Friday, November 09, 2012

Michigan: Big Labor's big defeat

Despite the defeat of the Romney-Ryan ticket on Tuesday, there were some nuggets of good news on Election Day. Big Labor suffered another loss--and in a surprising location--Michigan.

From the American Interest:
Blue governance scored a victory on Tuesday in California, where voters came out in support of a large tax hike, but in Michigan, unions suffered a big defeat. Proposal Two, which would have written the right for collective bargaining by public-sector unions into the state constitution, was roundly defeated by 58 percent of voters. This is a major setback for the unions, who threw everything they had into getting the ballot measure passed. The Huffington Post reports:
If Proposal 2 had become an amendment, it would have voided existing and future laws restricting workers’ ability to organize unions, or to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions. But it still would have permitted lawmakers to pass legislation prohibiting public employees from striking. The measure would have also overridden state laws regulating hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflicted with collective bargaining agreements.

Big bucks went into campaigning both for and against the issue. According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, opponents had raised $25.9 million to defeat Proposal 2 as of October 26. Those supporting the measure raised $21.9 million over the same period of time.
This wasn't the only setback for Michigan's unions. Proposal Four, which would have allowed home health care workers to unionize and collectively bargain, was also shot down, this time by 57 percent of the voters. And as with Proposal Two, this measure had significant union support, to the tune of $5.5 million from the SEIU. The Huffington Post reports:
The new council would have been responsible for training home health care workers, creating an employee registry, holding background checks and offering financial services to patients to manage the costs of care. It would also have allowed workers to bargain collectively and authorized the council to set minimum compensation standards and terms and conditions of employment.
There is speculation that the the Republican-controlled state legislature may push to pass a right-to-work bill in the Great Lakes State.

Yes, in Michigan.

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