|Members and officers of Locals 1 and 9 MI, rallying against passage of the state's Right-to-Work-for-Less legislation in December.|
Right-to-Work-for-Less (RTWFL) wasn't on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's (R) agenda, or so he said. In one of the more notable political flip-flops in recent memory, late last year Snyder did a '180' and railroaded the anti-work bill through the state's lame-duck legislative session that shut out the public.
Right-to-Work-for-Less laws require unions to represent all eligible employees, whether they pay dues or not. Unions are forced to expend time and members' dues money to provide union benefits to workers that pay nothing and get all the benefits of union membership. The true goal of these laws "has nothing to do with workers' rights and everything to do with busting the union contract," says BAC President James Boland.
Although frustrated and disappointed over the measure's passage in a state often considered to be the cradle of the U.S. labor movement, nevertheless both Michigan Locals have worked with contractors and members to educate all parties about the new law, which took effect March 28th.
RTWFL is now rearing its ugly head in Ohio under the guise of the erroneously named "Workplace Freedom Amendment" in the form of a signature drive to get the measure on the state ballot. If passed, it would undercut the state's middle class in the same way Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and his allies had planned to do through his now-rejected Senate Bill 5. Ohio-Kentucky ADC Director Ken Kudela is part of a statewide labor campaign to communicate the danger the measure poses to BAC and union members and to caution them not to sign a related petition. Local 5 and 36 Ohio are doing their part by using their sign (image, above) to broadcast that message.
For updates and to learn more about Right-to-Work-for-Less, go to www.bacweb.org and click on the Legislative/Political section.