LANSING, Mich. – Republicans rushed right-to-work legislation through the Michigan Legislature Thursday, drawing raucous protests from hundreds of union supporters, some of whom were pepper-sprayed by police when they tried to storm the Senate chamber.
With six-vote margins in both chambers, the House and Senate approved measures prohibiting private unions from requiring that nonunion employees pay fees. The Senate was debating a similar bill, with Democrats denouncing it as an attack on worker rights and the GOP sponsor insisting it would boost the economy and jobs. Separate legislation dealing with public-sector unions was expected to come later.
Michigan has been a closed-shop state since.... pretty much forever.
This is a major win for employees and the right to work under individually-negotiated wages and terms.
Labor unions have literally destroyed thousands of businesses in Michigan over the last few decades. It is perfectly fine for people to band together and decide to form a union, but it is inherently evil to then decide to effectively force others to do so in order to work in a given business -- that is literal slavery -- to the union.
That this bill now appears to be headed toward the status of "Law" in Michigan is a watershed that I never thought I'd see in my years on the planet.
Even better, there is a possibility that the GM bailout, which I argued at the time was utterly unlawful as the government ignored bondholder seniority, might be unwound. Apparently unknown to the Judge in the bankruptcy there was a quiet little "lockup agreement" that was negotiated on the eve of the bankruptcy but apparently was not disclosed to the judge.
That's a serious no-no when you go into bankruptcy, and the Judge has the power to unwind the entire deal, re-opening the bankruptcy. That could expose GM to roughly $30 billion in liabilities it evaded through the process and force return of the bailout funds.
Needless to say GM doesn't have the money.
Let's hope the Judge does the right thing and in fact re-opens the case.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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