After Michigan adopted right-to-work legislation last December, the state’s largest teachers union has instructed its officials to sue their own members for dues. As conservatives have long known, unions are about power, not workers’ rights. This development is a prime example of that fact.
Bill McMorris of The Washington Free Beacon wrote on January 23 that:
Steven Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, circulated an email to local unions officials and staff instructing them to monitor revenue streams in light of the right-to-work laws, which are set to go into effect on March 27, 2013. The law allows workers to opt out of union membership unless they have an existing contract with their employer.
“We will use any legal means at our disposal to collect the dues owed under signed membership forms from any members who withhold dues prior to terminating their membership in August,” Cook wrote.
The tone of the message shocked labor reform activists.
“The level to which the MEA appears to be willing to go after its own members—the same ones whose interest they claim to represent—is amazing,” said Mike Van Beek, director of education policy at the Mackinac Center. “When it comes to their revenue, we know where their priorities stand.”
The email is on legally sound footing, however. Nor would it be the first time the MEA has pursued legal action against teachers. The union’s Grand Rapids chapter sued a teacher who refused to pay dues in 2008 because the labor group refused to make concessions during the financial crisis.
McMorris cited Glenn Taubman, an attorney for The National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Foundation saying “the leaked memo gives a ‘rare glimpse’ into union strategy and its mindset in the wake of successful labor reforms in Michigan as well as Wisconsin and Indiana…they’re finally sensing that they lost politically, they lost legally, and that there’s no support for compulsory unionism among the public, legislature, or courts.” He’s alluding to Indiana’s victory against union challenges to their right-to-work legislation.
It’s great to see unions representing their members’ interests by suing them if they don’t pay up. Then again, they have to since they’re at risk of losing a lot of revenue for political campaigns. It seems that union thuggery, which has screwed over millions of taxpayers, is about to eat their own. Pass the popcorn!