Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

It was Monday, after school. Toni Coral and four of her fellow high school teachers in Hamtramck, Michigan, were finalizing plans for the next morning.

They would meet at 5:30 for the two-hour drive to the state house in Lansing. Republicans were expected to pass legislation on Tuesday that would cripple, if not eliminate, unions. Coral and the other teachers were taking the day off, as allowed by their contract, to join thousands of fellow union workers in protest.

“Bring a towel,” the more experienced teacher said to Coral and her colleagues. “Bring a bottle of water, too.”

“Why?” Coral asked.

“Because there might be pepper spray again,” he said, referring to an incident at the Capitol the previous week when Michigan police sprayed protesters trying storm the Senate chambers. “The wet towel will help you breathe.”

Pepper spray.

This was a first in Coral’s 17 years of teaching. She has an 8-year-old son. She loves her job, and her students. She had to think about what she might be getting herself into.

She drove home and made dinner. Her son was with his father, so she had the time, and the silence, to consider consequences. She got back into her car and headed to the neighborhood hardware store.

“I need a pair of goggles,” she told the woman behind the counter. Coral figured the woman to be about her age, 45. She explained why she needed eye protection, and the woman handed her one of the better goggles in stock.

“Use these,” she told Coral. “They’ll seal tightly. No gas will get in.” Coral nodded.

“I can’t believe this,” she told the woman as she waited for her receipt. “I can’t believe I’m a high school English teacher and I’m buying goggles because I might get pepper-sprayed.”

The woman shrugged her shoulders and smiled. “You do what you have to do,” she said.

For Coral, that meant bearing witness to the Republican majority’s power grab to break the rights and bludgeon the souls of hourly wage earners.

“Every year around the world, there are people trying to organize workers, and they disappear,” she said. “The least I could do was show up.”

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208 responses to “Brace Yourself, Michigan”

  1. DownriverDem says:

    Repubs just might have passed a RTW Law that can’t be implemented. They violated the closed meeting law. Our Civil Service Commission is in charge of publice workers and the law might be against our Constitution. Let’s hope court challenges work in our favor.
    My beautiful State of Michigan died on Tuesday.

  2. contented1 says:

    Just as in WI, this new law in MI has nothing to do with bringing in new business to the state. Rather, it is about Republicans taking away power from the unions so that they can lower wages for workers and reduce the ability of unions to organize on behalf of those who provide some support for them–the Democrats. The GOP–predictable as usual.

  3. lana ward says:

    Michigan is FINALLY free!! THANK YOU GOV SNYDER!!!

    • forrest57 says:

      Lana how stupid are you or are you one of the privileged few that think only you need to have money to pay for the things you want

      • lana ward says:

        How stupid are you. I want more jobs coming to my state. I have enough to get by, and I want more people to have enough to get by instead of depending on Gov for everything!!

        • FeFe Fox says:


          • lana ward says:

            You will have nothing either when Omuslim is done with all of us–there will be no middle class, just takers and makers

        • Lana are you enjoying your pension pay check?

        • Hillbilly says:

          The only jobs that Michigan will see is low paying, no benefits and the people working the jobs will have to have government help to feed their family and to keep them warm in the cold Michigan winters. I live in a right to work state and my state is one of the states that is red and has more people on food stamps and getting welfare because of the amount of money the jobs in the state pay and jobs are not coming into the state that pay a livable salary and nor are wages raised when everything else goes up like food. It is a myth that right to work states get companies that pay better salaries than the states that are the right to work states. My state has been a right to work state for over 60 years and we are still a poor state.

    • Dmullins84 says:

      Lana ward I will never know whats in your heart, but I do know you are off your rocker if you care about the middle class and poor people who will suffer from actions taken by this greedy one term Governor and his cronies. Mark these words down in your little book they will rue the day they went behind close doors to do there dirty work. That’s more reason why the Republican Party is dislike by the majority of the people and on it’s way out. Just a matter of time. The past 30 years i’ve watched this country go down in dust mostly caused by the one percent of greedy son’s of bitches in this country. The American fools who have let themselves be mislead by these greedy bastards needs an attitude adjustment. They need to do a little soul searching andlook in their heart’s and see who is doing the damage to the country. God be with us all, and help us through these greedy times.

      • lana ward says:

        Jesus is the reason for the season–MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

        • Dmullins84 says:

          Lana, I don’ believe that Jesus would like what these evil people done in tying the people’s hands in opting for better wages for there families. I believe in live and let live. If the ox is in a ditch help him out. I wish you a merry Christmas also.

  4. I wonder how the cops in the picture will feel when they are told they must work double shifts without overtime pay, when they are told they are not going to get a raise while the mayor gets bonuses, and when they are told to suck it up because the new legislation can not be overturned by the people who put the elected officials that drafted in office.
    Adios middle class, welcome to the Grand Ole Plutocracy.

    • lindamitchell says:

      Didn’t you hear? Police are exempt. The bill does not include police unions.

      • Eleanore Whitaker says:

        Police unions, like teachers unions, are based upon Civil Service. It isn’t the same as IBEW or ILGW where the workers are at the mercy of decisions of a CEO. Civil Service is relatively static in terms of the basic elements of its structure…Private sector unions are not. They are at the whim of the economy. Which, public sector unions are not.

        • esmensetoo says:

          So? The issue is the exemption of the Police Unions from the new legislation. Teachers unions are not exempt, police are. That’s pure political favoritism, and, pure political punishment of favored or disfavored workers. They may both be public sector workers but they aren’t working under the same rules. Its the state level version of some 3rd world dictatorship handing out special powers to the military — the guys with the guns and the ability to crack heads — to stay in power.

          • Republicans will screw the police unions later–you can be sure of that. You are so right about Republicans needed their thugs to stomp workers rights–and every cop who does so is a trader to their own soul!

        • oldbuzzardpopsgary says:

          The wholr problem in this day and age is this country has gone backards to the MID 1800’s when the common worker had no rights and was at the mercy of big business.

          • The next step will be weakening or eliminated labor laws such as the minimum wage, overtime pay, paid Holidays, paid vacations, etc.
            The goal is not to extend opportunities to workers, but to reduce operating costs by controlling wages and benefits.

      • rl says:

        The republicon/tea bags have to keep the police unions exempt or else the response to help them might not be so quick or at all. In other words the republicon/tea bags know that they might need protection, and are not about to put that in peril.

      • For now in Michigan but think back to a very short time ago in the Congress and their refusal to add teachers, police and firefighters to any jobs bill. What is left to stop the Governor of Michigan and the congress there to do the same to the public sector unions?

    • middleclasstaxpayer says:

      You are exagerating the entire situation. The only thing that will change is that workers will have the RIGHT TO CHOOSE if they want to join a union, where their dues will be redirected to causes they may not believe in. It’s FREE CHOICE…thet’s what American is known for. When we are FORCED to join a union, and pay exorbitant weekly dues to hold our job, we lose free choice.

      • Eleanore Whitaker says:

        How is it an exaggeration? If employers know they don’t have to hire union workers anymore because they can now hire workers who won’t join the union, only the older union members will remain and no new members will join the union.

        It’s not about FREE CHOICE…it’s about employer sabotage. That’s not what America is known for. Compare the salary of an HMO CEO to the salary of a union worker. No comparison is there? Will the head of a union end up getting tens of millions every year in bonuses? Will the head of a union end up with a $72 million severance pay like the HMO CEO Ron Williams of Aetna did? You bet not…Let’s stop punishing labor and start punishing the pigs eating up the lion’s share of their own business revenues.

        • M_B_Sharp says:

          Employers already know they don’t have to hire union workers, and they do… somewhere in China.

        • onedonewong says:

          Slavery ended in this country with the 13th amendment its about time that unions and States that require mandatory enrollment read the constitution

          • Bill says:

            So you favor the gov’t having the ability to force citzens to read some document. I thought you right wing crazies were in favor of less gov’t. Oh that’s right only less gov’t in business.

          • onedonewong says:

            Your right how could anyone expect its citizens to have read the constitution, martin king month is so much more important

          • MargaretJacobson says:

            I don’t like paying my money for nothing. I don’t want to make my employer decide to move to a foreign country to turn a profit. I believe that a balance can be achieved in wages and profits. Keep raising wages repeatedly and the spiraling cost of goods make ther departure just a matter of time . A well educated person generally can get a good job if they have the experience in a well paying field .

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          So you won’t give FREE CHOICE to the companies PROVIDING THE JOBS, only to the workers taking the jobs. Seems backwards, as the companies take ALL the risks (insurance, equipment purchases, buildings, maintenance, etc), while the workers only need to show up to work & get paid.

      • Unions don’t force themselves onto workers, workers choose union representation when they believe they need it to end abuses, seek fair compensation for their labor or better benefits. The new legislation interferes with the right of people to decide whether or not they want to belong to a union by forcing the admission of non-union members in close shops. State governments are, in fact, imposing their will against choices made by individuals, not the other way around.
        Bear in mind that people have the right and ability to apply for work in non-union shops if they object to union representation.
        The American way is for people to choose what they believe is best for them, rather than the government imposing their preferences on the will of the people.

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          OK, using YOUR OWN WORDS, “The American way is for PEOPLE TO CHOOSE what they believe is best for THEM.” Well, VOTERS in Michigan, with the highest union representation in the NATION, voted for Right To Work…..why, when voters vote against liberals, are we threatened with “blood in the streets.” None of us complained when your choice was elected for president???

      • Ok,If workers have the RIGHT to CHOOSE WHETHER THEY JOIN OR NOT THAT’S OK. But will they expect or will they have to be given the same benefits that the union worker receives without paying union dues?

        • When people decide to seek union representation, it is up to them to decide what they want to bargain for during bargaining union negotiations with their employer, and it is up to them to decide whether or not they want a close shop. By the way, they also have to right to decertify the union if they believe they are not being represented properly.
          Whenever I participated in bargaining unit negotiations the union officer present, sometimes a lawyer, simply made sure their proposals, and our counter proposals, were in accordance with the law. The agenda was controlled by the bargaining unit members – our employees – and the company representatives.
          Why should the wishes of people who choose to be represented by a union be undermined or violated by a state government imposing their will on them and forcing members of a close shop to accept non-union members?
          People who are not interested in joining a union should not apply for work in places where the workforce chose union representation.
          The irony of this situation is that the people who are forcing their will on others are members of a party that is, purportedly, in favor of smaller government! They sure have a peculiar way of showing it!

      • Middleclasstaxpayer, you are absolutly right . The state of Colorado has been a right to work state for many years and it doen’t change what a person can make or the pay . Coors brewery has it and if you want to join a Union you have that right but if you choose not to join the union, you get the same pay as a union worker and the same benifits but do not have to pay a Union to be able to work !! Why join a union and pay some crook from Detroit to line his pockets and say that if you don’t join , you can’t work !! In the state of Illinois , if you don’t become a union worker in 30 days you do not have a job !! Thats criminal !

        • the state of CO is in a sorry state—very low wages for the majority of the area, they even lowered their minimum wage. if you can make a living on $7.25/hr, go for it. this right to make less state is no example for anyone. union strength might have kept that from happening. people who aren’t contributing to the union but who are reaping the benefits are thieves.

          • STMBT says:

            Donna and Terry I live in Colorado and Colorado is NOT!!! a right to work state! I am a retired union member, in fact an ex union representive. we have fought the union busting people since the Regan years to stop the right to work (for less) and so far it has been defeated. but it was put to a vote in CO. unlike the republican a$$holes that passed this in Michigan without the peoples input!
            I have been a union member for 45 yrs and still pay dues, (retiries dues which are less and which pays for a death benifit for my family) I made a pretty good living being a union member (worked in construction) considered myself middle class, had medical, dental, vacations, and pension. like I said I am retired now and if it wasent for my union I would not have been able to retire when I did (at 59) I see people that work in the same trade, only non union and they still have to work when they should be retired cause the non union sector does not have any type of retirement. these are people that will end up living in below the poverty level, having to make tough choices like do we eat today or do we buy our meds?
            What you don’t know is that in a right to work state, you don’t have to belong to a union, But the union has to represent the non union worker when it comes to wage and benifit negotions as well as any grieveances the non union worker has without paying dues. what people do not understand is that when unions are gone, there will be no workers rights, and the anti union people will go after minium wage, overtime, working conditions, safety, 40 hr work week, etc.
            The reason that the police and fireman are not included in doing away with there collective bargaining agreement is that they need the police to keep the people (union demonstraters) in line and from rioting. but it is only a matter of time till they go after the police and firemans unions too. remember WHAT HAPPEN IN GERMANY/HITLER? when they took people away and they said it didn’t effect them? but it was only a matter of time till they (the Nazis) came after them!
            What the people have to do is VOTE all these REPUBLICANS out of office in 2014 before they set this country back 100 yrs!!!

        • Del WS says:

          People who reap the benefits negotiated by a union but who do not support that union are freeloaders who weaken the union’s abilities to obtain the very benefits those freeloaders are enjoying and basically stealing.

        • Justin Napolitano says:

          That makes you a person gaining something without paying for it. If enough people do that the union goes away and so do your good wages and benefits.

        • metrognome3830 says:

          Coors is not now or ever been a unionized company to my knowledge. But you do bring up a point. If Coors did not want to be unionized, they had to pay the same wages and offer the same benefits as the union. Why would they do that if there was no union to worry about? And you don’t have to pay dues, just catch a free ride. You should be proud of yourself. Now try looking ahead to a time when there are no unions. What is your guess as to what will happen then? I suspect that for now you will just slip on your rose-colored glasses and everything will be just swell. Well, we’ll see.

        • Yappy2 says:

          Taking higher wages because union dues payers negotiated these benefits is stealing. If everyone decided not to pay their union dues and the unions left these shops, then you would soon see a dip in your pay and other benefits. How can you be proud of this?

      • middleclasstaxpayer, you must live under a rock if you belive nothing will change, it all changes. I was union, I had to move with my job from PA to FLA, which is a right to work for less state, believe me it all changes. Once you go to right to work, people quit joing the unions, they break the worker down, then they move all the jobs out of the country. What’s left, service worker jobs, waitress jobs, hotel maid jobs, janitorial jobs, they’re all minimum wage, not career type jobs. t is going to hurt this country. I predict the future of this country will be we will have the rich and then those who live in poverty. The people in India, China, Taiwan, and all the other countries where our jobs were moved to, are having their standard of living raised. We will not be going on vacation to their country, they will be coming to the US to get waited on hand and foot, just like the Americans treat them when we go to their country. The Koch brothers will not be able to leave their property, because they will be surrounded by poverty stricken Americans and wealthy foreigners who will use the US as their vacation spots. They don’t understand they will have created the new environment in their fight to destroy unions. The Koch are worse than the Pinkertons and Henry Clay Frick, who killed the Molly Maguires for picketing in Pittsburgh when the union were first formed. They won’t kill the poor outright, they will make them suffer for the rest of their lives to live in poverty in a poor country that the Koch Brother created.

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          If Michigan voters, with the highest union representation in the US, decided to vote AGAINST unions, they must have a good reason…and with the highest union representation in the US, these same people must have the MOST EXPERIENCE with union representation. Why do liberals always howl when people vote against their bad ideas????

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            What in your opinion is that “good reason”? Many times, people vote against their own self interest, i.e. for a “bad reason.”

      • Andy by the way, in my 27 years working, 24 were in the union, none of my dues were exorbitant. They paid for the great benefits, holidays, vacations and salaries the union negotiated for me every year. Anyone who takes the benefits and does not pay for them is just like every other theif out there. Stealing something they did not pay for, they are just a scab that goes to work every day!!!!!

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          You’re right about this point…anyone who takes benefits & does not pay for them is a thief….sort of like the 49% of US citizens who pay NO TAXES but still get all the benefits of living in the USA>

          • Speak for yourself! The overwhelming majority of Americans that I know work, pay taxes, and do not receive government handouts. You, on the other hand, seem to have an in-depth knowledge of getting freebies. Tell us, do you support the ACA mandate or do you prefer to continue getting Republican communist freebies in ERs?

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            I realize you are retired and living in Florida, but public records clearly show that 47% of Americans are on Public Assistance (the highest in US history), and 49% of our fellow citizens pay no taxes. References to Communism are justified only when referring to your “hero” who was schooled by Communist-inclined mentors like Bill Ayers, who is unrepentant to this day. Says he “should have done more.”

          • I admit that my current experiences are influenced by the fact that I live in a Republican district, but the only people I know that have used MEDICAID, use WIC, get food stamps, and have sued employers or people after minor accidents are Republicans. I realize that some Democrats do the same, but the stereotyping the GOP tries to do is simply inaccurate. It does not reflect reality.
            Bear in mind that the half that does not pay taxes, or do not pay a lot in taxes, include children under 18, senior citizens, disabled Americans, and high earners with good tax accountants who use every loophole available to avoid paying taxes.
            Most of us worked for a living all our lives, paid taxes, paid FICA, and are now getting the SS an MEDICARE benefits we paid for. Those are not freebies or welfare, we paid for what we get.
            The fact that President Obama had teachers, or knew people, who were left leaning does not mean he is. His policies are a reflection of a man whose focus is on helping everyone – rich, middle class, and poor. He helped prevent the collapse of our financial institutions, GM, Chrysler and has been promoting new industries. Those initiatives are the anti-thesis of communism and socialism.

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            Well said. Even if Obama is “left leaning,” so what? This is still a free country and it’s not illegal to lean to the political left.

          • Del WS says:

            I suggest you look up the composition of that 47%. You’ll find retired people, disabled, military veterans, people working hard but not making enough money to cover basic necessities, people who lost their jobs and haven’t found another yet. A very small percentage of that actually less than 47% total could possibly be considered lifetime users of welfare. And you’ll also find that the largest number of people on “the dole” are in Republican states. You should be thanking us for taking care of your grandma and also the uneducated and unhealthy in so many Republican Southern states.

            As far as those non-tax paying citizens you’re concerned about, some very wealthy individuals and businesses are in that group. I assume you’re talking about Federal taxes because the majority of people in this country pay some kind of taxes, even if they don’t make enough money to have to pay Federal income tax (or are wealthy enough to hire someone to find a way out of paying the tax).

            You’ve blinded your thinking to draw conclusions that suit you rather than choosing reality.

          • Bill says:

            Thank you the right wingers love to make that claim about people not paying taxes wiithout detialing who is in that 47%.

          • Justin Napolitano says:

            Yes and the work in RTW states and work for such a low wage they must use food stamps to eat.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Right-to-work states acually have higher weekly income per worker & lower unemployment rates. Gusee employers can hire more workers when they (the company owners) are in charge, not the unions. It is still better to have a job, than not!

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            Does your forty-seven percent include the corporations that are receiving welfare in the form of tax breaks?

          • So what you are saying is that if you don’t pay taxes you don’t have the right to live.

          • sn77339 says:

            MTP, unless you can say with 100% confidence that in the future, YOU PERSONALLY or and of your family will NEVER take a nickel from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment, Food Stamps, or anything else for any reason whatsoever coming from the government, then you need to keep your mouth shut about the 47%, 49%, or any other made-up percentage or statistic that you and Fox care to come up with. Maybe Grover Norquist has a pledge that you can sign. You have no clue how hard some people and families have it, and have no right to judge them unless you’re in their shoes.

          • oldtack says:

            Hey Taxpayer?dodger?

            Have you ever spent time in Central America? Do you know what a two- tiered Society looks like?

            I spend quite a bit of time in Nicaragua. Beautiful Country – everything from forests to Cane fields to Coffee plantations to ranching – great shorelines and excellent food. But, there is one thing missing – no Middle Class.

            My friend in Managua is very influential and has wealth. When my wife and I deplane we do not have the hassle of Customs. We are escorted straight to the Executive Lounge and wait until our baggage is cleared and loaded into a waiting vehicle and then we are driven to my friends home. They have a chauffeur, a gardener, a maid , a cook and guards on duty 24/7.

            The other side of the culture is cinder block and tin “homes”, old vehicles, and hordes of street vendors surrounding one’s vehicle every time one leaves the compound. Workers have tow jobs and the children hawk wares in the traffic.

            The Country has two levels of society – the affluent and the poor. Health insurance – forget it unless you are wealthy. Job protection – forget it. The affluent go to the Mercado for fresh fruits and vegetables – very pretty Mercado. But drive back behind the Mercado and see the poor workers going through the rubbish picking out edible produce for their families.

            I was reared in a Mill Village where my family eked out an existence on sub standard wages. We lived in row houses and bought our over priced groceries at the company owned store.. My Grandmother died of lung fever from polluted air when she was 25. And we children suffered the stigma of being called damned lint heads. My grandparents and my family actively fought for a Union. Without the Union many would still be living that life. Some Mill people still do – down in South Carolina.

            Maybe that’s what you want for this Country but I have been there.

            And – unless you are of the fortunate wealth elite then you may get to experience what I lived through.

            People such as you are pathetic.

          • Justin Napolitano says:

            Those 49% pay plenty of taxes but not income taxes. And do you know why? It is because they work in right to work states and make crap for wages. They don’t make enough money to pay income taxes because they work for slave wages.

          • Yappy2 says:

            Do you take any deductions on your income taxes, like dependents? People who pay no income tax usually have such low incomes that they don’t have to pay. It is wrong to say that 49% of US citizens pay NO Taxes. People pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, gas taxes, license plate fees and so on and so forth. I don’t know anyone that pays no taxes at all. I’m a retired senior with a small income and thank God a small union pension and I pay all the above taxes.

          • Rush, and Goebbels are so proud of you and your propaganda based BS! I see you are still hiding your ID from us –most likely best for a NAZI.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Apparently you have a problem with someone telling the truth. But NOt with a president who uses the ploy of turning the many against the few, the average citizen against the perceived well-to-do. This is exactly what Hitler did in order to gain control. Are you that blind that you can’t see what is happening.?????

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            We do have a class war in America. The upper class started it. The middle class and the so-called lower classes may finish it. Either way, it will be ugly.

      • gahoof says:

        I was a union member for 40 years (but teachers refer to unions as associations). I NEVER considered my dues exorbitant. I paid my dues every year, deducted from my paycheck.
        There have been quite a few times during my career that my association fought for conditions that were beneficial to both me, professionally, and to my students.
        I feel very strongly that unions are a very important part of our democracy, and weakening them is not in the best interest of our country.

      • If that’s the ONLY thing to change why the big to-do over getting rid of Unions?

        You’re a liar just like all other Republicants.

      • VulpineMac says:

        And if those who “choose” to not join a union and get fired from their job on a whim, they can’t call on that union to help them reinstate that job.

      • With that free choice, come consequences. Those people that have worked under union contracts have benefited tremendously. Their children get to have insurance and enjoy some college, vs those that are working for non-union, have to survive week to week on meager wages, just enough to stay off welfare, but not enough to save for pension plan or any money left over to invest in their children’s future, not that they don’t have the desire, but are caught up in a rut. The ruts are generally created by the wealthy that line their pockets with the hard work of these employees.

      • Jim Myers says:

        Replying to middleclasstaxpayer –

        So, you think $62 per month, (LESS THAN $15.00 PER WEEK), is exorbitant?

        Once the unions are powerless, the weekly wages will go down far more than that. Not to count the losses in benefits, the right to have grievances reviewed and contested, excessive worker intimidation, etc.

        On another note, I do not understand how it is legal for legislation to single out certain unions to be EXEMPT from the right to work laws, while other unions are forced to accept them.

        Could someone explain that to me?

      • SaneJane says:

        Perhaps you should look at a US map to see which states are “right-to-work” states. Why don’t you come to Alabama and look around to see what “right-to-work” creates. Could you live on minimum wage? The RIGHT TO CHOOSE and FREE CHOICE are available to all BEFORE they accept a job. If you know it is a union shop you know what to expect. You are opting for the higher wages and better benefits produced by collective bargaining and that does not come free. If you do not want collective bargaining go somewhere else and work for less. Much less. You need to examine your definition of FREE CHOICE. Dominick is not exaggerating. This is one of the biggest steps I have seen toward destruction of the middle class. Read some history. People died for the right to form unions. If you do not believe that workers need protection from employers you are living in a dream world.

      • yes and if you believe THAT then you’re just one MORE ignorant Repiglickin feckin ijit…which of course you are, and a middle class moron is the worst kind

      • CPANewYork says:

        You are full of crap. Without unions, the workers are at the mercy of the owners and the bosses. Despite their excesses, unions have ensured the emergence of the urban middle class in America.

      • Workers in Michigan already had this right. There are no closed shops in Michigan. A closed shop is where everyone HAS to join a union. An open shop means just that you may or may not join a union. What happened in this biol is that union workers now have the option to just not pay but still be a union worker. Do you honestly think unions will work for non paying members they no longer have the power to put out of the unions because they will not pay their dues?

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          What I think is that workers should have a CHOICE just like in all other matters. We should not be forced to join a union if we don’t want to. I was FORCED to join to keep my job. Not good!

          • Justin Napolitano says:

            Why don’t you copmplain about your good wages negociated for you by the union?

          • metrognome3830 says:

            You still don’t get it, do you. You were not FORCED to join a union. You chose the union job. If you didn’t want to join the union then you should have gone to a non-union job. You have not stated one fact yet. Just your whining because you want all the benefits a union gets and the wages. But you don’t want to pay the dues. You use the bullshit argument that your dues go to politicians you don’t like. Not true. Do you actually believe that all union members have the same political views? You talk like a snot-nosed teenager. You do not have to allow your dues to go to a political party you don’t like. Face it. You have been snookered by the Tea Party into believing the crap you spread.

          • Yappy2 says:

            Why didn’t you go work where there wasn’t a union? No one forced you to work for that company. Don’t tell me it was because the pay and benefits were good, because if you do, then I say to you,”Well Dah”.

          • DurdyDawg says:

            You were forced to join a union to keep you’re job?.. Tell me, how much money were you making BEFORE you were forced to join this union or does that matter now that you’re receiving union wages..? You’re reality is warped.. A union does not enter any work force and tell the employees that there will now be monthly dues, however.. higher pay, better benefits and safer conditions will not be forthcoming.. Somewhere along the way you’ve experienced a short term memory lapse. If indeed you belong to a union (and not just saying that to generate sympathy from non-union workers who don’t know any better) then you would have to admit that you’re better off today than you were before you were ‘forced’ to join this unity regardless of how much dues you were obligated to pay or else come clean and admit that you lied for the benefit of you’re own personal agenda on this forum..

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            You may no like the answer, but the only thing that changed when we were unionized was our take-home pay, as now we were having union dues removed each pay period. Our pay NEVER changed either up or down. Same pay, but less take home pay. Period!

      • InsideEye says:

        What a Basic Truth, WOW. we all support Unions, but Unions do not support Free Choice…..they will not lose any benefits….GOOD GRIEF. Who actually has drunk the Kool Aid. You are working yourselves up into a frenzy for nothing, your Union Bosses are prodding you on , because THEY may …not likely…be getting less income, at your expense

      • How does choosing not to join a union or choosing not to take the job result in your lose of free choice. No one is forcing you to receive the better benefits of higher pay and better job benefits are they? You want those but you do not want to pay for how they were gotten by the workers. Studies show RTW states have a lower wage average of almost $6,000.00 per worker per year. More for the CEO I guess that you think deserves this money. Much rather see one person get the money that the people who do the actual work right? I think you need to be one of these workers to really understand the issue.

      • blueindy1 says:

        Those same workers you speak of also get the same raises , and same benefits as union members, and do so WITHOUT paying union dues in so-called Right -to -Work states…like right here, in Indiana, where I am.

        So, fine. Let’s just make sure those who STAY in the union get the raises and benefits the union negotiates, and those who DO NOT, do not get ONE penny in wages or benefits. Let THEM depend on the love and generosity of their—employer— We’ll take care of this problem real quickly…

        Also, if you belong to at least certain unions I know of, like AFSCME, there is a two week period during the year when you CAN reclaim a portion of the dues you paid for those things you…”don’t believe in.” Your whole post, is a spurious piece of bullpoop.

      • stlcard21 says:

        Middleclass, either you are lying or you are misinformed. Dues pay for running the union. If money is to be used for political reasons you have to give written permission for those funds to be used. I know I am in a union. You do not pay an extreme price for union dues, that is another lie. I pay 21 dollars a month. It is people like you that let the republicans screw this country. Unions bring up the pay of everyone not just union workers. Why should you get all the benefits of the union but not have to pay for it. That would make you a freeloader. I thought you republicans were against that. This is done by republicans so that they and the corporations they represent have complete and total power. You might not be in a union and you might not like them but the rights you have at work were given to you by unions. Please get educated for your sake and the sake of this country because uneducated people like you are whats wrong with this country. Seriously think about it. Do you want one party and their corporations to have 100% control over everything you do and how much money you can make. They will continue to make millions upon millions every year while they pay you slave wages. Right to work laws also bring whole states into poverty and the education system completely fails. I take it by your uninformed comment you live in a right to work state.

      • nancy says:

        I do not understand your logic. If it up for the worlers to choose why create a law. why not let the workers deside for themself to join the Union or not.

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          You have confirmed exactly what I said… NOT force workers to join a union in order to work…let the WORKERS DECIDE if they want union representation. They can’t do that if their ONLY choice is to be a union member in order to take a particular job.

          • Justin Napolitano says:

            When you are a union member you get benefits that are negotiated by the union. So I suppose that since you decided not to pay dues you will not be privileged to union support or the wages and benefits they have negotiated, right?

          • metrognome3830 says:

            So your idea is what? If you go to work in a union shop, one where the workers have already chosen to be union, the every time a new person is hired the workers would have to decide all over again? A shop doesn’t get organized into a union unless the workers do decide. Do you have any knowledge of unions whatsoever?

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Yes, I was forced to join one to keep my job…and the pretty high dues I paid went to things I, and many of my co workers, did NOT believe in. We should be given a choice, not forced to do something we disagree with. It’s UnAmerican!

          • Hillbilly says:

            You are lying you were not forced to join the Union to keep your job and if you did join the union did you ever go to any of the monthly meetings to let the union what your thoughts were in regards to the different things that union members voted on? I doubt that you ever did and your fellow co workers that didn’t like what the union what was doing did they ever go to a union meeting to protest what the union was doing? If you never went to a meeting of the union then you have no right to say anything against unions because you haven’t the foggiest idea how they work. By the way since you claimed you had to join a union to keep your job what was the name of the union you had to join?

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Listen pal, we went to meetings and voiced our dislike of their union policies, but it did absolutely no good, as the unions are supported by democrats, and the democrats in turn support unions. So it’s a vicious cycle, and union workers can complain all they want (we did) but nothing changed. One hand simply kept washing the other. Wise up!

          • metrognome3830 says:

            Your statement that you were “forced” to join a union is simply not true. You opted to continue working in a shop that the majority of workers elected to join a union. If you really felt that you wanted to take a principled stand, you had couple of options. #1) You could quit your job and go find a non-union shop. #2) You were free to try and convince your fellow workers to decertify the union. I will concur that option #2 would have been very difficult to achieve, but it has been done. The dues you paid mainly went to operating the union. If you objected to things, probably political, the unions I know of allow you to opt out of having your dues go to political activities you don’t want them to. I know, from about 40 years of union membership, that union members are not all of the same political persuasion. They ranged from far left to far right, but for the most part, the main thing they were interested in was wages, working conditions and benefits. Pretty much in that order. The comments here portraying union members as being mindless, mean, low-down thugs is just what the anti-union right wing want you to think. Which leads me to question just how long you were in a union and how much you participated. There were those of us who took an active part and lots of others who never attended meetings, never participated and just waited for the rest of us to negotiate their contracts, defend them in their grievances and make sure their contracts were adhered to. Surely you didn’t object to that, did you?

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Putting my own negative union experiences aside, why would anyone be concerned when the entire union situation was put up for a vote to all the people of Michigan?? Michigan has the highest union membership of any US state, so Michigan workers & citizens MUST have more union experience than any of us…..if the people of Michigan voted overwhelmingly for “right to work” laws, I guess the people must want that. Why are we second-guessing the vote of the residents of Michigan???

          • metrognome3830 says:

            If, as you say, the people of Michigan voted “overwhelmingly” for a right-to-work law, why is the law set up to prevent the law from going to a referendum vote to let the citizens confirm, beyond any doubt, that they really want to live in a “right-to-work” state? It is my understanding that the legislation was approved by the state government and signed into law by Gov. Snyder. The legislation is written in a manner that prevents letting the people vote on it. I admit, I haven’t researched the question thoroughly, but maybe you should do that. I don’t live in Michigan, I live in another famous right-to-work state, Arizona. But I’m retired, so I’m not affected by their labor laws. But that doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about the hostile attitude toward unions no matter where they are.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            In law, there is something called “precedent.” It appears that this situation is no different than when your president had Congress pass Obamacare, without any citizens able to vote yea or nay on it. If it was OK for that, I guess it’s OK for this.

          • CPAinNewYork says:


            I don’t believe that you’re really middle class. You write like a shill for the rich.

          • middleclasstaxpayer says:

            Neither rich nor poor…why would it matter?????

      • metrognome3830 says:

        You could be right, middleclass. But let’s see what happens — let’s say, five years down the road. Then we will know more about how “Free” your choice will be.

      • Yappy2 says:

        They are free to become scabs and get represented by unions without paying union dues. They don’t pay exorbitant weekly dues. They pay a monthly dues and one thing those dues pays for is an investment in a retirement fund. There ae also other benefits that union dues pays for.

      • Dear hiding behind a fake name chicken$hit, Wrong on every count!

      • Tom_D44 says:

        Exactly. The unions can sell their services to the people and if the people see the value in it they will buy it. If what they are selling is garbage, then their support will go away. What’s so wrong with that? That’s how every other business works and the unions are just that – businesses.

        By the way anyone know how RICH the union leaders are and how much they take out of the system in pay and benefits? If we are going to hate the rich then lets hate them all – right?

        • middleclasstaxpayer says:

          Great points….if unions are so great, workers will be fighting to get IN….and yes, I’d love to see the pay stubs & tax returns of union leaders, who no doubt are the biggest beneficiaries of the vast membership, NOT the members!

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            These arguments are reminiscent of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Union membership must be mandatory. Voluntary membership is wrong, because it leads to a weakening of the unions, who are the workers’ only chance to survive on an uneven playing field.

        • CPAinNewYork says:

          No. Why don’t you tell us how rich the union leaders are? Use actual names in responding to this request for information. if you don’t then I must assume that you’re just lying to win the argument.

      • Greenacres Branch says:

        Nope. They always had the right to choose whether to belong to a union. Now they have the right to get union wages without paying union dues. In the long run, of course, this cripples the unions. Then they will have the right to work for minimum wage.

    • ivory69690 says:

      do the police have Unions too ?

    • onedonewong says:

      The avg cop is Detroit makes $150,00 a year with OT

  5. Has it occurred to anyone that if you protested peacefully, you wouldn’t need goggles or towels or anything else defensive? Violence does not reflect well on the union cause. Try toning it down a notch and see what happens.

    • Jim Myers says:

      Replying to Richard Stewart –

      So, if you are on the side of the legislature, you have free access to government facilities, but if you are a protester, you do not.


      Obviously, the violence you refer to was the reaction of people who do not have a voice in the governing of their own lives.

      If they were allowed to present their side of the “debate” the violence likely would not occur.

  6. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    People…if there is one thing you all need to do as I’ve had to do…it’s fight for your ERISA and HIPPA rights. To name only 2. Know what the law says and shove it in the employers’ faces when they don’t abide by them. Whistle blowing on remiss or deliberate evasion of labor relations laws isn’t a crime. Blow the whistle. This is your only defense of these employers. Their only jobs are to provide work in safe work environments at living wages and to manage the workflow. That’s it. They aren’t gods.

    Something in the employment went horribly wrong when employers began to bloat their egos to believe they are your saviors. Are they? Will they be there for you when their companies are dead in the water? You bet not. Will they take responsibility for the high risk decisions they make all to put more money in offshore tax free accounts?

    These employers know you buy their goods and services. They know they control where those goods and services come from. They know they can easily fly under the radar of workplace safety and compliance regulations and all they have to do is pay off a few politicians to look the other way for them. Are these the new elite? Pay less taxes than their employees, get away with non-compliance and then help themselves to your taxes when their business decisions fall apart? Wake up and smell the coffee.

    Stand behind unions because if you don’t you are handing your futures and that of your children to reckless employers who want your entire lives in their hands.

  7. JSquercia says:

    People forget that the Labor Movement was born out of the courage and BLOOD of those early workers and that Management had no problem in using the Power Of government (National Guard) to attempt to break strikes . People DIED for their RIGHT to Collectively bargin .
    interesting that we can make people pay for the choosing NOT to buy health insurance but seem to feel that it is OK to freeload on the backs of union workers .

    • RB says:

      It has been to long since Unions have been formed. Most don’t know that people died to form unions. That employers happy to pay less and offer no benefits, were threatened to think that a Union might make them pay more. People that don’t know their own history are doomed to repeat the past. It is coming true again. Anyone who wants to know the history of Unions should google it. Their eyes will be opened. Employers do not want to make their workers happy and well paid. They want to make you work for almost free, in bad conditions, and no benefits. Then they will reap more profits off your backs. Anyone against Unions are against good pay, good working conditions and decent benefits.

  8. Lovefacts says:

    I don’t know why the unions don’t go to court over Right to Work Laws. Union membership is, in truth, a contract. a meeting of minds, where one provides a service while the other side provides commensation. IMO, Right to Work Laws interfer with a contract with the demand that the union is forced to provide a service for which there is no reciprocation by the other party–union dues. The net effect of these laws can be shown to be detrimental to the union, driving it out of existence.

  9. mberke says:

    Goes back to the old saw:

    “United we stand; divided we beg.”

    Too bad; soooooo sad…

  10. jannie says:

    This is not about free choice, this is about congress the GOP, they want to make sure that the unions money, does not elect another DEM in 2016. So to the people, who dislike unions, get ready to make $8.00 to $10.00 hr. And dont forget it doesn’t matter how many years you have on the job, because you live in a right to work state.

  11. bjay59 says:

    The road leading to the future looks like this. Without dues there are no unions, because unions need the financial power to fight for their members. Without unions there is no middle class and without a middle class there is no democracy.Our democracy will disappear with the demise of the union in the workplace and the majority will become puppets of the 2 per cent.

  12. America needs to be what it was intended not union owned .Free to earn our own way our way as long as it is n’t slavery or harming every one and union have always harmed .I was feeling a little sorry for them as may their would be some changes not in their favor and they could loose home’s and thinks but with that reaction I am for the right to work all the way now as attacking our own people again is still wrong when it could have been worked .Obama is our president and Donald Trump needs to bow out .Again America is on it’s way home ,Free to Be .

  13. latebloomingrandma says:

    If you ever worked for a company that tried to get a union in, it is awful. The lawyers are out, pressure is put on all middle management to indoctrinate the staff on the evils of unions, and workers in favor of unions are targeted. There is an atmosphere of fear for your job, and often the union is voted down for that reason. So asI see it, once unions are out, it would be very difficult to get them back in.

    • SaneJane says:

      I have lived in Alabama, a right-to-work state, all my life. This is a poor state and this is the main reason. I worked for a non-union company and saw efforts to unionize busted several times. Management was always vigilant in detecting any efforts to organize. Of course they had spies in the plant and anyone’s name put forth as favorable to unionization was fired on some trumped up charge. Once, a number of employees had signed asking for a vote. These employees were transferred into the same department and then the product produced in that dept. was dropped and the employees laid off. The owner of the company told us he would close the plant if the union was voted in and we all believed him. I was in middle management and at that time I believed him too. I even thought he was right. He is one reason I was a Republican for many years and the other reason is Alabama mind set. Thank God I woke up. I am ashamed of my part in helping my state stay poor, ignorant, and under the GOP thumb. I not only discovered that I don’t agree with Republican philosophy but am actually very liberal.

  14. middleclasstaxpayer says:

    My family came to US in 1878…none of us ever was in a union until 2000, when I was forced to join to KEEP my job….only thing I get in return was a LOWER PAYCHECK, as the union dues were deducted every pay period, but I got NO raise. And poor workers were STILL FIRED if warranted.

    • Just think about it for a moment, if you never got a raise, can you imagine what your salary would be if it weren’t for the union. I’m sure you weren’t getting minimum wage pay!

      • middleclasstaxpayer says:

        I held the SAME job for 5 yrs BEFORE we were unionized. Once unionized, our pay did NOT change up or down. BUt we were left with LESS pay at end of each pay period because of fairly high union dues being deducted. And co still fired workers if warranted because of poor performance.

        • Hillbilly says:

          People will lose their job if they don’t do their job right and they should , the Union can try and get that person another chance to improve his performance in some cases they get a second chance but if they don’t change and improve their performance they are fired. You said that the workers were fired for poor performance, then that was their fault and no way could the union and other union members keep them from being fired. Anyone with any common sense should know that unions aren’t always successful in helping some one keep their job if they don’t perform their work better. How much was your monthly dues that you said were high? What was the union’s name that represented the workers at the place you worked? Better still what Country did you live in before coming to the USA?

  15. Alan8 says:

    At the moment, unions STILL have their membership and power.

    They should demand any future wage/benefit increases only go to UNION MEMBERS. This will be an incentive for workers to continue to pay union dues, despite the right-to-work-for-less laws.

    It would make these laws irrelevant. The demand should be made NOW, while they still have the power to go on strike.

  16. SaneJane says:

    47% of Americans are NOT on public assistance. Where did you get this number? I can read and prefer to get my information from reliable sources.

    • ObozoMustGo says:

      InsaneJane, my old buddy. How are you? I hop you are well, Jane.

      Just one point… I think he may have meant 47 Million are on food stamps. Or 47% of Americans pay no Federal Income tax. Maybe one of those stats are what he meant. Whatever…. it’s of no importance. I just wanted to say hello and wish you a Merry Christmas, Jane.

      Have a pleasant day and a nice weekend!

      “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end, and no sense of responsibility at the other.” – Ronald Reagan

  17. greenst says:

    reply to middleclasstaxpayer

    You must not have experienced in a “right to work state”. The last company I worked for was an Engineering and Construction company (open shop) to compete with a in house unizonized Engineering and Construction company average salary was $22/hour
    The open shop came in at $10/hour. Janis Joplin said it. “Freedom is another word for nothing more to lose”.

    Your free choice is more like “how low can I go” Jobs that do not pay a livable wage are not jobs at all. We might call it Slavery.

  18. funny how the Repugnants ‘exempted’ all the police officers from union busting since they conveniently need the cops to keep the citizens from kicking some Repiglickin legislator ass

  19. howa4x says:

    Pitting the worker haves, against the have nots is as cynical and low as any party could sink. All for people who are so wealthy that it would take days to count their money. So this is what the Koch bros have planned for America. A nation of serfs beholden to people like him for some crumbs. The police will learn one day that protecting these people will come at a price for them too. The wealthy want all industry to be like Wal mart. Lowest wages, and least benefits. This is why Loyd Blankfein of Goldman/Sachs, who makes 54 million/year said that the middle class has to lower it’s expectations. The republicans keep defending these people, and they depend on doopey middle class people to vote against their own intrests and that of their families for them to suceed. They tried in the past by calling unions commies, now its all about the worker. The one who will work for less and less.

  20. braytjr says:


    This is happening in our country.

    Remember 2010 folks. Democrats, you better remember 2010 also.

    It was us, who didn’t march when the TEA BAGGERS hit the streets. We thought voting in 2008 was enough.

    We need the democrats to stand up for us. We need to keep showing up, day after day, week after week, and month after month to give political cover to President Obama and fellow democrats.

    If we show up, there is no way the thugs in the republican party can beat us. They have the money. We have the votes.

    This fight will not ebb. The wealthy elites will continue to push for consolidation of their power. We can no longer remain complacent and let our guards down again.

  21. montanabill says:

    Exactly what worker rights are being violated by right-to-work?

    The union gave her the day off? Doesn’t she work for a school district? Maybe that is good reason right there why unions are in trouble.

    So far, there hasn’t been a bit of police interference in demonstrations, even when they have turned ugly. Why was this bit of fantasy printed?

    • ObozoMustGo says:

      Hey Montana. I trust you are doing well today. Your last line about “this bit of fantasy” was exactly what came to mind as I read this crap. Like most of the useful idots that write on this site, no talent or journalistic integrity is required, just a hardened committment to the leftist cause, professionalism be damned!

      Oh… and did you look at this useful idiot’s credentials? She won a Pulitzer Prize. I was wondering if there was anyone else on the ballot that year. Probably not. And she’s married to that leftist freak piece of garbage Sherrod Brown, too. No wonder she’s writing this fantasy crap. They go hand in hand.

      Have a great day and a pleasant weekend, Montana!

      “The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice.” — Linda Bowles

      • lana ward says:

        Nothing gets through to the people on this site, believe me I know!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

        • ObozoMustGo says:

          Hello Lana! I hope your holidays are going well.

          You are correct that nothing gets through to the leftists freaks on this site. But there are a very few who tend to be more open minded and interested in the concepts of freedom and liberty. But they are few and far between. Most of them are nothing but MSLSD zombies who repeat what they hear on the Ed Schultz show like it’s gospel.

          Have a wonderful holiday and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

          “When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America Volume 2

        • Sand_Cat says:

          WOW! All three of our most unhinged, ignorant, delusional, and downright mean trolls aligned!
          Does this convergence mean the world is going to end? The second coming?

      • Justin Napolitano says:

        Merry Christmas obozo god only knows how miserable you and your life is.

        • ObozoMustGo says:

          Merry Christmas to you, too, Nappy! 🙂

          “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm– but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” — T. S. Eliot

      • metrognome3830 says:

        Sorry, OMG, I just had to take that shot. No offense.

    • Justin Napolitano says:

      Without a union you are helpless. In Florida you can be fired just because your boss doesn’t like the smile on your face. Florida has some of the lowest wages in the country thanks to being a right to work for less state.
      I was let go by a company after 30 years of service just because they wanted to hire someone for less wages, They just simply laid me off and went and hired someone else and there was nothing I could do about it.

      • montanabill says:

        Hey, guess what? A boss has a perfect right to chose which people to hire and which people to fire. It goes with you getting to choose who to work for and who not to work for. It is called freedom. There is no such thing as a guaranteed private sector job, even if you own the company.

    • metrognome3830 says:

      Bill, I expect the school gave her the day off, not the union. There hasn’t been any police interference because there was nothing to interfere with. But once they have an excuse there will be interference. C’mon Bill, why do you think they didn’t include police and firemen in this law. They are paranoid enough to think they will need them to protect their sorry behinds. As I have said several times, just wait and see how it works out. By the way, just when did it turn ugly. I think you have no idea what ugly can be. I see you have the blessing of OMG and Lana Ward, two totally unbiased posters.

      • montanabill says:

        I was going by what the story said about her day off. It looks your view of the demonstration didn’t take into account the tents being pushed down, the news man who was sucker punched or the hot dog vendor whose cart was destroyed. No need for police interference there.

  22. ObozoMustGo says:

    What a joke piece. This one is a new low point for a site that struggles to do anything but hit new low points. Talk about fantasy? This one is romanticizing that which should not be romanticized…. union thugs inciting violence to the point that they will be pepper sprayed. They ought to all be shot or put in prison where they belong… that is the violent ones. Peaceful union thugs, protest all you want. Hmmmm… “peaceful union thug”??? …. hmmmm… I know, its an oxymoron. Sorry. Besides, what do you leftist freak expect when you get a few thousand thugs gathered in one spot screaming like children that have had their candy taken away? You get violence. If they knew they were going to get shot or beaten down for behaving violently, maybe they would remain peaceful. I can tell you this, however, most of America sees what these thugs do, and unions lose more and more respect every time they pull this crap. Keep on doing doing it, union thugs. You’ll get yourselves relegated to the dust bin of history faster than you already are.

    Have a nice day!

    “The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice.” — Linda Bowles

  23. peteserb says:

    It’s a sad state of affairs when a person has the right to refuse extortion (union Dues) and union thugs have the audacity to complain it is unlawfull. Has the pendulum swung that far left that communists actually rule in parts of this nation? Should the left really be able to intimidate freedom loving americans? The liberals are really sick!

  24. JOAQUIM says:

    RepubliCONS are liers. That’s why they are cons.

  25. JOAQUIM says:

    Or can we say, they are cons because they are liars?

  26. Jake Hawkes says:

    Bozo and company…obviously you don’t know anything about unions and you are incapable of understanding this issue so why don’t you go over to Fox and leave this site to the people who have the intelligence to understand it?

    Weekends off, vacation pay, 40 hour work week, employer-provided healthcare are all brought to you by unions and the collective barganing process. You really show your ignorance when you use words like “communist” to describe hard working Americans.

    If you had ever worked in other countries you would know that the only reason that the US is the wealthiest country in the world is because there has been a strong and vibrant middle class. And the middle class was born out of the struggle for workers rights that essentially started in Michigan.

  27. ivory69690 says:

    you know what ,s next ? is the ppl. are going to get pepper spray shot at them at some time the ppl. might just shot back

  28. Lisztman says:

    You can all safely ignore anything lana ward says. She’s a foul-mouthed troll.

  29. ivory69690 says:

    well a Union is a Union and the police Unions should stand the same way . whats this the police Unions are like the greedy bastards 2 % ? its only a matter of time before thing get way out of hand . one can just wish its the ones that started all the B/S gets there,s

  30. sleeprn01 says:

    Mr. Vila,
    I agree, why are the police carrying riot batons instead of signs. Both the police and the firefighters from around the state should be out there protesting to protect collective bargaining. I think that if a significant number of police and firefighters from around the state show up to demonstrate, the GOP members of the in Michigan’s house will change their minds quickly. At the very least the police should refrain from actively controlling the protestors that have the spine to stand up for their rights.
    P.S. I’m not a union member, however I realize that many of the benefits that I enjoy would not be there if unions hadn’t stood up to protect their workers. I think that there are very few corporations that would voluntarily protect their workers; they view their workers as cost centers rather than assets to be nurtured.

  31. Ed says:

    Republicans hate democracy!

  32. Eddie says:

    apparently a vote by the public means nothing. Isn’t there something wrong with that. Were is a government for the people by the people. I was not told we had entered in to a dictatorship government !!!!

  33. elw says:

    It is tactics like this that have been steadily turning the American public off to the Republican Party. You would think that they got the message with the beating they took in the Presidential election, but no. They continue to live in their alternative reality where they have convinced themselves they really didn’t lose, that they have a mandate even though the polls are telling them different. They may have a small victory now, but in the long run they have put a rope around their own neck and will soon be nothing more than a historical memory.

  34. PamelaT says:

    Clearly the GOP is not working nor listen to the people that voted them in. It is time for Michigan to kick them out.

  35. onedonewong says:

    Her contract lets her take time off to protest?? Really!!! I’d love to read it. The fact that the State Run Media opted not to cover all the damage and people hospitalized by the UNION Thugs shows just how bad this country has become. You have Hoffa contending that a civil war will be the result of this legislation….Where is Holder, this isn’t free speech but a call to riot, He should be in jail.

  36. I talk to my union rep 2 years ago that they were comming after them next and they told me that they can’t do that. I went back to them and told them ” I told you this was going to happen”

  37. steelmoth says:

    Another example of over reach of goverment, the reason for this is simple. in the repubican party the main fund raisers are rich buisiness men who are looking to make max profits in thier pockets. The main fund raisers in the democratic party comes from small donations and the large checks are from unions. This is a very deliberate move designed to take a base of donations from the democratic party. And unfortunatly they do not care about thed middle and lower class people that get hurt in the process. This has not only happened here in union , the govonor after the people of state voted down the emengency management law he responded by signing legislation to enact a new emergency management law that cannot be voted down by the people. The only way to gety rid of these people and get your rights back may be a complete purge of the republican party in michigan. Sending the gop the way of the dinosaurs may be the only way they get the message that all americans are created equal then and only then will we gety our voice heard.

  38. Donald says:

    there usually is pepper sray when someone commits a violent act against authorities, so if someone doesnt like pepper spray, protest in a civil fashion

  39. plainenglish says:

    how over-dramatic. The only person injured was the supporter of the law who got beat up by the meat-head, knuckle- dragging, union thugs in their typical union fashion.
    I consulted in a great many auto companies as a robot/controls technician. It only takes a short while to see what a disaster unions have become, and I found only a small minority of employees who worked and took pride in their work. Anyone who has been in these facilities would be able to tell a multitude of stories that would stun you.

  40. Canistercook says:

    Guess Union workers do not want to realize how many of us are fed up with supporting their high salaries and pensions and money to Obama. Glad that we overtaxed taxpayers have rights and hopefully we can get our industries competitive and productive again. Unions were one thing, organized theft another.

    • Justin Napolitano says:

      When they came for my neighbor down the street I stood there and did nothing. Next they came for my lifelong friend across the street and I did nothing. Then they came for the little old lady that spoke up about all the injustices that seem to fall on the lower and middle class and I just ignored it and did nothing. Then they came for me and no one would do anything but watch me being taken away. That is why we have unions so that, as a group, someone will stand up for you when you need help. United we stand divided we fall; it is the motto of this country; E pluribus unum, out of many one. If you want the help of a union you must support it otherwise it will disappear and so will you.

      • Canistercook says:

        Balance is the question. Unions like corporations can get too powerful and I don’t think they are sharing their good pensions with a lot of other taxpayers. Many who were taxed to bail out the UAW and government unions have not benefitted from the unions and are being dragged down by the unions. Reason has not prevailed and now the taxpayers have formed ‘their’ union. When unions are overpaid and the company – and the government, becomes too expensive then the taxpayers form their Union. You are welcome to support your union and I will support mine.

  41. Tell me if I am wrong, but this law simply states that as a worker I do not have to be a union member. Most members will remain, so I guess I am missing something. I worked in a shop and could not stand it, because I felt all the attention was given to people that were drunk at work, or just plain lazy.

    This is a way of checks and balances to hold unions accountable also, if they don’t do as the membership wants; now you have the choice to opt out. Tell me if I missed something, PLEASE.

    • metrognome3830 says:

      Yes, you missed something. Where did you ever get the idea you had to be a union member. You can always avoid working in union shops. What I get from your post is you are another whiner who always thinks they should be the center of attention and no one else counted. I strongly urge you to avoid union employment.

    • SaneJane says:

      Yes, you are missing something, actually missing quite a lot. It is not about being forced to join the union, it is about paying dues. Most shops do not have a requirement that you join the union but since you would still receive the same benefits and representation as the union members it is required that you pay dues. This is only fair. If you benefit you pay. If it becomes illegal to require payment of union dues the unions will die.

  42. Tell me if I am wrong, but this law simply states that as a worker I do not have to be a union member. Most members will remain, so I guess I am missing something. I worked in a shop and could not stand it, because I felt all the attention was given to people that were drunk at work, or just

    This is a way of checks and balances to hold unions accountable also, if they don’t do as the membership wants; now you have the choice to opt out. Tell me if I missed something, PLEASE.

  43. ayayaboy says:

    Michigan is learning and getting it hard and tough for their tragic mistake of electing republicans to rule (not govern) them. That’s what you get when you elect extremists onto power.

  44. ayayaboy says:

    People of Michigan have learnt that electing republicans unto power was the worst mistake for them to make. They must stand up forever against extremism else Michigan will live like disfranchised third world citizens.

  45. Unions are representives of people in the work place. For good reasons! They are the way the adverage Joe and Mary can earn a decent wage and benefits and have a say in Washington DC through their Unions. If Nazi Politicians want to crush Unions we need to crush Corporate Lobbying on all levels. Make a felony for a Corporation to talk to a elected official on a Golf Course / behind close doors/whatever, without going through a 3rd party in the open!

  46. james says:

    Wow Dominick, you beat me too it. The exact same thing went through my head reading this. Imagine cops beating those just like them! Kinda like communist russia.

  47. Roy says:

    I hope the people of Michigan band together and try to recall their governor. He’s a dictator who needs to be sent to a N. Korean prison camp for his retirement.

  48. RJStank says:

    This is terrible that a teacher has to purchase an item like goggles to protect herself from the “POLICE” pepper spray. Richard Snyder, Governor of Michigan, should resign since he has created this awful situation in Michigan. If he was honest he would have campaigned with the pledge to change the law to right to work laws. He is a dishonest and deceptive governor. Sham on the Republican Party and their manipulative policies.

  49. Jean C says:

    Rock on you guys, do not let them take away everything your fathers/grandfathers fought so hard fort!!!! People listen up, “the right to work” means the right to work for as little as possible while being expected to produce as much as possible…

  50. Hillbilly says:

    The picture with this article reminds me of pictures that I saw in history class when being taught about unions and how the people that fought to start the unions were beaten, killed and even burned in buildings so the Robber Barons of the time could keep all their money while paying less than slave wages in a lot of cases and grown ups and children having to work in dirty unsafe working conditions and in buildings where the fire escape doors were chained to keep people in the building all day and people had to jump out of windows to escape the flames. If the Republicans who are being pushed by the Koch brothers to destroy today’s unions succeed we will see the same working conditions again.

    • charleo1 says:

      Right you are! I don’t think people are as aware as they should be about the agenda
      of the new extreme Republican Party. The dirty secret that needs exposing, is
      American corporations are treating millions of workers in other countries like that
      today. Yes, jobs that used to employ Americans, with the protection of unions.
      A question for all the misguided, RTW Righties. If they are treating people overseas
      in this manner, why would they ever think, with the unions gone, and labor impoverished,
      they wouldn’t treat Americans like that again?

  51. gargray says:

    We pay the cops salery with our taxes. Who are they to do war with us. This country might be like egypt we will throw the repbs out. Like Pailn said reload, only this time it will be the Democrats.

  52. Republicans need to be handed their a$$e$–deal with them on a personal basis–stop the talk and reasoning BS!

  53. wdrin2010 says:

    It is up to the populace to stand up to the plutocrats, because nobody else is going to.

  54. Bigeasy13 says:

    OK, so the real issue is that the unions want you to pay them in order for you to work in Michigan. Why is this an issue? If the union is so good, everone should be willing to pay the union directly. Or could it be that the unions know that without mandatory membership and making the employeer take the money from their paycheck, they will fall on their face.

  55. robert says:

    What we see in Michighan has been going on for a long time. Ronald reagan was a union buster. Republicans and unions are natural enemies, like cats and dogs, mongooses and snakes; they see one another and just start fighting. One of the main points of out-sourcing jobs was to take business out of America and into countries where there are no unions and plenty of subsistence workers. It takes away the irritation of collective bargaining and the safety and dignity of workers. Taking jobs away from Americans was part of the scheme in trying to defeat President Obama, to make the Obama/Biden administration a fasiled leadership. It meant sacrificing the American people in two ways; the bottom line and power. republican/tea Party governors all over the country were cutting social aide, health care, and education and advising their departments of labor to prolong unemployment benefits by disqualifying Americans from any source of income, thus making unemployment and poverty statistics rise even higher under Obama/Biden. It was a convoluted manipulation because it was working indicative of the amount of Americans complaining about the Obama/Biden administration. When Romney said he would bring jobs back, he meant it. He would have advised his billionaire friends who are the owners of corporations and industries to bring back the jobs. he would have done that on the success of union busting, paving the way for industires and corporations to return to American shores with no friction from collective bargaining or issues of safety and dignity to employees. Plus, if we were accustomed to making $20.00 per hour, you would have to readjust to making $9.00 per hour. Romney would have deregulated EPA rules to allow industries and corporations to wreck the environment for the bottom line. Americans would have been relegated to subsistence and slavery-like practices and the rich would have gotten richer. What is going on in Michaghan says a lot. Thank God for the foresight of the American people who saw through this, but we should have made all of the republican/Tea Party a bunch of lame-ducks, not just half of them.They are a bunch of traitors who give less than a damn about Americans or America, but walk around draped in the American flag.

    • middleclasstaxpayer says:

      If union representation is so good, WHY did Michigan voters overwhelmingly VOTE to have “right to work” laws passed. When the vote goes the way of liberals, they point to it as if “the people have spoken.” But when voters vote against liberals, they threaten “blood in the streets.”????? Why can’t you let the “people” decide what THEY WANT??? They must be very familiar with unions in Michigan, as it’s the most unionized state in US. Guess they have first-hand experience with what union memberships buy, don’t you think???

      • robert says:

        Middleclasstaxpayer, whoever told you that voters in michighan voted for the right-to-work bill should have sold you the state of michighan in the process. It was the republican/tea party dominated legislators in michighan who legislated the bill, not the people. Why do you think people are out there protesting the bill? you’re just like the rest of those whacked out jacked up republican/tea party losers misrepresenting facts and viewing things from your own skewed vision. even if those lame-duck republican/tea party legislators pass the bill, it will be repealed after january because THEY LOST THE ELECTION. so get over it! personally, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about unions, but who will represent a worker’s rights to fair wages, safety in the work place, a level playing field for women and minorities, and the dignity of people who make industries and corporations what they are? The EEOC is weakened and timid, workers can’t depend on them for representation. America is hurting. we need to put aside the partisan junk and move forward or sink. but like any good little traitor, you and your kind would rather see America sink, right?

  56. John says:

    Since when do school teachers regard themselves as “hourly wage earners”? Maybe that’s a large part of what’s wrong with education in this country?

  57. robert says:

    It’s all about representation, fair opportunity for women and minorities, safety in the work-place, dignity of employees, fair and reasonable pay. If employers were willfully giving their employees those things there would have never been a need for unions. Union dues is not about “paying to work”, it’s about representation in the work-place, making sure that employees get fair pay for fair work. Nobody wants to work for subsistence/subservient wages. I didn’t say “slave” wages because slaves never got paid beyond what was needed to keep them alive and able-bodied to work. It’s about fairness. But we can’t expect a greedy pig to be fair who would eat until it throws up and then consume its own vomit. A pig wants it all. that’s why they out-source because people overseas can survive off of low wages because the cost of living in their countries are low. The cost of living in America grows with each coming year and gets more and more expensive, and even that has to do with a pig wanting more and more until it pukes. If employees could get dedicated representation without the payment of union dues, how many people will be union members? So, unions are needed now more than ever. When industries and corporations begin to care for their employees who make money for them, unions will become antiquated, but that will never happen.

  58. CYNICALZ says:

    Who cares, I purchased a Lexus.

  59. CPAinNewYork says:

    Anyone who reads the article and the comments below and fails to see the start of a social revolution is blind.

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