Unions looking for boost in Michigan
Organized labor in Michigan seems to have taken a look at its neighbors and decided a pre-emptive strike on union-busting is in order. A referendum on Michigan ballots next month – Proposal 2 – would write collective bargaining rights into the state constitution and invalidate all laws restricting those rights.
The proposal has unleashed a barrage of political ads on both sides, with a group called Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution and Protecting Michigan Taxpayers claiming that Proposal 2 could eliminate safety rules for school bus drivers and prohibit schools from removing employees with criminal records.
But the latest poll shows not all voters are buying the claims: 48 percent favor the measure and 43 percent are opposed.
Gov. Rick Snyder has maintained a better relationship with unions in Michigan than Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker or Ohio Gov. John Kasich, according to a spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, but he hasn’t challenged the legislature’s most strident voices on anti-labor legislation.
Snyder has been vocal in discouraging lawmakers from pushing a right-to-work law, as was successfully done in Indiana this year.
That doesn’t necessarily offer solace to the public-sector unions who think that the conservatives in the legislature could still fiddle around with right to work, Craig Ruff, a public policy consultant, told the Pew Center on the States.
They also surmise that a future Republican governor could be far more likely to tackle right to work than the current one. They want something that will have lasting power.