If you support the governor and his new “right to work” legislation, this post is not for you.
If instead you are a union member, a union supporter, or just someone who has looked at the data and realized the claims by the governor and his allies are complete bunk, I have a word of advice for you. It’s time to get to work.
While the recent legislation is a blow to unions it by no means is the end of the conversation. While polls show that a majority of Michigan residents support “right to work” as an idea, they are evenly split when asked whether Michigan should be a “right to work” state. Better yet, when given the arguments for both sides the numbers flip and a majority opposes “right to work” in Michigan.
This means that the governor and many Republicans in the legislature will be vulnerable during the elections in less than two years and they have only hurt their chances further with their recent flurry of activity passing bills that do the following:
- Make Michigan a “right to work” state.
- Give corporations millions more in tax cuts.
- Further restrict abortion rights.
- Make it tougher to recall lawmakers.
- Require voter IDs.
- Place fewer restrictions on where guns can be carried.
- Establish a new emergency manager law.
- Change the medical marijuana law approved by voters.
- Privatize a prison.
They also considered bills that would have:
Given the state power to take over any school regardless of performance.
Allowed health care workers to discriminate based on religion.
With these changes the governor and the Republican legislature have established that their idea of reinventing Michigan means making it a haven for extreme conservatives, which won’t play well in a state that strongly supported an embattled Democrat for president.
The governor has given Democrats an opening, and union members, union supporters and Democrats need to take the next two years to inform the electorate of the facts so we can put an end to this extreme agenda.