By @LOLGOP

5 Ways ‘Right To Work’ (For Less) Laws Crush The Middle Class

December 7, 2012 3:38 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 141 Comments A+ / A-


Michigan’s Republican Party is on a lame-duck blitzkrieg to pass extreme legislation that limits women’s health options, privatizes education and busts unions.

The fact that the Michigan GOP is taking on labor rights by ending closed union shops in the state where the labor movement helped create the middle class is a slap in the face to workers. That Republicans are doing it after Mitt Romney lost the state by 9.5 percent is a reminder of the lasting effects of the 2010 election, when Democrats stayed home and the GOP won the opportunity to redistrict themselves into power for the next decade.

The deceptively named “Right to Work” bill was passed by both state houses and is about to be signed into law without one hearing or any input from citizens. The legislation includes a $1 million appropriation so it cannot be overturned by popular vote, as the Emergency Manager Law was in November.

Labor is still trying to pressure Governor Rick Snyder, who until this lame-duck session had been reluctant to put his signature on a law designed to deflate union power in the heartland of the auto industry. But with multimillionaire Rick DeVos promising to support any Republican who votes for the bill and punish anyone who doesn’t, the bill seems destined to become law.

Find out why so-called “Right to Work” laws hurt all workers and weaken the middle class.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

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5 Ways ‘Right To Work’ (For Less) Laws Crush The Middle Class Reviewed by on . Michigan's Republican Party is on a lame-duck blitzkrieg to pass extreme legislation that limits women's health options, privatizes education and busts unions. Michigan's Republican Party is on a lame-duck blitzkrieg to pass extreme legislation that limits women's health options, privatizes education and busts unions. Rating:

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    Undermining or reversing the gains attained by labor during the last century has been as high a priority for th GOP as reversing civil rights, privatizing social programs, and repealing Obamacare. Their focus is solely on protecting private enterprise and the special interests they rely upon for funding.
    Perhaps the union busters that are bound to post on this blog will be kind enough to provide specific examples of what they would eliminate in their quest to transform the USA into a Third World country. Here are a few examples:
    Minimum wage
    Overtime pay after 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week
    Paid vacations
    Holiday pay
    Thrift plans or 401k extended to blue collar workers
    Representation in cases of disciplinary action
    Safety regulation

    • middleclasstaxpayer

      QUESTION: Is it better to have a job at low pay, or NO JOB?
      IS It better to be represented by Unions like the HOSTESS Bakeries union, that pushed workers to strike, and then LOST ALL 18,500 jobs???
      Oh, it’s probably Geo Bush’s fault isn’t it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/warren.nicholson.77 Warren Nicholson

        You don’t live in a rtw state do you? And next time read the artical before you post a comment!

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          I do, and I’m glad to have a job…I’m not looking the proverbial “gift horse” in the mouth….sure they take advantage of us at work, but everyone could say that if they were of a mind to….it’s the old adage, is your glass half full or half empty…..it’s all in your point of view!
          BUT, you never answered MY two questions…is it better to have a job at low pay, or NO JOB AT ALL???

          • DemInExile

            If you can’t live off the wages of your job, you are better off without it.

            Union busting is all about removing any and all leverage that workers have. It is about creating impoverished workers desperate for any job. It is about making people so desperate, they would take a crappy low paying job just to have a job (to put it in your words). Its a race to the bottom with no possible future for those trapped on the wrong side of the employer/employee divide. It is based on economic slavery. And please don’t even start with the bull about “well go out, take a risk and start your own company”. Not everyone can be an owner.

            And when the Walmart worker can’t afford to feed their family because Walmart wants more profits, that worker relies on government food stamps to get by (ie you and I pay for their food, rather than Walmart). When that worker gets sick, they receive care via Medicaid (ie you and I pay for their health care rather than Walmart). Are you defending a system in which the federal and state governments (ie you and I) must subsidize companies, allowing those companies to increase profits rather than pay livable wages?

            “sure the take advantage of us at work” – You know why they do this? Because they can. They have the power to screw their workers and make more money for themselves, so they do. Unions are the only effective way for workers to have power to push back, to prevent being screwed, and to get a fair deal. Why is it OK for employers to have all the power, but totally unfair, lazy, undeserved, etc… for workers to have some power? Please, tell me why? Sure, employees need to be employed, but guess what, employers don’t make any money without their employees. Why should only employers have power? Why can’t the employees who make the money have some bargaining power?

            As to your job and your happiness to have one, I just hope you are still happy when your boss or CEO cuts your benefits and/or salary, all while giving himself a raise as a reward for “cutting overhead”, “increasing profitability”, “making the company more competitive”, “making necessary sacrafices”, etc…..

            One final thought. For the last 30 years, the middle class has been having a tougher go of it. Wages have been flat. Benefits have been cut. Often both spouses must work where before, only 1 needed to work to maintain a middle class existence. The trajectory of the middle class over the last 30 years has been very clear, and just as clear has been the decline in the power and membership to Unions. As Unions have declined, so has the middle class. As Unions have declined, the rich have gotten richer. Right to work is about accelerating this trend, until the middle class is a memory and the vast poor population has to beg for scraps from the all powerful aristocracy. We are creating a new feudal/serf society, and it sucks.

          • lexi001

            I never finished my post but don’t need to. You said it so well!

          • lexi001

            Let me answer that question; for some it may actually be better. The number’s used to qualify someone for assistance are pathetic. So, if you make over $14k/yr., at least in my state, you do not qualify for foodstamps or section 8 housing. I believe that is one-person household. Let’s just say you have a minimum wage job which would garner $17,600/yr. and that’s only if you’re lucky to have a full 40 hour work week, which is getting harder and hare

          • pbrower2a

            Germany had full employment under Hitler. It also had the lowest industrial wages in Europe. Anyone who contested the poverty in Germany despite working to exhaustion got sent to a concentration camp.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Interesting observation! Let’s expand on it….the Dictator (Hitler) used many devious ploys to win support. #1-He turned the many against the few, demonizing successful people as somehow “against” the nation…we have seen this leading up to our recent election… #2-He installed loyal supporters in his regime, like the “UNELECTED Czars” we have now in powerful positions in our government. #3-He passed laws allowing him free reign in many matters, not unlike what our current president is proposing, which will allow HIM to take control away from Congress to raise the debt ceiling as HE chooses, spending OUR money as HE wishes. There are more similarities, but I think you get the idea. What direction do you think WE are headed in?

        • http://www.facebook.com/bob.ridge.965 Bob Ridge

          I have lived in a rtw state and always had a great paying job with all the things I like in life never had hide behind any one to keep my job and they did not have to lose because they had sorry workers to pay to stand around and let the others make their money for them .

          • dwinkle

            Not only have I always lived in a rtw state, I have always made good wages and fair treatment, because that’s what companies have to do to get me to work for them. But hell, now I’m self employed, making less than ever, and have no intention of going back. Freedom is always the clearest path to prosperity, even if prosperity means I’ll never own a new car.
            BTW, I live in PA, and would have been happy to help people in NY and NJ after Sandy, but I cannot because I’m not part of the union.

          • skylights

            Uh, wut. Lots of people helped in NY and NJ who weren’t in unions.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

            One of my neighbors is a Red Cross volunteer and he spent two weeks in New Jersey helping out. He is retired, and is not a union member.

          • lexi001

            Guess what dwinkle, you can send money for the victims of Sandy. What an inane comment. The RTW is a glaring misnomer. As far as union people being paid wages that some of you seem to think are exorbitant, we shouldn’t need unions to force these corporation’s to pay a LIVING wage, never mind minimum wage. Is it just that so many out there seem to not understand that minimum wage has no correlation with the ability to take care of yourself, let alone a family? Further, is it not apparent to any of you that you and I and everyone else is dependent on these minimum wage earner’s? I’m assuming when I read some of these posts that you are all quite comfortable in your life, financially. How else can one explain the rhetoric that passes for critical thinking?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZJ5BBSQIGTUMERPZFALES6HQNY Bill

            dwinkle you couldn’t help people in NY/NJ after Sandy because you were not part of a union is bs. I live in Rockland County NY and helped people in Belle Harbor (part of the Rockaways) by distributing food, water, blankets, batteries and other needed items from a church there. It was organized by people from the Occupy Wall Street movement. The church kept A building open 24/7 in the days after Sandy. I have never been a union worker but am not anti-union. If you really wanted to help you could have gotten into your car and drove to NJ or NY to find some place to help. Stop the ant-union bs and lies

          • irishtap

            Well Bob, good for you. But for people that fully understand the benefits of union representation we know RTW is code for lower wages and benefits.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/SOUP6PZQY4K4DKPXG6T2DY7G2M Thomas

            Right on, IrishTap: Right to work, which is very deceptively named but it really means management has a right to work non-union people, and a right to not hire them either, always seems to ultimately mean youll be doing the same work but for less pay than in Union States. Its a real shame how the states have been made to be played off against eachother in asome mad zero-sum game where each state tries to look more attractive tto business than the next one by being willing to prostitute out its worker’s basic organizing protections and any hope of meaningful rates of pay. Shame.

          • http://www.facebook.com/johnny.thomas.52035 Johnny Thomas

            While knowing and been knowing this it also has been an instrument of it own down fall by it roll in the economy to higher pricing because of higher that average pay rate’s over the average worker it should be equal to all to do same kind of work but it isn’t so you have ruffed up both side’s in doing so .Now what are those workers going to suffer because of the unions over pay to the less skilled or is every one to suffer because of fair pay in all the past ?The minimum wage in RTW states is unfair too so what has been accomplished .A lot of unsettled people on both sides will get hurt because the union’s so called over sight in what is coming .I would say that for all union paid people to get ready and brace them self for un employment and oh yea don’t forget to blame Obama for Romney’s new way that is catching on for the rich and powerful.A least Obama charge’s his way to all even the people on S.S. got a way less raise than Congress gave it’s self remember the rich and powerful .

          • irishtap

            Sorry Johnny I can’t understand what the hell your talking about.

          • Gamby

            What?????????????????????

          • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

            Plus Without The Unions We Would Have A Country Full Of Sweatshops Just Like China And India!!! Plus It’s These Same Polices That Causing People To Ask For Help From Our Government Like Food Stamps And Health Care Cause They Are Not Being Paid Enough To Live On!!!!

          • irishtap

            That’s a fact Fern. Absolutely true.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/NOWA3E42LRZ6VRAFALDFUL4IWM Foot

            do we want to see more twinkies??. compomise is the only way. did you ever have NO job and dumpster dive for dinner? sleep in abandon houses? steal or sell drugs to support yourself and kids. the bubble has burst this is the new reality. welcome to my nightmare.

          • irishtap

            Sorry foot, I’m not sure where you’re going with this…

          • mikegre

            If all workers belonged to unions, unions would not succeed. Unions take money from people not in unions.

          • irishtap

            You haven’t offered any specifics for your argument mikegre, so I’ll give you mine and you can respond if you like.
            Unions came about from the standpoint of necessity. From the 1870′s forward, most people were subject to inhumane working conditions. Tens of thousands of deaths occurred as a result of workplace dangers. People were thought of as interchangeable parts of machinery; when someone went down another was plugged into his place asap. Meeting one’s demise at the workplace had no monetary renumeration for the employee’s grieving and hungry family. Wages were only enough to guarantee servitude to the company. Most factory workers lived in squalor, unable to provide the basic minimum to a family which often resulted in a ten year old child going to work in the same factory as dad, often without so much as a pair of shoes on his feet. If management found out a parent and child were employed, they often cut the parent loose to save money, and since the kid made half the wages of his dad, the depth of poverty became overwhelming. There was no plan for getting ahead, how could there be? Life was a stinking hell hole for the working person.
            Gradually people began to say “enough!” They were bone weary of seeing co-workers and friends collapse from being overworked or rendered a crippling injury because of zero safety regulations. Workers were frustrated for being blamed for the terrible injuries sustained because management refused any level of accountability for their zealous, greedy practices. Fathers wanted a life to share with his wife and children outside the constant drudgery of work. Workers wanted their kids to be able to attend school, for hope of a better future. This was capitalism unchecked. Capitalists were unapologetic for their hideous labor practices, they delighted in the power they weilded over peoples entire lives, not just while on the job, because 18 hour work days weren’t uncommon and people were too exhausted to even attempt outside activity, nor was there an extra penny to be had for a recreational activity. These corporatists had no concept of treating people with a semblance of dignity, it was an era of capitalistic depravity, corporate slavery.
            Slowly change took place. Only because the common man demanded it. And by God: many of the most couragous people in our history gave their lives fighting for the forty hour work week, overtime pay, passage of work place safety regulations, child labor laws that led to the requirement of children attending school. People fighting for the right to NOT have to work seven days a week were gunned down in American streets like dogs by hired Pinkerton security agents or police or our federal government. People fought and DIED in effort to achieve some level of fairness and dignity while doing their job.
            Through the struggles of these brave Americans all boats were lifted. The rich even became wealthier as a result of justice being achieved on the factory floor. Instead of living in a rat infested slum a worker could buy a modest home with indoor plumbing. With workers desiring to achieve a higher standard of living, production increased, our economy grew.
            Now you may argue there is no longer a need for unions : I emphatically disagree for the simple reason I have observed the debillitating affects of low wage jobs. While walking the streets of Chicago I’ve witnessed people dressed in company uniform using a hard, filthy sidewalk as a sleep surface. This isn’t a lazy individual, but he holds down a full time job that doesn’t pay enough for him to afford even the most run down tenement and a cheap mattress. Wal Mart employs more people than any other corporation on earth. And despite having attained other worldly level of prosperity the Walton family isn’t satisfied. So they make employees work the day of Thanksgiving because being worth dozens of billions of dollars isn’t enough for them. The Walton family no doubt has access to the finest health care available. There kids can go to any college they like, if a Walton kid happens to be a lackluster student, daddy will buy a new research wing to get the child enrolled. Do you suppose a Walton loses sleep wondering if they’ll make rent next week? Think a Wal Mart Walton ever misses a meal mikegre? Yet, in light of all their unimagineable monetary success, they can’t see fit to offer the very workforce that helped create their lot in life the dignity of an “affordable health plan”. Yes, they offer health insurance : but Wal Mart employees don’t make enough to purchase it. Wal Mart costs tax payers the difference in food stamps and Medicaid, to cover these basic necessities they’re too greedy to see a full time employee provide for themselves from receiving a living wage.

          • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

            Well Said My Friend And True!!! :-)

          • irishtap

            Thanks Fern, I only it wish it were not true. Have a great day.

          • skylights

            Hey everybody, we can stop worrying! This guy Bob Ridge said he had no problem with RTW, so we can just ignore all that data and studies that looked at the entire population of RTW states! One guy’s experience trumps all objective data! Hail conservatism!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/SOUP6PZQY4K4DKPXG6T2DY7G2M Thomas

            Wow, Bob ridge, I live in the RTW State of Texas, and not surprisingly, our wage scale is near the bottom of all 50 states, 1 in 5-6 children live in poverty and the disparity between the well-to-do and the poor is especially pronounced. And its a shame suckers like you that live in a pipedream where employers can always be counted on for their generosity and benevolence- cos all you do is lull some of the rest of us into your same foolish misassumption that unions arent really necessary anymore- and all too many workers wind up finding that out, only AFTER theyve loss their job either by being layed off, fired for capricious reasons, or worst of all, off-shored. Wake t.f. up already.

          • BDD1951

            I live in Texas, too. Thomas is exactly right. We live in a state that charges exorbitant prices for goods and pays no more than minimum wage if they can get by with it.

          • http://diegueno.tumblr.com/ diegueno

            That’s just you, Bob. It’s just your experience, alone.

          • idamag

            Bob, you are lucky. I have worked for non union firms and never had to have someone speak for me, because there are decent non-union employers. They follow the lead that unions have established. For every decent employer, there are 4 who are not.

            If you enjoy a 40-hour work week, raised, vacations, and paid holidays, they are things that were fought for by union members. Even if you choose not to belong to a union, you benefit from their endeavors.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Rhodes/576994322 Kevin Rhodes

            Too bad you lived a RTW state, had you lived in a state where workers are appreciated, you would have made , on average, $1500/yr more. But, ignorance is bliss, as evidenced by everything you have written. The CEO’s love happy sheep like you.

        • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

          You Know He’s A Troll Right?? He Can’t Read!!! Hostess Has Pull This Same Bullshit Many Times Before, Even Here In Chicago About 20 Years Ago!! What They Will Do Is Move To Another Part Of The Country And Do The Same Bullshit Over Again!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/crzydancer Richard Holmes

            Liberals are asswipes, liars, thievs and thugs.

      • irishtap

        Hey middleclass, are you aware there (is) a middleclass because of the union movement? The workforce of Hostess already made major concessions to management which allowed the CEO to increase his paltry $750 k salary into a manageble lifestyle of 2.5 million. Did the management of Hostess use the workers good will toward updating machinery or developing new products? Of course not! They squandered it. Then when they attempted to push labor around some more, the workers said to hell with you. As for BUSH, you really don’t want to go there.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          It’s doubtful that the Hostess workers would have pursued their strike if they were aware they could ALL lose their jobs. I’m certain their union assured them they would prevail, but that was not the case. Unreasonable union demands cause many problems here. Look at NYCs prospective union organizers demanding workers get a more than 100% pay increase….those types of demands are unsustainable by business owners. And without businesses, large or small, there are no jobs.
          What’s your choice, be “Right” and be jobless, or be flexible and survive??? I don’t know about you but I need a paycheck to support me & my family!

          • lexi001

            Uh, who is it that is demanding 100% increase? I really would like to know. If you make a statement like that you need to complete the statement with facts.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Sorry…about a week ago, FAST-FOOD workers in NYC demanded (thru a newly organized union) that their pay be RAISED from the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour to $15/hour, a more than 100% increase in pay. This is an obscene request, and if somehow accomplished, will cause job losses and shifts to part-time work assignments for any remaining workers. What would happen if ALL workers got more than double their current pay???

          • lexi001

            What would happen? People could then afford to have a decent life. If anyone believes for one minute that minimum wage has any connection to reality, they’re sadly mistaken. I honestly beleive that minimum wage should be doubled. Won’t happen of course and we’ll continue to see a decline in the ability of people to be able to have the very basics in life, never mind a good time. The unequal distribution of wealth and income is obscene. One in every four corporations in America pay no taxes, but the answer to the right is to cut ss, medicare, the food stamp program. Sorry, but I am a proud bleeding heart liberal. I can afford to have my taxes raised and believe me I’m not rich. It wouldn’t offend me at all. The RTW, a misnomer if ever there was one, is big business attempting to get even more for less, and to get it from those who can least afford it. I laugh when I hear comments about how union worker’s are over-paid. No, they’re not overpaid, everyone else is underpaid. Why is that so difficult to see? I’ll tell you why; because they are comparing it to minimum wage. It seems to me it does not take a boat-load of intelligence to come to this conclusion. It’s in our face every day when you walk into any store, any office (clerical help), all of the people who take care of each and everyone of us every day. These are real people, folks and they are not living the American dream. Has it gone completely unnoticed that the top never take a paycut or have their bonuses’ cut off in order to help their business? No, they go right to the bottom and prices simply continue to rise. Not so the big corporations don’t go under, so they can keep all that money at the top, and add to it as they laugh in glee at the “little people”. This campaign certainly showed me what the Republican’s think of the majority of American’s. They weren’t even subtle about it.

          • BDC_57

            He can’t he has no facts only what fox fake news says.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ddemotte Doug Demotte

        Read an article from a hostess worker saying that he had first agreed to a pay cut from 48,000 a year to 34,000 a year.(first bankruptcy) This time they wanted him to cut from 34,000 to 25,000 and lose 40% of his other benefits. In Texas, 25,000 is barely a livable wage for 1 person much less a family. Texas pays high unemployment and most would probably come out better on unemployment.

        All this was after the CEO gave himself a raise from 750,000 a year to 2.5 million a year and the other top 5 officers went from 400,000 to 900,000 a year. To make matters worse, much of this pay raise came from the employees pension fund..

        At what point would u tell ur employer to kiss off???

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          Your description sounds harsh, but I would not believe they owners could take employee “pension funds” for their own benefit. THese type of funds would NOT be available to other than the employees themselves. This seisure would be grounds for court action & imprisonment. Not a likely move by any management personnel.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SOUP6PZQY4K4DKPXG6T2DY7G2M Thomas

        …So is this the new standard, the loaded-choice: low-paying job or no job? Gosh, and to think at one time there were three possible choices/options in this country: No job, the low-paying job, and for skilled craftsman and technicians- Such as auto-assembly workers- the high paying job. Now the new implied ultimatum from Big-Business and the GOP puppet-Congressmen they seem to own is take whatever little we deem to hand out or just accept nothing at all. Some choice- this is why so much of America voted Democratic this past year.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SOUP6PZQY4K4DKPXG6T2DY7G2M Thomas

        OMFG, what a loaded set-up question ‘middleclasstaxpayer”- this is like me asking you would you rather see your daughter only smoking marijuana, or snorting cocaine? That you even embrace this loaded question, one surely for the American worker thats is it appears has to be now ready to accept mediocrity and exploitation- the obvious choice is the third choice the Far-Right and Big-Business and their GOP crony lap-dog Congressman have quietly and carefully removed from the equation: The high-paying job. This means no American should ever have to “compete” with some third-worlder who is so desperate he will accept less than a dollar an hour for equivelant American worker work.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

        The ideal setting, from a labor perspective, is what exists in countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and a few other European industrialized nations where companies prosper in spite of many of their workers being union members. Industry in those countries is among the most profitable in the world, and the populace enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Why is that?

        Could it be because the CEOs in those countries don’t earn $20M a year even when they mismanage their companies and drive them to bankruptcy? Could it be because they focus on quality and customer satisfaction? Could it be that they adapt to a changing world, shut down product lines that are no longer in demand, and pay attention to process improvement? BTW, the reason so many Americans no longer feed Twinkies to their children is because we are more aware of the stuff that is in them. Americans are paying more attention to what we eat, and we are becoming more sophisticated. We are more likely to buy a fancy coffee or an artisan bread than a Hostess product and that’s the bottom line. Companies either adapt to a changing world or they die.

        Yes, if American workers accepted Third World remuneration instead of demanding salaries, benefits, and working conditions that allow them to support their families and work in a safe environment, there is a good chance some of our companies could survive the foreign competition that is destroying us, but is that the best we can do? Shouldn’t we try to emulate Sweden instead of Bangladesh?

        Bear in mind that the operating costs that our companies incur include a lot more than salaries. You must factor in the out of control cost of healthcare in the USA, overhead costs, and the hidden cost of inefficient processes and work standards into the mix. It is also a good idea to consider the cost of non-union employees, especially those in management, and unrealistic shareholder expectations when you try to determine the reasons for the demise of so many American companies. Needless to say, the big albatross around our necks is foreign competition. The availability of cheap products is simply too irresistible for those who would rather buy attractive junk that will last a couple of days, than a quality product that will last for years.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

        In answer to your question regarding strikes, that is a choice workers make. If they feel they are being taken advantage of to the point that they rather risk losing their jobs than being abused, that’s is their choice. You put it well, however, Hostess PUSHED their workers to strike.
        As for Bush, what is happening today has been happening for decades. W is simply too dumb to have influenced anything like this. Rove, Norquist, DeMint, Romney, and Cheney, on the other hand, are the Machiavellis that encourage labor abuses to get rid of failing industries, make a profit, and invest the proceeds in China, Bangladesh or Indonesia.

      • ralphkr

        My, my, middleclasstaxpayer, have you EVER considering learning the facts before spewing out rehashed conservative fantasies? After Hostess went into bankruptcy the first time the workers took more than $110 million dollar pay cut in order to save the company. Oddly enough, the company had more debt when it came out of bankruptcy than when they first went Chapter 11. Now Hostess was saddled with millions of debt because they had been Romneyed. Yep, vulture capitalists had taken over the carcass of Hostess and now most of the company profits were going to the debt holders (the excess debt was generated by the vultures in order to get the company), huge fees to the vultures to manage the debt, and big pay to the execs (80% pay raise for the brass). There was no money available to buy the more efficient machinery the unions wanted or to upgrade and modernize the product line that lower management desired. This time Hostess went into bankruptcy because the bakers refused to take further pay cut (as one baker put it, “Why come to work when it costs almost as much to get here as what I’ll be paid.”) although the teamsters did narrowly accept the cut. By the way the Hostess CEO is a liquidation specialist. Oh, did I mention that the the Hostess financial consultant stated that even if the unions accepted the cuts that Hostess was requesting that they would be out of business within 2 years. So the biggest culprit here is the US tax code which makes it profitable for vulture outfits to take over companies and run them into the ground.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          I see a strong parallel here between the Hostess bankruptcy (ie: “Most of the company profits were going to debt holders”) AND our US deficit situation, the largest in history. Most of OUR U.S. “profits” (ie : our tax revenues) will be going to pay the debt holders (in this case countries like CHINA)…..but of course the Chinese will treat us fairly, right. WRONG! The US is just as surely headed for default (bankruptcy) as Hostess bakeries did for EXACTLY the same reasons…..spent more than we could possibly take in. We’re headed for disaster and all liberals do is point fingers at someone else.

          • ralphkr

            Evidently you do not know that the majority of the Federal debt is held by US entities. China holds between 7% & 8% of our debt. There is also a big difference between the Hostess debt and the US debt. The Hostess debt was incurred by the buyers of Hostess. I have always been fascinated by the fact that outfits can use the company that they are buying as collateral even if it is a hostile take over while the US debt was incurred by the US for itself. There is a big difference between someone loading my company with a huge debt to force me out and my taking on a huge debt to improve my company. The US was in debt since before it became a country and has carried a Federal debt EVERY year of its existence (many economists blame the prosperity of the US on the fact that it has always been a debtor nation). This is the second time since 1900 that our debt exceeded our GDP (last time was after WW2 which did not last as long as our unthinking excursions in the Gulf). Considering debt to GDP ratio Japan has almost 3 times the debt that we have plus, you will be interested to know, the US economy is currently consider the only bright spot in the world economic picture. Yeah, when I learned that I shuddered a little too.

      • oldbuzzardpopsgary

        Hostess is a perfect example as to how much the COMMON WORKING MAN has lost in any say so about working conditions anywhere sure you have CORRUPTION in labor uions LOOK AT WASHNGTON D.C. and the government THEN COMPARE THE TWO. WASHINGTON ELECTED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE NOT SERVE THEIR SELVES AND THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE DOINGTO YOU A ND EVERYONE IN THIS COUNTRY SERVING THEIR SELF NOT YOU AND I.

      • http://twitter.com/aroucad David Arouca

        Wow…just wow

        You know Hostess closing had nothing to do with the workers, right? I guess not. Hostess was already on their way down. The workers had taken numerous cuts in the years prior. Hostess went down because they make a shitty product that nobody wants. Seriously, turn off Fox News and do some actual research.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          Hostess made great products….very popular here. Wal Mart’s bread & Bakery shelves are now half empty without Hostess products. We all miss them.

      • MRD1056

        If you actually look into the Hostess problem it had nothing to do with the Union. It was actually the beloved venture capitialists like your boy Robmoney. They again loaded a company up with debt to make millions and it failed. Research a little bit before you spout your nonsense!

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          OK, will accept your explanation, BUT isn’t that what is happening with the US…Obama has piled up MORE DEBT than ALL previous presidents in history COMBINED . Aren’t we headed for same fate as a nation….UNABLE TO PAY OFF OUR OBLIGATIONS? It doesn’t work for businesses, why will it work for our country???

          • MRD1056

            well unfortunately most people look at the national budget as if you are trying to balance their personal check book. It isn’t the same. The ecomonic problems we face are (weather reblicans want to admit it or not George W. Bushs failures) not the same. Government plays a key role in economic downturns. You need to stimulate the government through projects to put people to work. Unfortunately that takes money (stimulas) to do that. Just like FDR did Obama is trying to put people to work through infrastructure construction jobs. The debt is not as serious as people make it out to be if consumer spending goes up because people have money to spend the revenue will go up and the debt will come down. We have seen huge debt before and managed our way out of the situation, Bill Clinton had huge defeicts after Reagan and Bush and managed to get us out of it in 8 years. By raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, he also had help with the dot com surge. Unfortunately the Republicans in congress right now are to scare of there millionare donors, they won’t agree to tax increases because they are affraid they won’t recieve any contributions come election time. This has to change in order for the country to move forward. I do agree that we need to curb spending in many area’s, but we need to be carefull that we don’t cut to deeply. We need to look at many reforms to lower our defiect and that is what Obama is trying to do by cutting out wasteful spending in the 718 billion worth of medicare savings in the Affordable Care Act. (Which by the way was a Republican idea by the Hereitage Foundation including the individual mandate) Regulating the medical industry and taking the cap off social security are two ways we can lower costs and save the country money. Another good way is to stop passing right to work laws so that employees have a right to negotiate there own pay and benefits with companies. When CEO’s make 400 times more than the employees they hire something is wrong. With good pay and benefits people have more money to spend thus improving the economy and reducing the debt.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Well explained, but “when employees have the right to negotiate their own pay & benefits with companies” as you said, you can get what’s happened in NYC with Fast Food Workers demanding an over 100% pay increase (from $7.25/hr to $15/hr)….if everyone asked to double + their pay, we’d have a few extra dollars in our pockets for a few weeks, UNTIL costs of goods & services skyrocketed upward and out of control. NO ONE can win when unions make absurd damands like this.

          • MRD1056

            I agree that some demands seem obserd. But frankly how much profit does some of these fast food franchise make. They are recording record profits as well as most other business. And like most negotiations you start at a high point and find a middle ground that both parties are happy with. Unfortunately with fast food employees they just waited to long this should have happened yeaars ago and it wouldn’t look so obserd. No one can live on 7.25 and hour in this country unless you still live with your parents, which I am sure some of those employees do. But the income equility in this country has been loopsided for over 30 years. We need to remedy that as a country or the economy will suffer in the long run.

      • ChristineIam

        middleclasstaxpayer:

        Following your “logical” reasoning for eliminating Labor Unions:

        Sweat Shops @ 12 cents p/hour: Better than no job, right?
        No Overtime, with mandatory 12 hour days: Better than no job?
        No Health Insurance: At least you have a damn job?
        Child Labor with no restrictions: Be grateful that you’re bringing in cash for your family. Screw school.

        Sounds just like the GOP – and the future without Labor Unions.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          You’re dreaming! Fact is, in right to work states, unemployment is MUCH LOWER, and wages are very competitive. Businesses, which need to be profitable to survive, are much more likely to locate in states with right to work laws. But if you’re an Obama supporter, I’m sure you think it’s more “fair” to be able to get paid more while doing less, ie: the “Union way.” Stop you’re complaining & get a life!

    • dwinkle

      Most of your points are arguable, except “civil rights”. We have done more to protect the rights and sovereignty of people, ALL people, than any political party than any country or organization.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

      That’s Our American Taliban For You Still Trying To Turn This Country Into A Third World Country, This Is The Reason Why The People Are Getting Food Stamps And Asking For Government Help!!!! You Can’t Live On What These Greedy Ass People Want To Pay You, Just Like The American Taliban Polices It Wont Add Up!!!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NOWA3E42LRZ6VRAFALDFUL4IWM Foot

      wake up! we have to adapt our selves/standards to compete against those 3rd world countries. when all production has twinkied out of our country how will we earn money to buy anything?

  • stsintl

    It is time for the middle class to organize the MILK [Middle Income Labor Ketch] Party to neutralize the TEA Party. Let’s face it MILK is healthier than TEA. Let’s get all those Occupy Wall Street crowd and the AFLCIO get going on this. I am sure, the dairy farmers would love to support it.

    • dwinkle

      The multi-billion dollar industrial dairy farmers will love it, because your crooked “dairy minimums” mean that small, family dairies cannot undersell the big corporations, which is why there are so few left.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WZG5Z5FXVXAA5PRY2USFW3Q76Y Witnes This!

    Makes one wonder how tea people are so determined to ruin the very people who deserve representaion from unfair labor practices. Do these people not work?

    • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

      Many of them don’t. Many of the Republicans I know have taken advantage of MEDICAID to pay for things they could afford to pay for, they use WIC and get food stamps, they have sued people for minor fender benders, and they oppose the Obamacare mandate because it forces them to get coverage from for profit insurance companies and stop getting freebies in Emergency Rooms.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OAT6GEIDI5HWY2H6KOUAJXKLY4 AliciaSolis

      These are some of the same clueless people,who rail against all those awful “socialist programs” like Medicare and Social Security,while carrying that Medicare card and who run to the mail box every month to take that Social Security check,yet support privatization of Social Security and get rid of Medicare..

      Work? Yes, most probably do,but obviously love those low paying jobs,where they can be fired without any reason whatsoever..No rights in the workplace is what they are getting…They want no one bargaining for workers rights,a safe working environment,better wages, healthcare and retirement benefits,so this is what they will NOT get…NOTHING…

      • jointerjohn

        Oh they are workers alright. Workers who will stand silent and watch one of their coworkers abused, endangered, even wrongfully terminated and just think, “whew, I’m sure glad that wasn’t me. I sure hope I can get that extra $.25 per hour she was making.” The powerful want us to be every man for himself, it’s easier to pick us off one at a time.

        • http://www.facebook.com/fefe.fox.3 FeFe Fox

          I AGREE WITH YOU AND NOTICE WE HAVE BEEN MOVED INTO DIVIDE AN CONQUER THE AMERICAN PPL MODE VERY SNEAKY

  • http://www.facebook.com/beverly.c.morris Beverly Covington Morris

    Lower wages, less healthcare coverage…..sounds counter-productive for the middle and lower class worker. This is unfair and deceptive. Let’s get the word out!

  • jointerjohn

    There is a sixth way that these so-called “right to work” laws crush the middle class. By sending the message that banding together in common purpose for a goal is perfectly fine for conglomerates, super banks, monopolies, but not for workers. They don’t want the concept of solidarity to go any further amongst workers, oh no. Churches can refuse to share their work environment with persons not of their faith, but union workers are denied the ability to just require that everyone pay their own way. Little people banding together to reduce the power disparity between employers and employees is slipping away. I fear that until American workers start seeing that all workers are their brothers and sisters and stand together we will continue to be turned into another Mexico and Brazil. Time to get out the axe handles once again.

  • lexi001

    I will be stunned if, in the next two election’s there are any Republicans left.

    • ExPAVIC

      WISHES

      Hopefully you are correct. Read Bill Murphy’s column in the current issue of TIME Magazine regarding old, old, used up and dying GOP. Even their own are questioning where the party is headed.

      Hopefully, this is but the eye of the storm.

    • pbrower2a

      It was a high-risk choice of the Reactionary Party of Michigan… and I am sure that the pols got paid well for betraying Michigan workers. But they also passed some stringent anti-abortion laws, too on behalf the Fundamentalist Christians in Michigan. There’s a public sector to sell out — like the state’s highways to profiteering monopolists, so don’t be surprised if it costs $50 in tolls to go from Toledo to the Mackinac Bridge and another $50 to cross the bridge. Watch for a huge increase in sales taxes to give subsidies to the sweatshops that find cheap labor attractive until they discover how unreliable cheap labor is.

      Michigan is stuck with the Judas legislators and Quisling governor until 2015.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5LCXMWHFPRMEYD4RWN56QE2FF4 Grunge45

    Disgusting, traitorous behavior by the religious right.

  • lambypie

    dear middleclasstaxpayer it would be fine if there were low paying jobs but have you tried to live and feed and raise a family on $8.00 an hour and most $8.00 an hour jobs people never get 40 hours. Until the cost of living goes WAY DOWN, your reality stinks. Wake up and smell the roses. That is not a living wage today!!!!!!

  • Americkan

    I will openly admit that myself and family voted for Snyder because at the time there really was no option. Now after 2 years and the things this sneak has done in this state so far, I can assure you that myself and family which are mostly elderly and on pensions will never vote republican again. I guess 2 years ago we didn`t adhere to the slogan “watch what you wish for”. Only God knows what`s in store for this state for the next 2 years.

  • lighthousejustice

    DATELINE Lansing, Michigan
    “Police took the unusual and controversial step of locking Capitol entrances and blocking citizens’ entry for several hours until labor representatives obtained a court order from Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk to reopen the seat of state government and grant access to the “democratic process.” (Freep by way of USA Today 12/7)
    “A date which will live in infamy.” FDR
    If Right To Work is such a good employment model, then why didn’t the governor extend it on to law enforcement? “The goal isn’t to divide Michigan,” he said at a press conference. “It is to bring Michigan together.” Snyder said that he now supported the legislation because it was about the “freedom to choose” and “fairness and equity in the workplace.” (Video Cafe 12/6) So then do cops not also deserve this freedom and equity? Or, maybe, it isn’t about freedom or equity at all. Snyder knew full well that law enforcement organizations around the state opposed RTW. But he also knew, that unlike the rest of organized labor, the new way of doing business in Michigan would require that he stay buddies with troopers, deputies and police officers. Remember this discrepancy in a year or two when Michigan’s economy is no better (except for possible federal intervention) and the question of where is a cop when you need one is no longer asked. I also suggest everyone get a copy of Steinbeck’s “THE GRAPES OF WRATH” so as to do a little quick American history.

  • dwinkle

    Yes, we want to spend our education dollars on vastly superior, student, parent, and teacher orientated, affordable, accountable, variable, flexible educations that build character, honesty, and responsibility rather than your outrageously expensive, “fuck the children, I’m looking to make a quick buck” government cheese, union slob controlled, Communist conformity factories. Get used to it, we’re not going anywhere.

    • ExPAVIC

      WHAT? GET REAL (MEANING BETTER INFORMED)

      The demise of the middle class began when ex-union member Ronald Reagan (Screen Actors Guild President) commenced with the old, old, used up and dying GOP idea to bust all unions. Now only 12 percent of technical labor is represented by unions and hence the downfall of the middle class which was made up largely of the union-member labor force.

      If that isn’t clear enough for you, it is not worth my time to explain the facts to the likes of you.

    • lexi001

      You’re sad

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W47EPFNKKVMMLR4VV2QEFWOBAY Janet

    This DeVos person is perhaps a step brother of Norquist? What makes people behave in such a manner? Equality is no longer being said when referring to US workers. Money will buy you anything…it appears to be true. I do believe that Republicans will get their druthers. The question is when? The country cannot wait forever.

  • amarquez647

    Both my parents were union worker. I never worked with union protection. When my parents retired, they had social security, Medicare, and pensions. I have social security and Medicare. I worked for some very impressive companies but when the project ended, I had to find another job. When I taught I taught in private schools, the schools were not unionized. I earned more than my parents did but they had a better deal.
    So those of us that are progressives let us get to the trenches. RTW mean no right for workers. Employment at will means that they do not need to justify giving you a pink slip.
    Read about American labor history. Management did not want the ladies to take unauthorized breaks, so they blocked the exit doors. The factory caught fire and some women jumped out of windows because they fear burning to death. Goons fired on woman and children because the man organized a strike against the mines. The families camped out near the mines to support their men. The company goons were in covered wagons and used Gatling Guns. do not think that some of today’s bussinessman woulden dare use similar tatics if they coul get away with it . didn’t this just happend in Asia.+

  • charleo1

    This is what the Republicans are all about today. To those that follow their policies, it is very
    obvious. To those who know the history of American labor. The price paid in blood, for the
    Right to organize. To end starvation wages, and dangerous conditions. People worked like
    animals, with no recourse. No leverage at all to improve their lot. These are serious times
    for Americans. We stand to lose nearly 100 years of hard earned progress. Handed down
    to us by those with worn out bodies, blackened lungs, and their only legacy, being the victories
    they won for their sons, and daughters. Victories some are coming to reverse. Just as sure as
    the sun rises tomorrow morning, and another workday begins.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roscoe.harvey.3 Roscoe Harvey

    Some unions are useless, they are all bark and no teeth to back anything up against the employer. They do nothing but piggy back ride the workers for dues, from wages that are not enough to feed an family of mice let alone human. The only union, I have seen that can make an employer give in is the International Long shoremans Union, those employees get what they bargain for, by strikes against the commerce of goods this country receives, nothing comes in and nothing goes out, thats real teeth in an unions mouth. Some of those employees are just high school grads, making over one hundred thousand a year, three months vacation and a ten year full benefits pension plan, full company paid medical plan, even after retirement and still striking at the present, here in CA! Ask me if I’m jealous? and the answer is yes! and don’t blame those employees striking, I thought only Congress and Senators on capital hill only had it like that!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1118543425 Robin O’Brien

      I work for a major airline and am a member of the APFA union. I have a masters degree, have 21 days of vacation after 27 years with the company, do not make even close to one hundred thousand a year, pay $200 a month for a lousy medical plan, no medical plan after retirement and our work rules continue to get worse. Bain Capital was hired by the airline to bust the unions….. Is this an airline that you want to travel on???? I think not…. they may succeed in busting up the unions but they have also succeeded in totally deflating the moral of 40,000 wonderful employees.

      I have chosen to take an early out with the company next year. I wish you all the best traveling for business and pleasure …. management will continue to find ways to nickel and dime you passengers to submission and you certainly won’t get much expathy from those of us that have already been screwed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roscoe.harvey.3 Roscoe Harvey

    Yeah I worked for a city government, we had a union that was just a paper tiger on paper, they would only come alive and bite down when it was time to take your dues, from your wages. They had no real power to make the city listen and take them serious, like the long shoremans unions. Right now this city is planning to contract out all of their labor force. Don’t feel bad I was lucky to retire after 31 years and pay close to $800 dollars a month for a medical plan.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SOUP6PZQY4K4DKPXG6T2DY7G2M Thomas

    Wow, “right-to–work” Hmmm…Sounds much like it would be something that workers fought hard for and something that benefits ONLY workers, but if you peel off the thin veneer of B.S., you’ll see this only benefits Management- at the expense of its empoyees.Try finding a better, much more accurate title for this law, such as “right to bust unions” or “right to not work you if your’e organized” that isnt quite so decepetive and misleading. Oh wait- silly me, I forgot- deceptive and misleading are now acceptable tools for businessman and the lawmakers theyre apparently in bed with to use in their political discourse, right? Jesus, never before have I seen a law expressly designed to benefit the elite few at the grave expense of the masses…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SOUP6PZQY4K4DKPXG6T2DY7G2M Thomas

    RTW: a GOP/BigBusiness euphemism for “we gonna pay you less, reduce your benefits, if any, and basically hire/fire you capriciously and arbitrarily- with impunity” God, what has this country and its empoyers come to? When oh when do Michigan GOP lawmakers ever find time to “govern” amidst all this catering and pandering to big-business? Must be hard to juggle legislating, prostituting one’s workers, and kow-towing all at once.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnny.thomas.52035 Johnny Thomas

    I am watching from the outside ,but it looks like the unions have worn them self out in fair play to all .I mean they are an instrument in the rising price’s of the industries .I feel sorry for the one it hurt .The union leaders new that if they keep pushing that they will go to far and it looks like it being noticed and this is just the of start of reconstructing work forces so that profit margins will go higher for the rich and employment will be paid less for all unless some one steps in .This has been a fever for quite a little while as the unions have had the well paying jobs and benefits tide up .Mr Romney wanted to do this to the whole country remember .It made me nervous about my friends not seeing that is what he was going to do and downed me for pointing it out about Romney they still ignore me on those plain and simple facts as to what is happening and people like Romney are at the top of this .We are in for a rude awakening as unions die out so do well paid jobs .

  • charleo1

    Texas is exhibit # one for what happens, when without opposition, Right Wing politicians run
    a State taking orders from their big money, special interest Buddies, the Right to Lifers, and Right to work people without actually having to pay them. Corporate Hogs, that expect for every dollar they hand out, they’ll get a least two back. It’s a pitiful situation. Their Gov. Rick Perry, who the
    Country got to know in the Clown Car primary, is no laughing matter if you happen to be one of
    the two million poor women that lost your only access to medical care, when Perry closed every
    Planned Parenthood facility in the State. Probably a violation of the law. But, the Mothers now
    can join their uninsured children, of which Texas has more of than any other State. Texas is
    hemorrhaging red ink. With no public sector union, a booming oil business, some of the largest,
    and busiest ports in the Nation, Texas is really rich! How could the State Government be 22
    billion dollars in debt? Like the Federal Government, when in the clutches of the radical, wealth worshipping, Republicans. Unwilling, or unable to tax their wealthy overlords, they must borrow
    the funds to pay for the liabilities created by the poverty producing, low wage, no benefits, policies.
    Privatizing the profits, while sending the bills to the Government to pay. Now, after Wall Street
    ran the economy into the ground, resulting in tens of billions in lost wages, requiring trillions
    in government expenditures, to prevent financial catastrophe, they call for another tax break
    for themselves! Warning their propagandized flock of the dangers of this, “Socialist takeover.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/jmac444 Judy Mccracken

      The goal to keep their foot on the neck of the American Worker..to remove one after the other… benefits tht Unions fought & died for… the RTW gives them that leverage….oh, sorry no wkends off…. btw, there is no sick time on this job… if you cant afford insurance, sorry, we cant either… Vacation, are you kidding? you cant afford to take time off without pay, and we dont pay vacation….Pension? Sorry, only CEO’S & Mgmnt get Pensions….and if you dont care for your $3/hr wages, you have the RTW elsewhere…..

      • charleo1

        I heartily agree with everything you say, Judy! RTW destroys the vehicle by which labor
        can demand parity. The numbers back this up. Elizabeth Warren’s writings describe
        chapter, and verse, the decoupling of labor’s wages to productivity, and profits. And the
        skyrocketing of CEO’s and top management salaries, even in cases where the company
        fails. It is maddening to hear honest hard working Americans derided as lazy, or addicted
        to big government handouts. As their only, “sin,” is trying to procure access to medical
        care. Care, once provided, now denied, by the increasing number of low wage, service
        sector jobs. Changes lobbied for, and granted to corporations to declare bankruptcies
        while enjoying record profits. American Airlines was allowed to tear up labor contracts
        under these special laws. Negating millions in promised future benefits, workers took
        in lieu of increases in salaries. Citicorp, will lay off 11,000 this month. Although it’s
        receiving billions in interest free cash, which it will loan back to the rest of us at 11-20%.
        Like the rest of our multi-nationals, they cry over the exorbitant corporate tax rates.
        When the truth is, only 25%, or one in every 4 U.S. based corporations paid any
        taxes at all. Even as their bottom line profits,broke all time records in 2009, 2010, and 2011! As poverty rates, (people slipping out of the Middle Class,) grew by proportions not seen since our emergence from the Great Depression era, 80 years ago. Today, school
        buses stop by seedy motels, where out of work parents live a week to week existence.
        And, children make up the fastest growing demographic, with one in four living below the
        poverty line. With, an estimated 2 million children, have been homeless at some time
        during the past year.

  • nobsartist

    The contributors to DICK snyders bribery fund will be in for a big surprise soon.

    By the way, I wonder what the tax rate is on DICK snyders bribery fund and when will the feds step in to put this punk out of business?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Colleen-Klemp/100002683878543 Colleen Klemp

    Gov. Walker of WI better not get too cocky & think he’s going to do the same thing. If he thought we had big crowds around the capital in Madison in 2011, if he thinks he’s going to copy Michigan he better guess again. There would be a revolt like the U.S. has never seen.

  • EZ2figure

    Seniority and quality suffers when a “Right to work” employer can fire us for cheaper labor workers halfway through a project. There is no work for those who are 55 and above, whether they are real craftsmen or not. I know! I worked for an “At-Will employer, who worked the craftspeople for the start of a project, then replaced us with 8 dollar an hour folks, while I had to collect supplemental unemployment benefits from the state, due to lack of hours. What a way to get ready for retirement! After 40 years in the industry, I was abused, sent out without safe equipment, couldn’t complain without days off for speaking up, and ultimately fell from an unsafe ladder with no rubber feet they had us use, or they would send us home! This is a true story from a disabled victim of “right to work” (or At-will) employment legislation. Don’t forsake unions! Unions have the power to protect their workers from this! Right to work legislation is only great for the filthy rich, who got that way stepping over the bodies they left in the ditches behind them!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmac444 Judy Mccracken

    Is it any wonder that a man tht is supposed to represent the people would try to use the “emergency manager” tool to steal from Benton Harbor and turn it into a country golf club for his buddies…. would now be doing the right thing for workers….by making sure they never lift themselfs out of the “working poor” category… any citizen that doubts that, needs to look at the current RTW States… Florida, for example… If your not a doctor, a lawyer or a Indian Chief… your making the RTW wage…. $7.45/hr… why must we fight so hard to get these hired tea bag governors to represent US and not just their party, which represents the top tier of this country only?

  • http://www.facebook.com/victor.sindoni Victor Sindoni

    Super wealthy want unions crushed, they want to control your life completely,
    And insist that workers get paid Mc Donald wages, GM became the largest
    corporation in the world. And were paying union wages.. They lost there
    markets, due to stupidity and building inferior autos.. NOT BECAUSE OF A UNION.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmac444 Judy Mccracken

    Unions = a Decent Respectable good wage… a house, car, vacation, college, healthcare & a pension….. The American Dream… Not much… Average Joe is very satisfied with that…. So why are they attempting to take that away… Because the Difference between $7.45/hr x 2080 = $15,496/annual pay… as vs say, $15/hr= $31,200/annual pay….. $31,000 is not a lot to support a family of maybe, 3…. but can you imagine trying on $15,000?… that’s why WE, the taxpayer subsidize Walmart employees with foodstamps/health assistance…. and in a RTW State that’s the benefit…. Chinese wages, taxpayers foot the diff and the company CEO has padded the portfolio for another jet or car elevator…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmac444 Judy Mccracken

    Republicans are hot and heavy on reducing that overpaid min wage worker… Several of them have banned together to cosponsor a bill to reduce it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmac444 Judy Mccracken

    For now they probably do… maybe next job wont be providing what they currently have.. little by little, job by job, benefits are taken away or reduced..

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmac444 Judy Mccracken

    “Sweep the HOUSE CLEAN..2014″… State and Local, as well…

  • oldbuzzardpopsgary

    The rich have been pitting the worker against each other since the 19th century, rermember J P Morgan, Andrew Carnegie Etc. Without labor union this country would still be working 12 hours a day six days a week for 10 cents an hour and no health care or anything else. How do you think Rockefeller,Carnegie and Morgan got so rich. They bought their selves a president in the 1896 Presidential Election. When is the WORKING CLASS EVER GOING TO WISE UP? 200 yerars from now?

  • DrAmyOn

    Delphi salaried employees wish they never heard of right to work.

  • irishtap

    They WERE flexible middleclass, labor made huge consessions of 110 million dollars in 2004. This was money that was to be used toward machinery upgrades and R&D for more nutritious products, but management reneged and simply began to line their own pockets with the money from the concessions made by the good faith workers. Management NEVER made the long view commitments laborers understood were necessary to remain competitive. The CEO gave himself more than a 300% pay increase and you expect the people that are actually producing the goods to simply smile while they get their pay reduced?! Since the early 2000′s Hostess had been through 6 chief executives. Management clearly had no viable marketing or long term plan to upgrade technology to keep HOSTESS competitive. You don’t go through six CEO’s if you have some semblance of a “real” plan. Management took on 800 million in debt due to terrible planning decisions from the early 90′s on. Do you really think a third shift production worker was pulling the financial strings at a company that once employed 35 thousand people? Despite warnings from market analysts, management began buying back huge amounts of it’s own stock. These people not only ignored their wiser employees regarding investments to upgrade machinery and developing new products, they also defied the better judgement of masters degree holding analysts about the very-very bad idea of buying back stock, until the company had returned to solid footing. I doubt a HO HO packager had much input regarding the stock buy back which resulted in staggering debt because there had been no cohesive, sound planning for reinvestment into the company. Even after labor gave back 110 million dollars in 2004, management hadn’t learned anything about running a profitable organization resulting in demands of more cuts to workers by as much as 32%! By this time workers probably realized before the CEO, that Hostess was going down the tubes anyway and said ‘to hell with you’.
    I ask you :when are people allowed to say “ENOUGH”? You say any job is better than no job. These people fully understand that middleclass. The place stood as long as it did only because of the dedicated labor force employed there, management was reckless and greedy and apparently wasn’t able to find a strong leader to reign in the entrenched culture of lousy business acumen. These people showed courage, rather than lose 6 bucks an hour – which would only lead to another concession and then another, they took a stand. Can you buy a nice house in the burbs for 8-9 dollars an hour middleclass? You can’t even get a decent apartment for that, much less raise a family or drive a reliable vehicle. These folks are hard working and also “middleclass taxpayers”, who will pushed into the class of the working poor because of lousy management.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phyllis-Rogers/100001357173302 Phyllis Rogers

    Why are all the Republicans fighting for the right to work law because they no most of us are ignorant when it comes to greed, thats the reason some one who lives in a run down trailer park working for minim um wage no pun intended voted for a Republican, and now that Obama has won a second term how else do you expect greed to react, punish the same people who voted for you, they wont what little bit of money you have, they get your rent, they get your utilities, you rent your car, and by groceries at 10 times the price it took to grow it, go to a cattle sale, see how much your neighbor gets, then go to your local store and listen to his excuses

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=618712959 Den Vecc

    Of course the Corporations and the Republicans are pushing this. Wake up people.

  • Linda Miller

    What a mess! Slave labor is what the Republicans want and that is why they are pushing “the bill” through as fast as they can. Governor Snyder would be wise to not sign the bill. Sure hope he is wise.

  • onedonewong

    The new Law shouldn’t be called the right to work but rather MI ends Slavery 150 years after Lincoln ended slavery for the rest of the country. This new law doesn’t stop people from joining and organizing what it does is end the UNION unilateral assault on workers pay. The fact that unions can dock your pay whether you belong or not is nothing short of Extortion

  • pbrower2a

    “Right-to-Work” may as well be called “Duty to Starve”.

    The Republicans in the Michigan state legislature have been rushing fascistic legislation on a state that isn’t at all politically conservative. If they get their way Michigan will quickly become a Hell for workers. Michigan has an economy based on people making solid pay that supports a consumer economy, which is all that makes a state with bad weather and few attractions tolerable. Once that is gone, Michigan is no place to live unless one is a tycoon, executive, or big landowner. Those people always fare well under fascism and have been the key supporters of that inhuman ideology wherever it has appeared. They were perfectly happy when Pinochet was murdering anyone who didn’t want absolute plutocracy.

    The Master Class wants to make all others suffer for their greed. They want government responsible only to them selves. The common man gets hunger but is expected to accept Pie in the Sky When You Die as compensation — while the elites get lobster and Dom Perignon. They want America as a whole to resemble a Marxist caricature of capitalism… which paradoxically makes Marxism all the more attractive to people who have nothing to lose. Capitalism fares best when that caricature doesn’t ring so true.

    What goes on in Michigan will not stay in Michigan. Americans for Prosperity (for the few, but poverty for everyone else) will take its ghastly show on the road to another state legislature near you, offer corrupt pols their thirty pieces of silver (OK, it will be a lavish check offered to the campaign fund) and turn the state into an economic cesspool.

    Watch out, Ohio and Pennsylvania — the Republican Party stands for a fascistic corporate state in which government represents wealth and bureaucratic power instead of people.

  • nobsartist

    If you intend to protest in Lansing, bring a rifle. You are allowed to carry a rifle in public in Michigan and that would keep the oinkers back.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NOWA3E42LRZ6VRAFALDFUL4IWM Foot

    the truth as i see it is unions have morphed into legalized pimps agressively pursuing finacial gain for the union it’s self (not always to the benifit of it’s rank and file members). the way their greed killed the auto industry is but a speck on the tip of an iceberge. safety / work conditions / job security and a fair wage should be their main consern not insuring that the administrative heads live in economic heaven. no upper admin. union members should make more than twice the adverage member. being paid from dues collected their greed leeches funds from works. the side deals they make with many manufacturers, gov. agencies often only make them richer. in these TOUGH times if they gave us guys on the bottom a 5% cut in dues that’d be like getting a raise and show beyond lip service they care. NEVER HAPPEN !!!!!!!

  • idamag

    This is going to be something that is hard for many to believe, given the extreme things that have been said about collective bargaining, but the unions created the middle class. Yes, there has been some corruption in some unions, but name any entity where there is money and you will find some corruption. A strong organization manages to weed out that corruption. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, manufacturers, and gun people all have organizations to assist them in bringing up their goals. Corporations have the largest organization in the world – Chamber of Commerce. When the wage earner has the audacity to think he can better himself and have an organization to help speak for him, he finds him, and his organization being vilified. When he no longer wants to be an expendable piece of property that gets killed in a mine, only to be replaced by another man standing by, and asks for safety regulations, he is vilified.

    I suggest that people, who are swallowing the crap about unions, read about the Ludlow Masacre and the TriAngle Shirtwaist factory fire.

    I live in a state that voted to go right-to-work (which actually means right-to-work- for less money and less protections) and our average wage dropped. People are asked to work off the clock.

  • idamag

    Good morning, Fern. You are right. that is exactly what we had before unions.

  • idamag

    Jophnny, the union is not a faceless organization that drives labor. The union is a body of people that belong to the union. If you hadn’t paid that much attention to the problems in Michigan, union member voted to take less wages and give on unpaid work day to their employers to help them get on their feet.

  • idamag

    diegueno, like the picture. That is the concept of unions – caring about each other.

  • idamag

    les, dwinkle doesn’t realize that unions are reponsible for his good wages. non-union companies had to raise their wages to compete with union companies. I know this because i was in managment for a company that did not want unions. At a meeting they said if they gave good benefits and wages there would be no reason for employees to organize.

  • idamag

    You said that very well.

  • idamag

    les, before mct says $15/hr is obscene, he should check out the cost of living in that area.

  • idamag

    pbrower, There has been a big push to destroy unions and the Koch brothers are behind it. Several people running for governor, around the country, were financed by the Koch brothers and it is these governors that are trying to do the will of thier owners.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.satkowiak Rick Satkowiak

    When you’re wrong, you’re wrong and those who are saying that Right to Work will create an atmosphere in Michigan, in which corporations will be clamoring to come to the state, could not be more wrong. The atmosphere which will be created will be one of instability and acrimony. The Governor was right, before the Koch’s and Devos threatened him with a well financed primary challenger, this will be a very “divisive” issue. With Michigan being the birthplace of the labor movement and its strong labor heritage, this issue will create years of uncertainty as to what the final labor picture in Michigan will be. There will be recall campaigns, petition drives and a lack of cooperation in the state legislature. There will probably even be violence, as you cannot declare war on a people and then expect them to remain peaceful. Call it “thuggery” if you want, but what it would be is people trying to protect their wages and benefits. No corporation will even consider Michigan under these conditions. There will be those that will blame labor for this atmosphere, and there will be those that blame the GOP. The fact is, the blame game will just be part of the “atmosphere” problem and only stoke the fires of derision in this state. The status quo in Michigan was working just fine, as Michigan is actually one of the bright spots in the economy of the country with the resurgence of the auto industry, which is managing just fine with its unions. The GOP is claiming that this is about “free choice”, but thinking people know that this is about politics for them. They are just trying to neuter their competitions base. Is a political war worth the atmosphere it will create? As far as the legislation itself, it is not a matter of if it will stand, it is an issue of how long it will stand and how much damage will be done to the state’s economy by the “atmosphere” it creates.

  • http://www.facebook.com/garydenton Gary Denton

    6 pages when it should be 1! – Fail.

  • http://www.facebook.com/renoserinks Tom Serink

    And the employment rates? How come the article doesn’t mention the employment rates. Could be that MORE people are working in free states? I wonder…..

  • chisolm

    Fifteen hundred dollars a year more annual income in non-RTW states, most likely doesn’t even cover the dues confiscated from the workers.

  • chisolm

    RTW laws don’t take away a workers right to join a union, they merely give them the choice. Why is it that liberals only want people to have the rights they say they should have?

    • lexi001

      If that were really what is was about no one would be complaining. If you are unable to see the repercussion’s from this push, too bad, so sad.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joshlong79 Joshua Long

        so what’s it about?

  • Canistercook

    There are two sides to most things and when one side gets too much power they tend to abuse their power. Remember there are many middle class people paying for the products of these union workers and they are not in the same income bracket nor can they be if their companies are going to compete in this competitive world.. Competing in this world means that Union workers must compete or the company goes bankrupt. This has and is happening to many of our companies.

  • Progressive Patriot

    Just like Walker in Wisconsin, this is a radical agenda being pushed to attack workers, and lower wages. The “economic development,” that they refer to is economic development for the Aristocracy. We will loose the rights that we fought so hard to obtain, and continue our slide toward becomming a nation of low wage workers. This is all about the Rich wanting more at our expense. This is about removing an historic strength of the Democratic party (historically pro-labor). We all know that the 1%’s income has exploded while we are asked to work harder and harder for less and less. This is the way that the 1% want it. They hate us for having the nerve to expect a living wage. They force us into the Safety Nets, and then villify us for it.

    Remember when Walker talked to that Wisconsin billionaire who was pushing for “Right to Work?” Walker bragged about the use of DIVIDE and CONQUOR. That is their plan Americans! They want to stir up resentment between those that they have already driven to their knees, and those that still have union protection.

    WE NEED MORE UNIONS! Not fewer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joshlong79 Joshua Long

      then form more unions. no one is stopping you from spreading the gospel except the increasing free will of the american worker. i wish luck for the most part.

      • Progressive Patriot

        Joshua, that is exactly what I’m doing. The American Worker is starting to wake up, and working to re-access their rights that have been under attack for the last 30 years.
        Right To Work is Right to work for less. If we don’t stand together, the middle class is history; and so is democracy.

        • http://www.facebook.com/joshlong79 Joshua Long

          but….you do have the right to work for less.

          • Progressive Patriot

            Joshua, I’m trying to understand what you are fighting for.

            Freedom from oppression of the Oligarchs is what I’m after. Access to the American Dream is what I’m fighting for. An ability to have some time and money to be with my family and have a life beyond working 80 hours a week for poverty wages. They have taken All of the money that they have manipulated from America over the last thirty years, held it in offshore accounts, or used it to rigg the system so that they own the government, write the laws. They own the media, and have villified unions and workers for the last 30 years. Murdock is an Oligarch. He dictates all of the programing on Fox News. The Koch’s, the Walton’s, the Adelson’s, they want us fighting each other, so that they can continue their destruction of the middle class, so that they can have THEIR freedom to transfer what remains of our wealth into their pockets. So that THEY are free to run business in an unregulated way, pollute and poision our environment, put the burden of the deficit on the poor and working classes; but that we have only one freedom; to accept whatever they dictate.

            If you have a good relation with your employer, good for you; but many, many people are being abused at the hands of these giant employers who ruin small business when they open up stores in a community, and force We The People to subsibize their right to pay low wages. You know that when Walmart moves in, Food Stamp applications skyrocket. You must know that the greater the income inequality, the more at risk our democracy becomes. Democracy requires a strong middle class. Right To Work is a return to The Guilded Age and the Robber Barons. Nothing less! Right to work IS class warfare.

            You exercize your right to work for less, if you want to. Me, I’ll exercize my First Ammendment right to fight for the American Dream. Union Yes!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshlong79 Joshua Long

    i love the headline. it would make one who didn’t know better believe that what was causing these problems was the right to work law and not people not wanting to join unions and pay it money. or maybe the authors, like so many seem to think it’s all the same thing.

  • seethroughurlies

    I live in a right to work state employed in Health Care. Not only do we receive lower wages than union states , ( even though health care workers rarely unionize) we can be fired at any time for any reason. Or no reason. The unions have become somewhat corrupt and need some ironing out, but one must never forget what America was like before unions. For those who don’t may I suggest reading “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, or perhaps Google
    ” The Triangle Shirt Fire”, or” The Homestead Strike.” How about Hoover Ville ?
    Please insist on “Made in America” products. Boycott companies that take our jobs to foreign sweat shops. Just saying……….

  • thomas conway

    RICH MEN AND WOMEN
    middle class
    POOR MEN AND WOMEN

    We are shrinking fast.

  • gopnut

    Obiously that the GOP does not support the middle class or the workers at all, all they want to do is benefit the Rich greety investors and Company owners, that want to pay as low as they can in order to have big gains. then they wonder what happen with employee loyalty, and higher Quality product. all what they get is People that go to work with a big resentment, because they can’t afford to pay Insurance for their family, they can afford to buy a new car or have a decent meal, I agree that because they are Investing in creating Jobs they want to have a huge profits, but Donot forget that the workers bust themselves to do the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/crzydancer Richard Holmes

    The unions suck the blood out of the middle class workers. They threaten non union workers and go as far as to burn a church to the ground because it was being built bu non union workers. Unions are manned by thugs that want more than they are worth at the expence of everyone else. They need to be outlawed.

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