TIn case you hadn't heard, Michigan is now a right-to-work state. The unions are mad, but I really think they brought this on themselves.
When Granholm and the Democrats were in power, they rammed a last minute deal through that made everyone who was getting paid home healthcare dollars a union member. That meant parents caring for their disabled children were now paying union dues, held directly from their paychecks. In the election messaging the GOP successfully played it as tax money meant to go to sick kids flowing instead into union coffers. Which was true. Plus, there were no discernible benefits to the newly minted members. No insurance, no pensions, just the promise of lobbying for more tax money in the future.
And it is important to note that there was no real membership vote. The union and government claimed that they sent postcards to the workers, and that a majority came back marked "yes," but even the union-friendly media reported that they couldn't find anybody who had actually received the card and voted. In short, this was just a cash grab, and was terribly unpopular with everybody except the union.
The new GOP legislature overturned the law. The unions immediately got an injunction and sued. They lost. But they got to collect dues for over two years on that scam.
Of course, the unions were worried about the Right To Work wave affecting the status quo, but new Governor Snyder said that he wasn't going to pursue it. Those remarks actually caused quite a bit of grumbling from the rank and file members of the GOP, who already had legitimate concerns about exactly how moderate Snyder was going to be as Governor.
But the implied truce apparently ended this November, when the unions tried to get the voters to amend the Constitution in a manner that would have made it illegal for the legislature to pass Right To Work laws. Note that they were intentionally deceptive about the real effect on the amendment - they insisted that collective bargaining, which is actually federally protected, could vanish without it. While yesterday's chatter insisted that the people didn't want Right To Work, I believe if that talking point were true, they would have campaigned for their amendment on its true merit. But they didn't. They chose instead to demigogue with dark talk of home health pedophiles and unlicensed nurses instead of just explaining that this would protect the right of employers to run a union shop. (See what I did there?)
The Governor, who really is a moderate, tried to tell them that these things were creating a firestorm in the House. He told them that if they tried this amendment, that he wouldn't be able to stop the RTW bills. They went ahead, I suppose assuming that he was soft enough to not sign the bills. But apparently he has a thing about negotiating in good faith, and agreeing not to pursue a RTW bill meant that they shouldn't have gone after an anti-RTW bill either.
I suppose Libertarians actually should view this as government intrusion. After all, the unions negotiate with the employer, and the deals to hold out union dues from all employees is based on that agreement. Who are we to meddle in the deals that unions work out with the employers, right?
But here's the rub - as an employer, I can't demand that all my employees donate to causes I agree with. Liberals would never support, say, me hiring people and insisting they had to shop at the company store, or even donate $10 a week to my friend's cat rescue, if they wanted to continue to work there. In fact, they would likely get upset if I gave merely offered premium parking spaces to employees who donated.
No, the ship about what employees can and can't do to their employee's salaries sailed a long time ago, and not without some good reasons. The unions have managed to carve out special exceptions for themselves all these years. Special privileges for the politically connected.
Some things never change. But today, Michigan isn't one of them.