Courtesy Michigan House Democrats
“We must guard against being fooled by false slogans like ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil and job rights.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Some are saying the largest nonviolent protest in decades took place yesterday at my State Capitol Building.
I say “my” because contrary to the views of state politicians and their minions in blue, it’s the people’s house, not Governor Rick Snyder’s or the GOP’s or the Koch brothers’ or Dick Devos’s.
|Courtesy Lansing City Pulse|
My friend and neighbor Karen Dickey Cowles, who participated, wrote later in Facebook, “I've lived in this area for almost 45 years and I've never seen that many people or that much positive energy at a rally.” A number of downtown streets were closed and at least two school districts (Taylor and Warren Consolidated Schools) cancelled classes because so many of their teachers were in Lansing.
Of course it didn’t do any good, at least in terms of swaying GOP politicians.
One particularly offensive twit, GOP Representative Dave Agema (R-Anus), took to his Facebook page to write, “I fell (sic) like I’m back in the military – I’m rather enjoying this. It brings back memories.”
|Courtesy Sam Inglot/Lansing City Pulse|
I watched the rally via livestream (although the constant buffering was more than a little irritating). Protesters chanted, “Whose house? Our house!” and “Hey hey, ho ho! Right-to-work has got to go!” and “What’s disgusting? Union busting!” The crowd cheered when a large, pro-RTW tent sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ Tea Party group, either collapsed or was taken down a few hours into the event. (Anita, who attended and tried to read a sign on the side of the tent but was blocked by two cigarette-smoking right-wingers, heard that the tent was probably there in order to distort the PA system.)
I listened to an unlikable State Representative Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake) try to justify lawmakers' actions by referencing Proposal 2, the collective bargaining ballot proposal that was turned down by voters last month. WTF, dude?
Did you know that Republicans tried to make the bills repeal-proof? They attached a $1 million appropriation to the legislation; under state law, spending bills can’t be placed on the ballot for people to vote on. RTW opponents are scrambling to determine how, if at all, they can reverse yesterday’s legislative travesty.
As I wrote in a blog post last Friday, it sure is a sad time for proponents of sound public policy.
And now we come to the “Cool Links” portion of today’s blog post. For a good description of how Snyder is doing the Koch brothers’ bidding on this issue, click on this link.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), click here.
And make sure to check out this paper, entitled, “What ‘Right to Work’ Would Mean for Michigan,” by Dr. Roland Zullo, a research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations. Professor Zullo makes some great points, including:
Unionized workers earn wages that are ten to forty percent higher than their nonunion counterparts. The positive differential for other forms of compensation, such as health care insurance and pensions, is even greater.
In states that have passed RTW legislation, the wages and benefits of all workers, union and non-union, are lower than national averages.
In every capitalist economy, the standards for economic, political and social equity are owed in part to a vibrant, independent union movement.
Too bad Republican politicians prefer ALEC publications.
|Courtesy Rogue Planet|
|Courtesy Michigan Senate Democrats|
|Courtesy Josh Barnes|
|Courtesy Gretchen Whitmer|
|Courtesy Graham Davis|
|Courtesy Michigan Senate Democrats|
|Courtesy Mike Mulholland|
|Courtesy Lansing State Journal|
|Courtesy Detroit News|
|Courtesy Amy Morris|
|Courtesy Karen Dickey Cowles|
Sources: Huffington Post, Salon.com, PR Watch, We Are Michigan, MLive.com.