The PJ Tatler

In Michigan, Bad News for Unions with Hands in Workers' Pockets

If the GOP had any strategic sense — which it of course does not — it would forget about the two coasts for the time being and crack the Democratic electoral stronghold of the upper Midwest during presidential election years. A lot of decent Americans live there, albeit bitterly clinging to the German-Scandinavian liberal inclinations of their forefathers, and only belatedly realizing that Farm-Labor parties are so 1930s. By taking states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan off the board for the Dems, it reduces the donkeys’ huge California gimme and levels the playing field. Hey, look — it’s Donald Trump! Meanwhile —

Public sector workers may freely exercise right-to-work under a 4-3 ruling passed down July 29 by the Michigan Supreme Court. The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) challenged Gov. Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and members of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission on the constitutionality of Public Act 349 of 2012 (right-to-work).

The UAW argued that PA 349 was unconstitutional regarding workers classified as civil service employees and that the Civil Service Commission has the authority to compel civil service workers to pay an agency fee to the union or risk being fired. Justices Viviano, Markman, Young and Zahra ruled that while the Civil Service Commission has control of salary, benefits, grievance procedures and employment conditions, it does not have the authority to require involuntary payments to the union. Adopting an argumentprovided by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, the majority held that agency fees were akin to a tax on public employees and that the Michigan Civil Service Commission lacked the power to tax.

As Scott Walker showed in Wisconsin, stripping the unions of their coercive dues-collecting powers weakens them severely, since they have less money to kick back to their Democrat buddies in the state legislatures. Michigan’s still not where Wisconsin is today, but it’s getting there.

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