Thursday, December 13, 2012

How Right-to-Work in Michigan Really Happened: a 20 Year Battle

Nick Carey from Reuters did an in-depth story into how Labor Freedom came to Michigan. It was not an overnight success but rather a long, careful process.

"From outside Michigan Republican circles, it appeared that the Republican drive to weaken unions came out of the blue - proposed, passed and signed in a mere six days.

But the transformation had been in the making since March 2011 when Colbeck and a fellow freshman, state Representative Mike Shirkey, first seriously considered legislation to ban mandatory collection of union dues as a condition of employment in Michigan. Such was their zeal, they even went to union halls to make their pitch and were treated "respectfully," Colbeck said...

...Together with Jack Hoogendyk, a former Republican member of the Michigan House who supported right-to-work, and a small group of other activists, they founded the "Michigan Freedom to Work" coalition, which sought to capitalize on Republican control of the state legislature and the governorship." Read the full article here.

Lawrence Reed, former President of Mackinac Center for Public Policy has written his own retrospective on the twenty year battle to make Michigan a right to work state. It is very insightful...
"I remember well the first time I wrote about RTW in the Detroit Free Press almost 20 years ago. Better yet, I remember the reaction to it: A scattering of lukewarm encouragement on the order of 'good luck on that one' and 'someday maybe, but not in my lifetime' and a whole lot of 'no way, never' with some unrepeatable epithets tossed in to underscore the point.

It wasn’t the first time I or the organization I headed, the Mackinac Center, had called for RTW, but getting such prominence for the idea in the state’s largest daily newspaper was an early victory on a long road. While we knew from the start that it would be mostly uphill, our attitude was 'so let’s get to work on it.'"
Read full story here.

1 comment:

jerry said...

Michigan has been the home to the big3, but has grown little over the past 30 plus years. The industry now consists of many manufactures located in all right to work states. Those states now have the lowest unemployment and workers there are not complaining about the wages. Now is the time for RTW to become part of the work environment fir Michigan.