This weekend, Missouri working families went door to door to tell their friends and neighbors about a series of anti-worker bills Republicans are pushing in the state legislature. Across the state, Missourians described the right-wing push that is advancing paycheck deception, anti-prevailing wage and "right to work" for less bills.
This morning, as the law went into effect, nearly 100 Michigan union and community activists demonstrated outside the Detroit Athletic Club where Snyder was the main speaker at its annual "Pancakes & Politics” breakfast, in an action organized by the coalition We Are Michigan.
The paycheck deception law proposed in Missouri would create burdensome restrictions that interfere with union members’ rights to participate in the political and legislative process. These laws also weaken the ability of working people to advance working family issues such as legislation that would create jobs and stop job outsourcing. Missouri AFL-CIO President Hugh McVey sent the following alert to working family activists:
I'm writing you with very disappointing news and an urgent call to action. After more than eight hours of filibuster, the Missouri Senate advanced S.B. 29, paycheck deception.
Call your representative now at 888-907-9711 and urge him or her to oppose paycheck deception, "right to work" for less and anti-prevailing wage bills.
Voters from across the state of Missouri wrote letters to their state senators this week, urging them to reject "right to work" for less and paycheck deception legislation. Both proposals are currently before the state's General Assembly.
It was no charming third time for former New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien (R) as the state House of Representatives decisively defeated (212-141) a "right to work" for less bill sponsored by O’Brien who no longer holds the speaker’s post.
On Dec. 6, 2012, Republicans in the Michigan legislature passed bills that eventually led to Michigan becoming the 24th "right to work" for less state. With their majorities in both the House and the Senate and encouragement from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, this was a pretty straightforward accomplishment. However, it was done with a crowd of thousands of protesters surrounding the Capitol building and filling its corridors.
A coalition of Michigan labor unions—including the UAW—and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked a judge Thursday to strike down the recently passed "right to work" for less law because it was enacted while the public was locked out of the Capitol, which is a violation of the Open Meetings Act, the First Amendment and the Michigan Constitution.
While government in Washington, D.C., remains divided and marked by long-term gridlock, governments in the states are much less divided. Of the 50 states, 37 now feature state governments where the governor and majorities in both legislative houses are controlled by one party—24 of those are controlled by Republicans. Extreme, anti-working family Republicans have repeatedly assaulted the rights of people in recent years and, by all accounts, the trend looks to expand in 2013. Working families are mobilized and fought back in 2012 and will continue to fight in 2013. The response to the "right to work" for less push in Michigan was so strong, that governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have since declared that they won't push for right to work in their states.
When the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star recently published a cartoon featuring so-called “union thugs” in trench coats talking in “does and dem” patois expressing dismay about the "right to work" for less vote in Michigan, with American manufacturing encased in cement ready for a deep six off a pier in the background, and inferring workers were the reason for the demise of Hostess, Seafarers (SIU) Communications Director Jordan Biscardo fired off a letter to the editor in protest.
Not only was the letter published, but the paper apologized for the cartoon. Here’s Biscardo’s letter: