December 8, 2012
CHANGE: Unions Lose Big In Michigan.
There are three big points to note about this unfolding story. For the past fifty years it was almost unthinkable that Michigan, home of America’s auto industry and one of the most pro-labor states in the country, would join right-to-work states. At the very least, this story seriously undercuts the narrative that America has turned decisively left under Obama.
Also worth noting is the fact that public-sector unions have significantly less support than their private-sector counterparts. Although Lansing passed right-to-work bills covering both types of unions, the bill covering public-sector unions only managed four votes against—a small minority of even the Democrats. The vote for the bill protecting private-sector unions was much closer. There could not be a more telling illustration of the deep trouble facing the public union movement.
As in Wisconsin, this is the beginning of the story rather than the end.
UPDATE: Reader Geoff Bowden writes: “Actually this is wrong. The vote was different because all the Democrats walked out. The same 4 Republicans voted against both bills and the same 22 voted for them both.”