Oh, so you think unions are bad for business and workers. OK, here’s one reason why you’re wrong. Yep, and I’ll give it to you in one word. Are you ready? Here it goes: slavery. Yeah, marinate on that one for a few and get back to me.
But don’t tell that to Michigan’s Republican governor Rick Snyder, who in a Wednesday morning appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe argued that their new anti-union law was beneficial to the state. According to Snyder, the states new right-to-work law could protect and strengthen unions by encouraging them to show more value to workers. Wow! So, reducing the influence and power of labor unions to act in the best interest of the Michigan worker when it comes to protecting and securing their rights, actually turns out to be “pro-worker.”
This from Think Progress:
Snyder appeared on the show less than 12 hours after signing two separate bills allowing public and private union members to opt out of paying union dues, while benefiting from union contracts, and defended the controversial measures. He characterized the law as benefiting workers and unions become more valuable.
The answer shocked the Morning Joe crew and led MSNBC contributor Richard Wolffe to interrupt the governor in mid-answer. Even Joe Scarborough grew incredulous and the Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein sighed heavily as Snyder spoke:
SNYDER: I’ve never said that unions are bad for business. And I don’t believe this is actually anti-union. If you look at it, I believe this is pro-worker, because the way I view it is, is workers now have freedom to choose …
WOLFFE: Hang on. Hang on a second. Are you serious? Are you serious? This is not anti-unions? This actually, at its core undermines the ability for unions to organize. So you can make any argument you like, but saying it’s not …
SNYDER: Unions have to be in a position to present a good value proposition… And if they don’t provide value, people shouldn’t be forced to pay for something they don’t see any value in. So again, this should make unions more effective in terms of having to put a value proposition to workers.
SCARBOROUGH: Governor, while I made a similar argument earlier that workers shouldn’t be compelled to have to pay from their salary to a union with whom they disagree, I would not go so far as to say what you’ve just said, which is that this helps unions. I mean, it undermines unions’ ability to stay vibrant, right?
SNYDER: It really leaves it up to the union to decide and innovate as to what their value proposition is….
BERNSTEIN: Come on!
Gee, who knew?
Listen, Rick Snyder (and the GOP as a whole) firmly believes that Michigan workers (and the rest of us) were born last night. The truth is that Michigan has been ground zero for the GOP’s agenda since 2010’s midterm election. Yep, this is the same state government that produced Emergency Managers who were responsible for not only firing teachers and shutting down public schools while being on the payroll of a corporate-funded organization that promoted privatization and charter schools. This is the same state government that used yet another Emergency Manager to take away the legislative power of elected officials in a predominantly African-American city called Benton Harbor, to be able to build a luxury golf resort for the wealthy.
Snyder and company has done a lot more than this, but I’ll stop there because hopefully you get the point. A lot of what has been done by Snyder and company, comes right out of the ALEC playbook; and, it is in fact an example of how the partnership between corporations and government aren’t always pro-worker, or even pro-democracy as it should be. instead, it can be very pro-slavery.
Now watch the following to understand:
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