TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: c845775d-f40f-4fd2-a995-9b967db51819
A protester walks past Michigan State Police at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. The crowd is protesting right-to-work legislation passed last week. Michigan could become the 24th state with a right-to-work law next week. Rules required a five-day wait before the House and Senate vote on each other's bills; lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene Tuesday and Gov. Snyder has pledged to sign the bills into law. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Blowback

Right-To-Work states are states where even if your workplace is unionized, you're not forced to join the union. You earn the same as union employees, get the same job protections, but you don't have to pay union dues if you don't want to.

Unions call those employees free-riders. But the free-riders argue, 'why should we pay for protections we never asked for?' To which the unions say, wait 'til you see what happens to your wages if all that stuff goes away.

Michigan workers are about to find out, because a Right-To-Work bill has been gliding through the Michigan legislature with surprising speed and in Detroit, WWJ Newsradio 950's phones are on fire with opinions on both sides.

Maybe Michigan's employers will all turn out to be like Costco, which is famously generous even though it's non-union.

But the kicker is that all this actually began with a campaign to PROTECT unions. Unions got a measure on the November ballot to lock their collective bargaining rights into the State Constitution, as protection from the Right-To-Work Movement.

But the measure was TROUNCED 58-42. In a state that went for Obama!

It was blood in the water. The Republican legislature attacked and now all the unions have left are massive demonstrations.

"About 2,000 people in the (Capitol) building, upwards of 10,000 outside and we have 150 troopers watching, trying to keep the peace."

By the way -- the new Right-To-Work Bill does specifically exempt two unions: the firefighters and the police.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
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