

  • toc1234

    unions have no one but their leaders to blame.  its a pyramid scheme where the real exploitation is done by the union bosses against their rank and file so there should be no surprise that this way of labor is a dying animal…

  • geraldfnord

    Fun fact for “Libertarian” Party members: ‘right to work’ is actually a Statist limitation on contract…shouldn’t free people grouped together as a ‘corporation’ be allowed to negotiate with free people grouped together as a ‘union’ such that the former will employ only those approved by the latter?  Surely this freedom must rank up there with the freedom to discriminate on the basis of race or left-handedness, the freedom to contractually sell one’s heart for organ transplant, and the freedom to contractually sell oneself into a lifetime of slavery?

    Corporate personhood and the limited liability and responsibility rooted in it (‘”_I_ didn’t do that, the dummy did,” said the ventriloquist,’) is an amazing super-power formerly granted by kings to a very few of their friends.  It cannot be found in the State of Nature, and it conveys potentially enormous power on the relatively few people who actually run corporations.
    This gives these concentrations of power much more leverage over workers than they would have otherwise, and added to it is the threat of State violence (“libert”arians’ famous ‘men with guns from the Gummint’) in order to enforce the contracts that are made in this condition of gross mismatch of power, as well as to protect huge heaps of wealth not retainable in Nature.

    As such, even though I have a distaste for putting conditions on anyone’s employment (beyond their not accepting substandard wages or conditions that might become standard for _me_), I think it only reasonable that the power imbalance the State helps to create via these social technologies be compensated-for by giving workers’ organisations the boost they need in the form of allowing a ‘closed shop’.

  • toc1234

    btw – its sort of ironic that all of a sudden liberals are against free-loaders…

  • Wahoo_wa

    Why is the guest saying “most Americans” when a vast, vast majority of Americans are not union members?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Funny thing about that; in a lot of workplaces people say things about starting unions, and all of a sudden they’re out of a job.

      Not that that affects the rate of union participation.

  • Ringwoodsteve

    Unions are no more than a protection racket. If you want to join that’s fine. If not. You shouldn’t have to. You should have the right to work with without paying for it. It’s no different than the organized crime thugs that go around to local stores and demand payment for “protection” or else. If you want to pay for protection, that’s fine. But you shouldn’t have to pay for your right to run a store or seek employment.

    • jefe68

      Man, what a load of hyperbolic crap.

    • jefe68

      Man, what a load of hyperbolic crap.

    • StilllHere

      Right on!  So true.

  • hypocracy1

    It’s pretty obvious that with so many people still unemployed and struggling… you don’t have a right-to-work.. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Oh god Tom. Is that where we are headed? (paying people like China)

    Yes. Where have you been. Oh, I know, on NPR being told be careful how you talk about the criminal elite.

  • Davesix6

    States that are heavy unions are in much worse shape than those who are not, in all respects.

    Businesses are moving to “right to work” States.

    Truth be told it was unions that brought down the auto industry not “poor management”.
    And it’s State employees unions that are bring down California and other States where they have a stranglehold on the government.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Yeah, let’s give all our collective strength as laborers away.  Let us place our well-being and futures into the hands of our management and ownership.  They are, after all, benevolent stewards of our fortunes.  There can be no doubt that they only want what is best for us…

    We are all SO GODDAMNED STUPID!!!  I include myself in this social criticism, as I have not been politically active enough in this area.  Let’s just give away everything that previous generations have paid for with BLOOD, SWEAT, and TOIL!!!

    I weep for our futures. 

    • StilllHere

      Hyperbolic nonsense.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Good argument.

    • OnPointComments

      Do you believe that unions are all benevolent stewards and only want what is best?  What do you think of the Michigan teachers contract that the unions negotiated?  Teachers get to show up drunk five times, and under the influence of illegal drugs three times, before they can be fired.  Would you be okay with your children being taught by a drunk or someone on drugs?

      • Shag_Wevera

        It goes without saying that they represent me better than management and ownership…  DUH!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.sheldon.50 Suzanne Sheldon

    Unions may be a necessary evil. If it wasn’t for unions, we would have sweat shops, and few worker’s rights. It came about as a result from the greedy company owners trying to work their employees nearly to death, to maximize their profits. Once the unions were established, and eventually became powerful, THEY became greedy and corrupt. Now, people are fed up with their greediness. Perhaps not all unions are self-serving (Looking out mainly for the union leaders), but so many of them are unreasonable and have caused their own demise. We’re all sick of greedy fat cats. However, it probably is a case of the pendulum swinging, and they may rise again, but that may take decades. Greed is a human weakness, and without controls, unions, bankers, stock brokers, politicians, etc. will try to take advantage when they see an advantage.         

  • Davesix6

    Katie when those 13,000 came together did you notice the violence?
    That’s something you won’t see at a Tea Party rally.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      Tea baggers are so old they can’t get out of their federal paid for rollers no less throw a punch. 

    • hypocracy1

      you also won’t see some leftist troll walking around with a video camera trying to incite and incident or setting up a tent..  The guy got exactly what he was looking for.

    • 1davidkiroshabteselassie1

       You mean like those Tea Baggers who were slapping and spitting on members of Congress during the Obamacare debates? Oh yes.. No violence from Tea Bag rallies.

      • OnPointComments

        Would you have a problem with being forced to join and pay dues to the Tea Party?

    • StilllHere

      Most of the union thugs are hired by the union just for the purpose of inciting violence.

  • jefe68

    This is all about crushing the workers rights, nothing more.
    Right to work is about the owner telling the worker what they are going to get and how many hours they are going to work, or not.

    It’s not about workers, it’s about the corporations.

     

    • SuziVt

      Is it not possible that the union organization may need to rethink their objectives and practices? Perhaps they have let down the very people that they were suppose to be empowering. If I don’t achieve my goals, I have to look at my own actions and ask myself where have I fallen short. In some companies, heads roll when the bottom line has not measured up. In politics, the republicans become the majority in Congress, or visa versa. To never analyze yourself and see where you can learn from your mistakes is a sure road to eventual failure. No entity is perfect. I am neither for or against unions. I think they’re necessary, but not in every workplace. I’m disappointed to see them fall, but it’s time to get realistic. We are all making huge cuts in this economy, people are angry, re-evaluate the whole picture. I’m for helping people in need, the wealthy paying more taxes, I voted for Obama. However, I think he also needs to make some cuts in benefits since he didn’t get 100% of the votes. I’m not a republican, but they’re not ALL wrong. Neither is the left all-right. It just frustrates me to hear people unwilling to sit in the other sides shoes and consider their point of view. There’s a lot to be learned. I think that was something Bill Clinton was very good at. Sorry, I’m getting carried away.    

      • jefe68

        Except that the right to work laws are not about compromise. I do agree that unions need to change with the times. They are shrinking in numbers though and that’s not good for workers or their right to bargain as a group.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Koch brother toady David Woodhouse speaks: listen up so you know what the elite want you to know.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      And listen to him. He sounds like a very uneducated tool. Guess it doesn’t take much to get a Koch check as long as you repeat their propaganda. 

  • 1davidkiroshabteselassie1

    Why were the Police and Firefighter unions exempt from this legislation? If it is good enough for the general public, it should be good enough for them! Martin Niemoller’s iconic poem “First They Came For”  comes to mind.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      Well, the Republicans understand divide and conquer.

      They don’t know much else, but they do know that.

    • Bluejay2fly

      In NYS the Taylor Law forbids strikes and fines all public employees (cops, teachers, prison guards) 2 days pay for every day on strike in the event the state had no choice but to hire them back. In exchange for not being able to strike they are granted collective bargaining rights (unions). I am certain most states have similar laws as does the Federal Government. Unfortunately, because we cannot strike contract negotiations are difficult. I received my 2009 raise two months ago. If you have heard of the Blue Flue that is when a whole precinct or a large portion of a prison calls in sick on the same day-as long as nobody admits it was not intentional they cannot penalize the workers as it is not a job action. Blue flues usually resolve labor management problems very quickly.

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    So if Right-to-work is so great, then how come North Carolina’s unemployment rate is 9.3% – above the national average? Shouldn’t it be lower if unions were the major source of employment issues??

    • jefe68

      One would think this would be so.

  • RolloMartins

    Dallas Woodhouse make me want to vomit. Is he proof that N. Carolina *is* backward?

    • StilllHere

      Some of your best work, really.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        Hope that minimum wage paycheck from the Koch brothers keeps you living high on the hog.

  • StilllHere

    Democrats apparently hate choice and freedom.  Sad.  This is why so many Americans are worried about Communist infiltration at the highest levels of government.

    • hypocracy1

      Yes, because here in USA we have the choice and the freedom to cut our own throats!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      What are you a Cold War spy? ha ha ha ha ha ha Communist infiltration.

    • jefe68

      Communist infiltration? This is not the 50′s and even then that was a nothing short of fear mongering. Which is what you are doing now.

  • Wahoo_wa

    Did Tom mention that NPR is a union shop?  I didn’t catch that.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C7KRTYJOM3N7Z5HMAMGU2PLKX4 Marlyn Brandeaux

    As a Michiganian, I’d like to tell Dallas Woodhouse to shove it. You are proof that North Carolina remains backwards–and I for one will NEVER move there.

    • StilllHere

      NC doesn’t want unstable individuals such as yourself anyway, so seems to be a non-issue.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C7KRTYJOM3N7Z5HMAMGU2PLKX4 Marlyn Brandeaux

        Exactly how am I unstable? For expressing a strong opinion?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Certain folk have been conditioned to be afraid of anyone resembling a Democrat who doesn’t apologize and backaway and mushmouth their every thought.

          See Alan “Coma” Colmes and Joe “Droopy Dog” Lieberman for what Democrats are allowed to sound like nowadays. Any more forceful and you’re in danger of just ruining everyone’s bipartisan comity.

        • jefe68

          This is how this guy rolls. It’s a good example of right wing thuggish behavior.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        You’re the paid shill. You go away.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      The Southern States need to go form their own country. 

      Good riddance to their uneducated, hate-filled populace who want to work for nothing.

      • jefe68

        The last time they tried that they had slave labor.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Wages? Do you want to be wage slaves? Answer me that!”
           

          “No.”
           
          “No, of course not. But what makes wage slaves? Wages!”

          (h/t Groucho)

        • Gregg Smith

          That’s sick.

    • Bluejay2fly

      Woodhouse equating the flight from the north with organized labor is stupid! High energy costs, higher tax rates, availability of cheap labor because of a lower cost of living, stricter environmental regulations are most of the reasons. Why do you think there is an exodus of factories to Mexico, China, etc same reasons. He is a corporate shill. I work in law enforcement that GOD that job is both unionized and cannot be outsourced to India.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.h.berry.9 Beth Hettrick Berry

    A friend that is a nurse in N.C. is working in unsafe staffing conditions. There is no one to talk too. Management tells them their lazy and should be able to manage with a skeleton crew. One person feels helpless. 

  • keltcrusader

    I found it quite interesting to read yesterday that Hostess admitted that the company took the money it collected from it’s workers that was suppose to fund their pension accounts and instead used it to cover operating costs. They have no idea how much money they shorted the worker’s pension funds and have no intention of paying that back since, according to the current CEO, this happened under a different a management’s watch.

    They were also able to get a judges approval to pay bonuses to excutives worth 1.8 million even though they are going through their 2nd backruptcy due to poor management.

    • StilllHere

      Actually it was union selfishness that doomed them as it has doomed so many other companies in the US. Meanwhile, public employee unions are sinking states, cities and municipalities.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Dream on.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        How much do the Elite pay you per hour? Or per comment?

        Do you get docked if you don’t sound really stupid?

      • keltcrusader

        No, actually it wasn’t. Inept management did not respond to loss of market share from competition and decrease in sales due to an unhealthy product line that the public was turning away from in droves. Inept hedge fund managers lost loads of money and even though they had already been through numerous sales and a past bankruptcy, management didn’t change their practices. The unions, after giving back on wages & benefits numerous times, decided enough was enough as management refused to limit their own compensation packages. The company fell due to mismanagement, not unions. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          What kind of mismanagement does it take to not be able to profit from peddlin effing Twinkies and Hostess Cupcakes?

          To paraphrase Chris Rock, “You don’t have to sell these things. The Twinkies sell themselves!

          • keltcrusader

            Pretty bad, most especially in the United States of Obesity

      • jefe68

        Inept management and greed was the reason.
        While the unions made wage concessions the CEO took a 1 million dollar plus wage increase.

        You really are very misinformed and should at least make some attempt at posting something that is not hyperbolic or just an out right lie.

    • AC

      why aren’t the ‘owners’ liable, regardless of management?

      • StilllHere

        Owners will likely get nothing after asset sales are used to pay debts.

    • 1Brett1

      There is so much to the Hostess story that pertains to greedy decisions to continue giving executives outrageous salaries and bonuses, while workers kept agreeing over the years to pay cuts, freezes, benefits being reduced, etc., all while management performed consistently incompetently over decades and ran the business into the ground. Yet, the story gets played over and over in conservative media as the fault of inflexible unions and greedy workers…It’s such a crock.

  • http://twitter.com/mofycbsj Brian

    I believe in freedom of choice. In this country, for every
    unionized job, there are about 6 non-union jobs. Right now, you have the choice
    to seek either or both. Right-wing ideologues are trying to take that choice
    away from you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stewsburntmonkey David Stewart

    Of course that all pales in comparison to bonuses many in the private sector get annually…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Michigan residents be aware – as median wages go down, all wages go down, there is no longer a need to compete with higher wage (union) positions. Which causes consumer buying power to drop, which causes job losses and even larger wage drops all around, which causes tax revenues to drop, which  causes even bigger budget cuts, etc.

    Meanwhile, more money is moving out of state as corporate profits.

    In short, the standard of living in Michigan is on its way down.

    • StilllHere

      You’re about 40 years late.  The unions screwed Michigan long ago.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

        StillHere you should change your name to LongAShill

        • StilllHere

          And you can be ShortOnIntellect

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

            You got it.

          • StilllHere

            Thank you, you are the gift that keeps on giving.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Koch brother shill has no problem he makes a lot shilling for others to make nothing.

  • manganbr

    Just as workers should have the right to decide to join a union (isn’t solidarity more effective when its voluntary?), states (North Carolina) and corporations (Target) should NOT be able to prevent workers who want to form a union from forming them. I find it especially ironic that economic conservatives advocating free market principles have no qualms using the state to prevent the formation of a union, which is, in essence a pure free market phenomenon. Worker freedom has to cut both ways: no coercion by unions, no restrictions to form them by states.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Capitalism is all about the freedom to do anything. Well, right up to the point that laborers want to join together.

  • SuziVt

    He is absolutely right. Unions haven’t been smart. They have not cared one bit for non union workers. They would be stronger and more valid if they supported all workers and not just dues paying union members.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      Stop worrying so much about the unions and start directing your anger for falling wages and benefits at the elite. The employers. The rich. The bought and paid for politicians. The propaganda media shills.

      • SuziVt

        I am not so worried about unions. I believe they are necessary, or rich company owners would exploit their employees for their own profits, with zero concern for what happens to the lowly employee. However, I have no intention of sticking my head in the sand to protect my point of view. If the unions want to rise again, they are going to have to work smart and stop riding on their past success. Greed is human nature with powerful people. The union has powerful people at the top, just like any company. If you and they want to feebly grasp onto what worked in the past, they will never rise again to help the middle class workers. They need to learn from their mistakes and probably do some housecleaning. Not all unions are run fairly or intelligently. It’s a new era, maybe they can’t have everything they once enjoyed…just like the rest of us. I’m not the one that’s angry L.R.    

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

          I want the American people to get what they want.

          The end of unions. The end of the safety net.

          Let the American people be crushed beneath the boot of the criminal elite.

          Let the American people have to fight all over for basic work rights.

          I want them to get everything they want.

          • Shag_Wevera

            Awesome.  I think I love you.

  • AC

    ….there is something to be said here about the protection the union provides to it’s members as they age – a lot of the jobs are labor intensive and hard on the body.
    i know in my field, we don’t have unions and there’s a joke about what happens to engineers when they turn 40 cuz that’s about when you’re at your prime billable rate….i am worried about that….

    • 1Brett1

      If only I still worried about turning 40! ;-)

      • Gregg Smith

        … or 50.

  • jefe68

    Dallas Woodhouse is proving that he’s nothing but a thug.
    Typical right wing extremist and he has a peanut gallery on the forum today.

  • 1davidkiroshabteselassie1

    Dallas Woodhouse is now claiming Coch Brothers and their ilk are sinking hundreds of millions in these “causes” for reasons other than their own economic interests. He is completely deluded!

    • Wahoo_wa

      I completely agree.  They are clearly looking out for their own interests.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      No, he’s told to say that.

      Uneducated he is but smart enough to collect a Koch paycheck.

    • jefe68

      It’s Koch brothers.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Employers beware – historically, one of the functions of unions has been controlling and moderating employees where  employers could not. If push comes to shove “wildcat strikes”, “walkouts”, “sickouts”, “sitdowns”, “slowdowns” may become standard vocabulary again.

  • StilllHere

    It’s great seeing libbies resort to ad-hominems, truly desperate.

    Now watch them prove my point for me.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      You are a paid shill. Admit it.

      • StilllHere

        If only. I should get a bonus for you proving my point.  Pathetic.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

          If you aren’t a paid shill then you are stupid for spreading the Koch’s propaganda for free.

          Go get some of that Koch money boy to hate and bring down your fellow Americans with stupid comments. 

          Koch brothers are handing it out like CANDY.

          • StilllHere

            Between you and me, you’re doing a better job for Koch with your nutty comments that make lefties look like ignorant knuckle-draggers than I ever could.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

            Between you and me you’re a Koch shill.

            Just admit it. It’s half the way to recovery.

    • jefe68

      You should talk. You come on here day after day and post the same ol’ horse dung.

    • Shag_Wevera

      You suck.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      This site needs an ignore button.

    • Gregg Smith

      Wow! That was too easy. Make them dance a jig.

      • StilllHere

        I’ll leave the music to you.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

    Idiot saying he is for right to make crap.

    People, please know he is paid to call in and say that as are hundreds of people across the country.

    Peanuts for the Koch brothers to spread their propaganda. 

  • Wahoo_wa

    Could you (OnPoint) comment on NPR’s own union climate?  I know you are a union shop.  Is everyone there forced to be in the union?  What are union dues like?  As someone with a graduate professional degree I do not work in a profession where unions exist.

    • 1davidkiroshabteselassie1

       You have asked this question about 5 times. You seem a tad obsessed with some union at “NPR”.. you obviously do not understand the NPR/WBUR structure.

      • Wahoo_wa

        Actually I have asked two different questions/types of question.  Please try to keep up.  Those questions are: Did Tom mention that NPR is a union shop? (as other on air personalities at NPR have in the past particularly when they are reporting on union issues).  Tom is notoriously biased in his program and I believe full disclosure is relevant. Whether there is a difference between NPR and WBUR union requirements is a good point.  It’s part of the reason why one asks questions.  I then asked about the nature of the union at NPR since, as I stated, I do not have experience with unions as a professional.  Your penchant for exaggeration is quite clear.  I would also point out that the questions were not directed at you and neither am I interested in anymore comments from you.  Thanks.

        • 1davidkiroshabteselassie1

           Well you are asking a question that is premised on some assumption that NPR is a “union shop”. Radio, TV, Film, Writers all have their own unions. Ever heard of SAG? AFTRA? That is why your repeated attempt at tarnishing Tom as “biased” comes across as a bit disingenuous and silly. Are the jackals on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh biased? Don’t tell anyone but they are in unions as well. oops! 

          • Wahoo_wa

            Again…not interested in your comments.  Have a great day.

          • 1davidkiroshabteselassie1

             Well thank you! You have a great day as well. Hopefully Tom or someone from his “Union Shop” (Boston University) gives you the answers you are seeking.

  • MarkVII88

    I work at a hospital in New England where the nurses are unionized.  Our hospital is affiliated with a nursing school nearby.  Shortly after the latest round of union negotiations between management and the nurses at my workplace, I was in a meeting with my manager where she conveyed that there is absolutely horrible retention of newly-graduated nurses from the nursing school at our hospital. Over 1/3 of newly-hired nurses leave our hospital within one year and one of the primary reasons for this has to do with the hierarchy and the seniority-based structure of the unionized nurses.  These newer nurses would always have to work the holidays, they were much more likely to be placed on evening and night shifts without accompaniment by more senior nurses with their greater expertise, their schedules would be more subject to change if staff called out than senior nurses…on and on.  I am certainly not privy to the details of the nurses union negotiations here but it certainly appears on the surface that the union’s primary goal was to get more perks for the nurses that have “paid their dues”. This included guaranteed staffing levels, guaranteed raises that weren’t tied to performance evaluations, and guaranteed health care premiums. I’m not saying the nurses don’t work hard but what I am saying is that the union demands have made them seem quite greedy all while cloaking it all in the guise of supporting better patient care. These nurses are all getting older and there is a well-documented nursing shortage nationwide. Making it overly difficult and inconvenient for new nurses to want to work here doesn’t seem to be doing anyone any favors.

    • jefe68

      I’m not so sure you’re telling the whole story.
      Seniority has to count for something union or no union.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Now jefe, every workplace without a union is an absolute Randian Socratic meritocracy. Don’t you know that?

      • hypocracy1

        Seniority?  What are you? Some kind of Communist?

      • Ringwoodsteve

        If companies are able to compete, they need to put the best workers in place regardless of seniority. We cannot afford to keep less qualified people in the position just because they’ve been there longer.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          And keeping the less-ultimates in favored positions (shifts, titles, salaries, duties) never happens in management. And non-union workers are always in a meritocracy where they don’t get screwed over by management.

          Suuuure.

          • Ringwoodsteve

            Companys will compete for the best workers. If you’re a good worker with a good work history you will have a place with a good company. it will be come natural selection. Maybe if you’re not such a good worker, you need a union. If companies are forced to keep less qualify workers at higher wages, then the United States will continue to lose jobs.

          • StilllHere

            You’re trying but your facts are falling on deaf ears.

          • Ringwoodsteve

            I know, but that can’t keep us from trying. We have to keep speaking up. We cannot remain silent. I worked in a union shop for 30 years. You could not believe the amount of extra I had to do to make up for those who could just do the minimum, which is all that’s required by the Union.

          • Steve__T

             I wish that were true.

        • StilllHere

          Very true.  Unfortunately most of those here won’t comprehend, they generally don’t work in competitive industries.

          • anamaria23

            Do you know where “they” work?
            How about “perhaps they do not work in competitive  industries.

      • anamaria23

        Mostly in the event of layoffs, but not number of holidays worked.

      • notafeminista

        Why should seniority count for anything?  Seniority hardly guarantees competence. 

    • Shag_Wevera

      Because the nurse with 20 years seniority should have no more right to Christmas day off than the nurse with 6 months in.  What a sick idea.

      • notafeminista

        In the alternative, you’re suggesting the nurse with 6 month in has no more right to celebrate the Christmas holiday with his/her family than the nurse with 20 years in?   What a sick idea.

    • anamaria23

      Something is wrong with the management at that hospital.
      Hospitals that I have worked in, unionized, strictly  rotate holiday working days.  The staff are free to switch with each other if desired.
      The unions have nothing  to do with staffing schedules.
      If the managers play favorite with the senior nurses, no wonder the young nurses leave, but it has nothing to do with the union.
      Nurses with greater longevity do have preference in the event of layofffs.
      Incompetant nurses do not last long in a busy hospital.
      The hospital would not be foolish enough to endanger patients. 
      It is common for a certain percentage of young nurses to leave.  They get a required one year experience and move on for a different experience and often more pay if to large teaching hospital.
      With the unionization of nurses, the profession has taken it’s place as a well paying job in a safer environment for patients, thus attracting  well trained and high caliber people.

  • octopol

    The thing I find so curious about the arguments that unions in Michigan have essentially forced carmakers to set up shop in the South is the fact that many of these same car companies have no problems with production in countries where unions are not only strong, but where they work very closely with management – the most obvious example being BMW, which has no problem working closely with unions in Germany.

    The problem is not unions in the country.  The problem is that as union density has declined, American executives have become more and more greedy over time.  One only has to look at the difference between worker and CEO pay in the US versus other countries to see clearly how self-serving the arguments against unions (and health care, and living wages) are from our current crop of business elites.  It is sickening.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    right-to-work is all about right-to-hire-anyone-willing-to- work-more-for-less-and-replace-those-who-don’t-agree-with-that – it’s just easier to say.

  • jefe68

    Of the 10 states with the highest poverty rates in the nation 8 of them are in right to work states.

    • OnPointComments

      Correlation is not causation.
       
      The two states out of the top 10 that weren’t mentioned?  New Mexico (not a right to work state), which has the 2nd highest poverty rate, and West Virginia (not a right to work state), which has the 9th highest poverty rate.  Although not a state, Washington DC (not a right to work district) has the 3rd highest poverty rate.
       
      Source:  not the DailyKos, MSNBC, or the Huffington Post.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        “Correlation is not causation” = “What the righties say every time we follow their policies and bad things happen”

        • OnPointComments

          A comprehensive study of people who contracted rectal cancer found that 99.9% of people with the disease had used toilet tissue.

          • StilllHere

            Rectal describes Tom well.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    More class warfare, more excellent “framing” by the right. Business as usual in 21′st century America. We need a revolution that sends the plutocrats running for cover in their fortress communities.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      Time to drive them out of this country to their new home: China.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Works for me :), tho the sunny Caymans is more likely.

        The right says to be “competitive” internationally US workers have to work for chinese wages. To be “competitive” states have to bust unions. To “save” medicare they have to cut it. Different issues but it’s all the same – less for workers in a race to the bottom, more redistribution of wealth to the top.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

          I don’t think they will go to the Caymans. Too small of a trap for them.

          Let’s make sure these treasonous CEOs are sent where they make their money.

          I like China best because China hangs their wayward CEOs.

  • Gregg Smith

    Maybe this is a little off topic but I think it is good news albeit anecdotal. We get stall bedding from a business that carves furniture legs. 20 years ago there were backyard carvers all over this area but now there are very few. Our source is good for a load every 3 weeks or so but lately he’s had a load every week. He tells me China is moving away from the wood business and Viet Nam is trying to fill the void. To this point they don’t have the infrastructure or expertise to compete so it’s helping this corner of American Manufacturing. He has only 4 or 5 employees but I would guess this dynamic is not unique. I just hope a union doesn’t mess it all up.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      The cost of fuel has increased the shipping price of furniture across the damn Pacific Ocean exorbitantly.

      The Chinese worker makes too much now.

      The move to Vietnam is an effort to reduce the cost because god knows you can pay a Vietnamese worker pennies on the dollar you pay a Chinese worker now.

      Where does the American worker come into the picture? Wages are down so much that it’s cheaper to pay an American worker to carve some furniture then it is to ship is across the damn Pacific Ocean and a continent. 

      Word.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        You’re right that chinese are getting too rich and the plutocrats are scouring the world for even lower wage nations, ideally ones that are comfortable with slavery and with no environmental laws.

        Meanwhile the mantra is that to be “competitive” American workers have to compete with the 3′rd world on wages in a global race to the bottom. Gawd forbid we should interfere with “free trade” and discourage offshoring. Gawd forbid we should consider that the cheap goods I get to buy mean that my neighbor is too poor to buy what I make in the USA.

    • jefe68

      You’re right, it is off topic until you had to add your pointless attack on unions. 

      Why on earth would a small wood shop need a union? You know that already but you just could not help yourself to insert this kind of crap.

      • Gregg Smith

        It’s good news, chill. And speaking of off-topic post and pointless attacks, let’s take a gander:

        “You’re full of the hyperbolic diatribes today.”

        “This is how this guy rolls. It’s a good example of right wing thuggish behavior”

        “You should talk. You come on here day after day and post the same ol’ horse dung.”

        “It’s Koch brothers.”

        “Dallas Woodhouse is proving that he’s nothing but a thug. Typical right wing extremist and he has a peanut gallery on the forum today.”

        “Communist infiltration? This is not the 50′s and even then that was a nothing short of fear mongering. Which is what you are doing now.”

        “This from the king of hyperbole. Hilarious.”

        “Man, what a load of hyperbolic crap.”

        “And right wing thugs are always thugs, the circumstances don’t matter.”

        Thank you for you valuable contributions.

        • StilllHere

          Nicely done.  Much more effort than he’s worth, but nicely done.

        • jimino

           
          Why waste your time with that sort of answer instead of responding to “Why on earth would a small wood shop need a union?”?What makes you realistically fear such and outcome?

          • Gregg Smith

            It was pure snark for Jefe who has no business accusing me of off-topic pointless attacks. That’s all. And it was easy, just click his head to expand his profile. It’s thick in there. 

            I ruffle feathers and give back a bit but I’ve at least got a point and something to say. If I didn’t I sure would not throw stones.

            My comment was not about unions, his question was a non-sequitur. But to answer I’d point out a union doesn’t have to be tied to a particular business, it can be tied to a vocation like a wood carvers union. As I said there were shops like this everywhere 20 years ago when the furniture business was booming. Some of them were not small. Back then the place we used ran 3 shifts and employed about 80 workers. The carvers who ran the big machines were very well paid. If you didn’t pay well someone else would. The marketplace decided. 

          • jefe68

             Bullcrap. You said you hoped a union would ruin the small wood shop. This is how you roll, you dish it out but can’t take it. Then when someone gives it back at you you get all huffy. Pathetic.

          • Gregg Smith

            What I wrote: “I just hope a union doesn’t mess it all up.”

            What you said I wrote: “You said you hoped a union would ruin the small wood shop.”

            And that’s how you roll but I’m not huffy at all. I think it’s funny. 

          • jefe68

            No I meant why on earth would a small shop be bothered with a union? It’s absurd.

            I agree you’re a real joke.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sonny Rollins (the last I saw) has a 5 piece band. Why would such a small band need a union?

          • StilllHere

            He’s a nasty thug.  I would use the ignore button.

          • jefe68

            Ahh, poor baby. Did I hurt your feelings?

            Your belligerence was only out matched today by Woodhouse. You and him are like two peas in pod. The Beavis and Butt-head of the extreme right.

        • jefe68

          I call it how I see it. Most of what has been put on this forum today has been hyperbolic and it’s mostly the right wingers that have been doing this. Stillhere is extreme in his thuggish behavior. You don’t like hearing that, to bad. 

          Dallas Woodhouse was a and is a thug in my view. He came across like one and his entire attitude was belligerent from the get go.

          I’m not sure why you think calling someone out on using the word communism to describe unions is hyperbolic. It’s fear mongering and if you can’t see that it’s because you’re a so blinded by your right wing ideology.

          For the record, I have mixed feelings about unions. But I see them as necessary organizations in light of labor history in this country. What I witnessed here today just backs up what I post and what you re-posted. That the right slings a lot of mud but when it’s tossed back at them they cry like a bunch of babies. It’s pathetic, really.

    • 1Brett1

      Yeah, I like the idea (and I think it’s a sound one) that businesses stay local, and that one business benefits another, and so on. I think it’s great that your business works on concert with other local businesses; I, too, wouldn’t want to see regulation/union activity disrupt those relationships, as I think, ultimately, strong local economies remain so through small business diversity that develops partnerships, so to speak, with other small business communities. 

      Industries involving wood products from China have been robust in the past decade (from everything from paper products to musical instruments) because China has amazingly abundant wood supplies. This has come at an environmental price, and at a dwindling resource cost, as China has been tearing up old-growth forests at alarming rates, and they won’t be able to sustain such destruction over the long view. So, what your source is telling you, makes sense to me. Who knows, maybe Viet Nam will find itself in the same predicament and some of that business will continue to return to the US. 

      • Gregg Smith

        It’s just good business. I am amazed at how competitive our local hardware store is with Lowes or Home depot. I’d much rather keep it “in the family”.

  • OnPointComments

    I knew a philanthropist who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city symphony in which all the musicians were members of the union.  It is likely that the symphony would not have existed, and certainly would have been much smaller, without this person’s benevolence.  When the philanthropist died, the people planning the memorial service asked members of the symphony to perform at the service.  They refused unless they were paid union scale under the terms of the union contract which included a break if the service ran longer than an hour. 

    • hypocracy1

      And?

      • OnPointComments

        A reasonable person would not have to ask the question.  Which do you think is more important and reasonable, expressing gratitude at a one-time service for the person who graciously funded your livelihood for years, or rigidly demanding that you be paid and given a break if you performed?

        • hypocracy1

          A reasonable person would of followed the contract…

          • OnPointComments

            God forbid that any tragedy should befall you, but if the unthinkable happens, let’s hope the samaritan who rushes to your aid is a union nurse who demands to be paid union scale up front and be given a break.

          • hypocracy1

            I would hope that my care-giver is not under-paid and over-worked.  Thanks for your thoughtfulness..

          • notafeminista

            A union cannot nor will not guarantee that any member is not underpaid and overworked.  In point of fact, their bread and butter is insisting their members are ALWAYS underpaid and over worked.  No matter what the conditions.

        • 1Brett1

          This is simply your take in this situation. Are you a working musician? A union card-carrying musician? Who is to say you haven’t presented “facts” in this story that are a little skewed to promote the narrative you want for propaganda purposes?

    • jefe68

      You’re full of the hyperbolic diatribes today.
       

    • Shag_Wevera

      Ingrates.  They should be executed.

    • StilllHere

      Sounds typical for union members.

      • 1Brett1

        Isn’t this just more of your, “you tell ‘em commentator I agree with ideologically!” 

        • StilllHere

          No.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TSSZX2JK43AU7VFAF5XIZ34ZIE Left Righty

      They should have gone and played the Devil Goes Down to Georgia and left right after that one song and taken no money at all.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Awww….it’s so sad when the peasants aren’t grateful for the Lord’s kindness.

      Let’s be clear and keep it simple: “Right to work” = “lower wages and benefits”. 

      If wages and benefits decrease in a state, absolutely, jobs will migrate there. Then if another state gets even poorer, jobs will migrate there. It’s what the right calls “getting more competitive”, and it’s what I call a race to the bottom and class warfare.

    • Gregg Smith

      I played a private party as a duo with a friend recently. We were supposed to play 3 hours for $600. We ended up playing 5 1/2 hours straight through with no break. It’s just what the moment and vibe required. We didn’t do it for more money. We were already there and set up. At nights end we were paid $800, got another $200 in tips and landed 2 other jobs for the future. Plus the food was great. It would have been a very bad business move to threaten to quit at 3 hours unless we were paid extra.

      • 1Brett1

        I hear that! It’s difficult to convey those moments to people who don’t play music professionally, though. I have done all variations on gigs. As you say, it’s sometimes a judgement call based on the situation or “vibe.” I often times play through breaks or will play a set for an hour and a half before taking a break, etc. 

        By the same token, it’s difficult to compare very small business approaches with much larger businesses. 

        And, of course, there have been times when a venue owner/manager was a tight ass who looked for every opportunity to short change the musicians (shorting us on the door, not giving us any discounts on drinks or food, not allowing us to put out a tip jar, doubling up on the cover charge after an amount was agreed upon, making the musicians look greedy, etc.), all while the audience was spotty. I usually don’t ask to come back to those venues (and I usually tell other musicians about the place), and I usually won’t play longer than I have to. 

        • Gregg Smith

          I agree with all of that. Playing bars has been my bread and butter for so long I hate to disparage it. Oh the stories I could tell, I’m sure you could too. A private party thrown by a wealthy person or enterprise is not trying to turn a profit. They are looking to pay for a magical night of entertainment. I like that better. As I’m sure you know, providing magic is work.

          As long as a union is in the private sector I have no problem with them if I am not forced to do business with them. I wonder if the memorial service was able to hire non-union musicians. If not, then I have more of a problem with that than I do with the union demands which become blackmail in that circumstance.

      • jefe68

        I have a friend who is in the Musicians Union in NYC. He does both union and non-union gigs.
        The reason he joined the union was to be able to play on Broadway or to do any kind of gigs that were involved that kind of wage. He once said union gigs are fewer and far between these days, but they are best paid, and your treated like a human being, not some kind of servant.
         
        To make these kind of hyperbolic comments is neither here nor their in terms of how a union works. Musicians have a long history of being treated like crap. That you play parties is all well and good but has nothing to do with being in a union. 

        My friend is now playing with Sonny Rollins and they all travel first class, all of the musicians are in the union. But that’s beside the point. Mr. Rollins treats his musicians very well, although he is a bit odd I’ve been told. But then again, he’s Sonny Rollins.

        • Gregg Smith

          And If I do Broadway, I’ll join a union. Freedom of choice is a beautiful thing. I never thought there would be violence and rioting in the streets as result of a State rejecting taking that freedom away. 

          • Gregg Smith

            BTW, you don’t have to be in the musicians union to travel first class and be treated well. 

          • jefe68

            Yes, but it helps. That was not my point. Anyway I bet most musicians would do anything to play with Sonny Rollins once in their lifetime.

          • Gregg Smith

            No it doesn’t help if your band sucks. A good agent will make a bigger difference but that has a downside to. 

            I’ve played some high profile gigs and I’ve stayed at high class hotels. I played piano for 50′s crooner Ray Peterson (Fever, Corina Corina, Tell Laura I Love Her) for a while and we always stayed at 5 star resorts like the Barton Creek Country Club in Austin, The Chateau in Atlanta and Grand Cypress Villa in Orlando. Anything we needed we got. I’ve also stayed in hotels no nasty there were dead cats floating in the pool and hookers in the hall (all 3 sexes). I’m not saying accommodations don’t matter, they do but in the end you are away from home with nothing to do all day but kill time. I actually preferred the days of driving the band truck and setting up equipment.

          • jefe68

            So you think violence is an issue? You should read up on labor history before you dig a larger hole here.

    • jimino

      Who?  Where?  When?

    • rvl1

       I don’t believe you. Prove it with facts -who is the philanthropist? What city? When did this happen?  Was it in the local newspaper (which one)?  Let’s check your story.

    • 1Brett1

      Difficult to judge such a situation based on your  comment. Working musicians are not wealthy people. I, personally, would have WANTED to play the gig, no matter what. However, say, maybe some of the musicians had other paying gigs scheduled (gigs for which they really needed the money, and the only way they could risk cancelation – something a musician simply can not afford to do because of not only money but reputation – would be to get paid scale)? Some musicians risk losing their union accreditation playing a non-union gig. No matter what a person’s personal feeling about gig, if losing one’s union card were a potential consequence…

      Anyway, I don’t think much about your comment; it seems too much designed to make your position of anti-union seem comfortable. It’s smug.

      • OnPointComments

        These are the facts and they are uncontested.  An overflow crowd attended the service to give thanks to this person who had funded many charitable endeavors for decades.  I attended as a member of a choral society that performed a portion of Verdi’s “Requiem,” and no member of the choral society demanded payment.  TomK’s assertion of a Lord & Serf relationship couldn’t be further from the truth; the money was freely and generously given to the organization, no strings attached.  It’s as good an example of greed and ingratitude as I’ve personally witnessed, and it was motivated by a union.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          “There’ll be Turkey For All come Thanksgiving Tiny Tim, I promise…” said Mr. Scrooge with a wink and a Cheshire Cat Smile. And they all lived Happily Ever After.

          The End.

    • http://twitter.com/aimlesspursuits Joseph Patrick

       Yeah and does your bank, your utility company, insurance company agree to do anything without having their bottom line?  No and unions(tho yes have not done themselves any favors over a few decades) are laying the bottom line to the big money in service of labor & laborers!

    • http://twitter.com/aimlesspursuits Joseph Patrick

       Yeah and does your bank, your utility company, insurance company agree to do anything without having their bottom line?  No and unions(tho yes have not done themselves any favors over a few decades) are laying the bottom line to the big money in service of labor & laborers!

    • Bruce94

      I’m someone who once belonged to a musician’s union & worked part-time alongside guys who were much more talented than I and who could barely survive even at union scale if they tried to pursue music as their primary profession or means of support.  Starving artists are not much different from subsistence-level wage slaves; they starve for similar reasons–lack of organization & solidarity. 

      Today’s news from Mich. is disappointing, and for someone like me who lived & worked in NC over 25 years, it’s sad to hear the guest from NC articulating the position clearly at odds with working families that have relied & continue to rely on organized labor to counter corporate power, strengthen democracy, promote individual rights and expand the middle-class.  I’m saddened, but not surprised by the cretin from Americans for Prosperity, who is probably doing well promoting the Right-wing Nirvana that is more often than not on the wrong side of history as, for example, when they succeeded recently in amending NC’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage, threaten civil unions and even undermine the rights of unmarried heterosexual couples.

      More to your point, while I harbor no ill will toward bona fide philanthropists, beware benefactors whose gifts come with strings attached as, for example, when John Allison formerly of BB&T awarded grants to four campuses of UNC on condition that they make Ayn Rand required reading.  And if you were around Duke University’s campus 44 years ago in the wake of MLK’s assassination, you would know it was a union that supported mostly African-American non-professional, custodial workers at Duke Hospital in their struggle to get the fed. min. wage (consistent with the point made by the nurse member of today’s panel).

      In Mich. we have a case of backsliding & historical amnesia which the voters in that state will hopefully respond to in 2014 by punishing those gutless politicians who betrayed the middle-class and caved to the corporate elite.   

    • Tyranipocrit

       whats wrong with that?  They were honoring the philanthropist.  You think they dont deserve a break.  You try blowng in a horn all day!  Ar you somehow better than them?  Are they your slaves?  Sit down menace.

  • Bill Alston

    This person representing himself as speaking for all of North Carolinians is totally wrong to suggest we are ALL against labor unions.  Many have died in my lifetime in the fight for the right to organize.  Tremendous struggles took place at Cone Mills for example to organize were met with violence and death in some situations by management goons.  Right to work for Less Money is the objective of wealthy!

    • Gregg Smith

      There is a world of difference between the right to organize and the requirement to pony up. Nobody wants to take away the right to organize in the private sector.

      • jefe68

        And yet they do.

        • Gregg Smith

          Cite one.

          • jefe68

            Walmart.

          • Gregg Smith

            No they don’t. They have their own policies but that’s it. There is no effort to take away the right to organize. 

          • Steve__T

             So why no unions in wal-mart?

          • jefe68

            You’re kidding right?
            It took me about 5 seconds to find three stories about Walmart’ anti-union stance.

            This one is from 2007, but little has changed since then.

            http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/04/30/us-walmart-labor-idUSN3024398620070430

          • Gregg Smith

            Walmart does not make laws, they do not rewrite laws, they do not enforce laws. They make their own policy, (right or wrong, good or bad) for the workers who chose to work there.

          • Tyranipocrit

             you’v enever heard of lobbyists?  Governments around the nation subsidize walmarts to the tune of millions just to build a store.  And force employess to go on welfare, encourage it–making tax payers support walmart.

          • Tyranipocrit

             walmart hates unions and actively criminalizes employees who even talk to each other at work when whispers of unions are heard.  Walmrat hates people but they love chinese money.

          • Tyranipocrit

             all of them.

      • Tyranipocrit

         you missed tha tone did ya–they shoot people with rubber bullets for organizing.  They pepper spray babies.  They fire you instantly and harass your family and beat you when your organize.  You are blind and menacing.  Why do you hate people?  Why do you hate democracy?  Why do you hate freedom?  Why do you hate your country?

  • David Rulison

    Hi Tom,
    Enjoy your show. My concern is the “process” that allowed for this bill to pass without citizen input. It is not the first time and I site the reversal of the Kyser v Kassen bill that was rammed thru the same way this past summer, as example. Also, there is a majority voting process that requires a hand count that has taken place without the Speaker even looking up from his podium to see if there is in fact, a majority voting the same way on an issue? Democracy in action?? Not hardly, but we’ll see how it all changes in less than two years. I’m betting on an electorate with an improved memory and an IQ bumped up from about room temperature.
    Thanks for the opportunity to spout off.
    Dave

  • JGC

    It will be interesting to see where Right to Work leads Michigan in employment and wage trends.  

    Right now, Michigan is one of the biggest grantors of corporate welfare.  From the United States of Subsidies article in the NYT, the state of Michigan spends at least $6.65-billion per year on various corporate incentive programs. That is roughly equal to $672 per capita, and 30 per cent of the state budget.

  • alxzba

    Tom, 2 of your guests today were simply not up to par.  Neither the nurse nor the dunce from NC presented objective/rational arguments.  There is no doubt unions were needed to overcome abuses by companies. Likewise, there’s no doubt unions have committed similar abuses.  As long as both/either continue to present non-objective arguments, their comments are both detrimental and destructive to the cause of both workers and business.  Next time, invite guests who know what they are talking about.  

  • d clark

    Woodhouse is a buffoon and a fascist!

  • Kenneth Rubenstein

    Tom asked if this is the end for unions. My guess is that is more like the end of the Republican Party as a powerful force.

    • harverdphd

       What don’t you get about “you lost”. 

      • Capn_D

        Good snappy reply h’d.  But I think you can get KR’s argument. See in Michigan we have, perhaps only temporarily a Republican House, Senate and Governor, as well as Sec’y of State, Attorney General and Supreme Court.  Power play is the hockey term here. KR argues that by “attacking” the “goose that lays the golden eggs” of union member Republicans the Party risks losing them to the Democrats. This could be the beginning of their end. We shall see if they lose the chambers the next round.  Could be difficult due to redistricting etc., etc.

  • Gordon Green

    I’m surprised Woodhouse is the director of anything, except maybe a street gang.  Such a violent and belligerent attitude should not be tolerated in any discussion, much less one on this otherwise civilized show. 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “I’m surprised Woodhouse is the director of anything, except maybe a street gang.”

      I wish I could say I was also surprised. Why aren’t I? Congress.

    • harverdphd

      ” Such a violent and belligerent attitude should not be tolerated in any discussion”, much less on the streets of Lansing.  Unions are done.  This conversation is over.

  • Gene_from_Btown

    Here’s the thing. It is one’s prerogative to be anti-union, but right to work legislation forces unions to negotiate the benefits, wages, and to represent the interests of ALL employees that are in its bargaining unit. This includes those who now have the right to not pay union dues and choose not to be in the union. This means those non-union, non dues paying workers are getting the same thing as those who choose to pay dues and be in the union. Kind of ironic since it is usually Republicans who push these right to work laws, and it is usually Republicans who blah, blah, blah about freeloaders in our society.

    People who choose not to pay dues and choose not to join the union but benefit from a union contract are FREELOADERS. Fine, be anti-union, but if those who support right to work laws don’t also advocate for laws that would allow unions to cease representing and bargaining on behalf of the freeloaders, then those people aren’t serious. Moreover they are hypocrites.  

    • OnPointComments

      http://www.michiganview.com/article/20121210/MIVIEW/212100448/Sherk–The-Right-to-Freeload-myth 
       
      “The Right-to-Freeload myth”
      James Sherk/ The Michigan View
       
      Excerpt:Although most union members do not know it, the law does not require their union to negotiate on behalf of non-members. The National Labor Relations Act does not mandate unions exclusively represent all employees, but permits them to electively do so. Under the Act, unions can also negotiate “members-only” contracts that only cover dues-paying members. They do not have to represent other employees.

      • Gene_from_Btown

        Nice try. You put up a link from the Heritage Foundation to say the freeloading is a myth. I guess I will choose to believe my own experience instead of your Heritage Foundation drivel.

        As a union rep, I was required by law to represent ALL employees within my bargaining unit REGARDLESS of whether or not they were a member of my union. All employees in my bargaining unit received the same wages and benefits REGARDLESS of whether or not they were union members. Next time you want to refute my point, instead of posting propaganda from the Heritage Foundation, point to an example in a right to work state where those who choose not to be in the union make a different salary, have different health and retirement benefits, and have no grievance procedures or due process compared to those in the union. I bet you will be hard pressed to find such an example because the union contracts cover ALL who are in the bargaining unit. There isn’t a contract for non-union workers and a separate contract for union workers within the same bargaining unit. The non-union workers are freeloading on the union contract. Sorry Heritage Foundation.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Hey, “Heritage” is very respectable for OPC, he tends more to breitbart or limbo.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/DTMM3SZS62HUKMNC5W6OVQQSYU Jennifer

           What about those who ARE in the union, and make a different salary, health and retirement benefits, non existent grievance procedures? Tier 2 UAW workers in Michigan have been there for years.

          • Gene_from_Btown

             I think it is horrible that unions negotiate multi-tier contracts. It erodes solidarity, which is what the employer wants. My point is that the union must represent all people within a tier or a job title equally regardless of union membership. I never said unions don’t negotiate bad contracts. Just that the contract is equally good or bad for the union member and non-member alike because the contract applies equally to both.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes, that’s what I ascribe to. Just think, if I don’t ruffle feathers and I stick around long enough I can move up a tier. 

          • Gene_from_Btown

            You truly are an idiot. When it comes to ruffling feathers, unions have a long history of it. And people rarely move up a tier. Employers like tiers because they usually eventually eliminate the higher tier keeping everyone in the lower tier. Tiers are a way to divide the workforce and make everyone work for less. That is why I said I think it is horrible when unions fall for such tier systems in their contracts. 

          • Gregg Smith

            O boy, I can move from one group conformed into a monolith to another. Can I have my own number?

            If you have a union job and you show up on time dependably and never ruffle feathers you will benefit far more than bringing your passions and pushing the envelope with effort.

      • Gene_from_Btown

        Just so there is no confusion between reality and the Heritage Foundation propaganda, below are legal citations regarding fair representation regardless of union membership.

        A Union Must Represent Its Members and Non-Members Equally
        and Without Preference or Discrimination in Dealing With Their Employer

        A private sector union operates under a legally enforceable “duty of
        fair representation,” that is, the union must “fairly and
        equitably…represent all employees…, union and nonunion.”
        International Assn. of Machinists v. Street, 367 U.S. 740, 761 (1961).
        This means a union cannot discriminate or act arbitrarily toward any
        employee due to the nature of his relationship with the union, and all
        employees are equally entitled to the union’s fair and vigorous
        representation. All members and non-members must receive the fruits of
        the union’s bargaining – wages, benefits and all other rights and
        protections – and enjoy full access to the grievance and arbitration
        process that is established to redress adverse or improper actions by
        the employer. 29 U.S.C. § 158(b)(2); Steele v. Louisville &
        Nashville R.R. Co., 323 U.S. 192, 204 (1944); Bowman v. Tennessee Valley
        Authority, 744 F. 2d 1207, 1213-14 (6th Cir. 1984). This right to full
        and fair individual treatment by the union is legally enforceable in
        court and before the NLRB. Vaca v. Sipes, 386 U.S.171 (1967); Plumbers
        Local 32 v. NLRB, 50 F. 3d 29, 31-32 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied, 516 U.S.
        974 (1995).

  • Erica Montano

    “Right to work laws are pro-worker because they will attract more business to Michigan”

    guests answer “No it is anti-worker” (no explanation as to why)

    Is that really the best answer you have buddy? I’m very liberal but I have to disagree with the protesters. The situation in Detroit is so bad, they need to attract more corporations to survive. It may not be the perfect solution, but what other options do they have right now. I was also disappointed with the guests today. The gentleman in the middle of the show and the nurse afterwards were hard to stomach because they never made one point and were just blabbering angrily. This is why lawyers are great politicians, they can argue a point.

  • Erica Montano

    also this show was hilarious and very distracting from the work I was doing today. I will surely replay it later so I can absorb all of the humor and absurdity! I’m not being sarcastic. 

  • TomK_in_Boston

    I wonder that anyone can still miss the sameness of righty policies:

    Give up organizing to bargain for wages and benefits, and it will be good for you.

    Cut taxes on the rich, and it will be good for you.

    Cut medicare to “save” it, and it will be good for you.

    Cut SS to “strengthen” it, and it will be good for you.

    Allow unlimited offshoring of your jobs in the name of “free trade”, and it will be good for you.

    Deregulate corporations so they can treat you any way they want, and it will be good for you.

    Every time, it’s “What looks like a good screwing is actually good for you.” Anyone still buying it?

    • harverdphd

       Thanks for everything.  The next targets are public employee unions and tenure laws.  These too will be thrown on the scrap heap of history.  This conversation is over.

      • Gregg Smith

        Public sector unions are intolerable.

        • Tyranipocrit

           you are intolerable and a menace to society

          • Gregg Smith

            Loved your work with the Doobies.

        • StilllHere

          They shouldn’t exist.  They bribe the people with whom they will negotiate.  The fix is in and the taxpayer gets screwed.

  • Steve__T

    Thanks Disqus this was a reply

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UVPKJL2AC6E6LFB5CGRBOE3SSQ Dan

    How can this law stand up to appeal? How can you pass a law that only applies to some groups? If the law does not apply to firefighter or police unions, how can it stand up to a Supreme Court challenge?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DTMM3SZS62HUKMNC5W6OVQQSYU Jennifer

    Bob King’s response was so telling. 1) It was to have a political reaction, “We’ll get them out of office.” The Union has been far too political and more interested in self preservation than its members for too long. 2) “We are blessed with the UAW’s loyal membership”.  He’s going to find out quickly that the legacy members who are still fully supported by the Union may be loyal, but the Tier 2 workers have been under represented from the beginning and their loyalty should not be assumed.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DTMM3SZS62HUKMNC5W6OVQQSYU Jennifer

    It leaves out firefighter and police unions because it is in our (Michigan) state constitution that they are unionized and it would a require a change to the constitution to make them right to work.  Michigan showed pretty clearly in November that it has no taste for constitutional amendments.  Also – the police/firefighter unions are far less obnoxious than the UAW and MEA politically; in short, they don’t play the same games that the big unions do.

    • hypocracy1

      It leaves them out for protection from the pitch forks…

  • Capn_D

    One point your panelists did not cover is observation I have long had.  It is Extremely difficult to get a shop unionized ever since the Reagan administration.  An employer has an endless number weapons against organization. These include firing suspected sympathetic employees at the first hint of a union, to appealing to the NLRB contesting the cards of people who want to vote for a union, to contesting the vote. It can take years to get a union recognized. 
    That is one big reason why there are very few new private union work places.

  • Capn_D

    Perhaps one thing I missed from your panelists.  I can see why there would be an argument against joining a union. But why on earth prohibit a service fee? 
    And now that there are two tier jobs at auto plants, may Congress  change the law and allow tiers of employees? Non-union employees may be happy to occupy the tier where each employee must bargain for wages, benefits and whether they can be denied promotions or positions, disciplined or fired without cause or appeal.

  • Gene_from_Btown

    When someone claims that legislating right to work is for the purposes of increasing prosperity and enhancing economic development, one should ask prosperity and economic development for whom? Seven of the 10 poorest states our right to work states. By the logic of the right to work proponents, shouldn’t these states have the highest wages, the most prosperity, and less state spending on welfare?

    • Gregg Smith

      No, just the most freedom and upward mobility. 

      • Gene_from_Btown

        What about the freedom of a democratic institution such as a union to not have to represent freeloaders who refuse to pay dues? Freedom is always a one-way street with the right to work for less bunch. Also, there is no evidence that right to work for less increases chances for upward mobility, and quite a bit of evidence for the opposite. North Carolina and Texas are both great examples of how right to work for less does not lead to upward mobility. Texas has some of the lowest (if not the lowest) wages in the country. Did you not read the part of my post that said 7 of the 10 poorest states are right to work? I did not say 7 of the 10 richest. But feel free to parrot the same tired arguments about how weakening unions helps workers. On it’s face, such arguments don’t even make sense. The evidence against such arguments renders them nothing more than ideological tripe. Polly want a cracker?

        • Gregg Smith

          If you believe being forced to pay dues to a union is more freedom then bless your heart. You bring up the classic schism between equal opportunity and equal outcome. I believe legislating equal outcome is hideous. Equal opportunity is where it’s at. A union will give you equal outcome but your upward mobility is squelched. And yes the 7 out of 10 thing is old news. On Point Comments dealt with it earlier. You ignore WV and NM in that list but that list is irrelevant to my comment.

          • Gene_from_Btown

            Who said anything about legislating equal outcome? Unions provide a service to their members. Why should non-members benefit from that service if they are not paying dues. Do you think it is ok to not pay for services that are provided by other entities other than unions. Or does your thievery of not paying for services only extend to unions, you hypocrite? If you want to be anti-union, fine. But to insist that non-members freeload proves you to be the b.s. artist that most conservatives are. If you want a serious discussion about this, then why don’t you insist that the non-members in a right to work state give back their union gains, get off their freeloading a$$es and negotiate their own contracts without the help of the union negotiators? I’ll tell you why you won’t insist that, Mr. Smith. Because you are troll and a hypocrite and your support for right to work is ideological, selfish, and has nothing to do with fairness or economics, because most of the evidence supports better economic outcomes for those in a strong union in strong union states. You are a troll and a parrot at the same time. You are not a serious person.   

          • Gregg Smith

            You brought up the fact that 7 of 10 poorest states are right to work states. If that is your a argument to refute my charge of the loss of upward mobility then your entire premise is built on equal outcome not equal opportunity. And then you write: ” …because most of the evidence supports better economic outcomes for those in a strong union in strong union states.” Outcome schmoutcome, their opportunities are my concern.

            IMO your questions are silly or at least after the fact. The notion of imposing a service, no matter the merits, and then demanding payment is not a serious solution. 

            I am not against unions in the private sector. I don’t want to  have my abilities, passions and talents limited by a one size fits all bureaucracy. If someone else does that’s fine.

          • Gene_from_Btown

            Nobody is imposing anything. Workers vote to organize the union in the first place. You think unions just magically appeared? Someone waved a magic wand and the unions appeared without workers wanting them and fighting for them? If the union is already in place, and you have a problem working in a union shop, then find another f-ing job. You are about freedom aren’t you? And God knows there are enough union shops out there to accommodate the cowards who can’t get together and stand up to the powerful.

            Next topic.

          • Gregg Smith

            Did you mean to put “next topic” at the top of your comment? I see you moved on from the equal outcome nonsense you denied advocating.

            You just got through rambling on about the freeloaders that don’t pay dues. Did they ask for the services to which you are demanding payment? Make up your mind.

      • Tyranipocrit

         freedom to be am ignorant slave and love it.  freedom to be oppressed.  freedom not to have the reedom to vote.  freedom to lynch non-whites. freedom to oppress people, dehumanize them and the freedom to take away rights from all.  The freedom to be greedy the freedom to kill and rape and murder–enlist.  the upward mobility for billionaires.  the right and freedom for all others to mire in the mud and shit the f up–you should like your slavery.  If you dont like your slavery you are unpatriotoic and cooky. 

        another smart comment form greg smith the troll

        • StilllHere

          You are ignorant by choice, don’t blame not having a union for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Daddario/100003032154230 Frank Daddario

    well if one looks at ACTUAL results of unions for their workers i think two good examples for STUDY are baseball and airlines

    who can deny that withOUT marvin miller and the baseball players union, the team owners would be paying minimum wage to players and pocketing gigantic profits, and i would direct anyone who differs to read what team owners have done to various municipalities to have new stadiums built as a prime example of greed at the expense of taxpayers

    as for the airlines, frank lorenzo and peoples express led the charge in union-busting some years ago, and ever since PILOTs have lost more than any other union organized group i know of….salaries from $250,000 went to $40,000 and retirement plan savings were significantly lost as most plans held airline company stock…a sever double-wammy for all union PILOTs as union concessions and give-backs decimated the union results

    full disclosure, i myself had union dealings back in the day and was a factor in keeping marriott hotels union free in NYC seeing that it was just mormon company policy to avoiding conflict by paying fair wages and providing benefits to all employees without self-dealing union intervention which to me seemed entirely reasonable

    without getting all hot and bothered about geographic ideals as that guy from north carolina did, and i’ve been to pinehurst to play golf, and yes i saw a neighboring town or residents without sewer or running water and no municipal trash service for those residents, so before north carolina can be compared to michigan, i would suggest ALL the relevant facts be revealed

    another STUDY would obviously be GERMANY which has many workers unionized and their economy is the most productive at high end quality products selling for premium around the world….to be union made in germany is a sign of a surperior product recognized internationally….even the US TREASURY currency printing machines are “made in west germany” which if the basis os our financial strenght lies in our ability to print money that idea is supported by german manufacturing superiority built by unionized labor

    you get the idea

    frankDftliquordaleSOfla33316

  • Tyranipocrit

    Why is it okay for businesses, billionaires, corporations as big as the econmies of africa and half the world, with more money then 10oooo gods–why is it okay for them to demand a payment, a fee for services but not for union workers?  WHy is it right for greedy billionaires but not for men and women who make thier wealth possible?  Are we slaves or people offering a service. Ther eis a contract.  i will do this for you but you must pay ne.  I cant do it for less than…

    thats just business, right?

    america–quit your job–dont kill for the rich, don enlsave your self so they can slowly kill you.  Quit your joba nd create your own wealth.  join your community.  Disobey.  Police yourselves.  The pigs are not your authorities.  Disoney.  Sart your businesses and cooperatives.  WHy do you demand freedom and democracy in public life but not at your job which is your life?

    quit now!  DOnt add one more penny to their pocket.  Dont buy thier goods.  Walk out and end their dream of slavery.

    Criminals and thugs rule over you in pretty houses.  Why do you let them?  Remove them?  Why is it ok to fight wars for the rich and kill poor peopl abroad for their “freedom”–but we are not allowed freedom at home?  why?  Why? 

    You live in a fascist state under martial law–the police are militarized.  You have no rights and no bill of rights and yet you do nothing and say nothing.  Why?

    democracy comes form the people not pretty presidents with billions of dollars whose families stole their money from you and made their money on the backs of slaves, past and present.

    • StilllHere

      Unions support the lazy to the detriment of the hard-working. 

    • StilllHere

      Unions support the lazy to the detriment of the hard-working. 

  • http://twitter.com/buddhaclown Carter Wilson

    Republicans want to take your money away and give it to rich people . . . that’s all it is. 

    • StilllHere

      Wrong.  Democrats are lazy and have no money and want to steal from hard-working Republicans and use the government to do their dirty work.

  • Gregg Smith

    Does anyone else notice how the arrogant assumption that different views are beneath consideration manifests itself in the immediate use of personal attacks which only serve to blind the accuser to the actual point at hand? They end up looking like fools and would be better served to avoid the self-righteous smugness and think with an open mind.

  • Michele

    Whatever your viewpoint we ostensibly live in a democracy.  That means having discussions where both sides can be heard.  If one has a valid reason for doing something then it can be defended in a reasonable discussion.  

  • Pingback: Will a Continued Rise in Inequality Kill of the American Dream? | The Conference Channel Blog

  • BenGjones

    As far as I know, the only big auto plant that opened in Tennessee (Spring Hill, which had an entire new town development to support it, totally riding the bubble)  failed regardless of Right to Work and had to be reappropriated to buid drive trains. Right to Work doesn’t seem to offer an advantage and will not provide adequate leverage to stop work gonig abroad; all it does it improve the positions of corporate bodies in the US parts of their operations at the expense of their workers.

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Jul 29, 2014
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This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

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