11/24/2012

Union political victories this November

From Fox News:
Aside from Obama’s re-election, there were few big victories for organized labor this year. 
Labor spent big to retain the governor’s mansion for Democrats in New Hampshire, thereby preventing the New England state from becoming the first in the region to ban compulsory union membership, as most southern states already do. 
In Michigan, unions got a split decision. While they succeeded in a ballot initiative to reverse a new law giving bankrupt cities that power to curb collective bargaining powers, the union-backed initiative to make collective bargaining part of the state constitution fell flat. 
By far the most important state issue for unions was Proposition 38 in California, where unions and Democratic allies spent an estimated $75 million to block a law that would have ended the practice where dues deducted from worker paychecks, including government workers, could be given to politicians and political causes. . . .
From the Detroit Free Press:
A calculated gamble by Michigan unions to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution ended Tuesday in a resounding defeat.  Voters rejected Proposal 2 about 60%-40%, based on results from Free Press/WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) indicator precincts.
It was a bad night for organized labor, which also saw the defeat of Proposal 4, the home health care initiative backed by the Service Employees International Union.   
The outcome of a third union-backed effort, Proposal 1, which would repeal the state's toughened emergency manager law, was too close to call late Tuesday. But the repeal effort was ahead slightly, based on indicator precincts.   
Unions and their supporters put about $35 million into the three ballot initiatives, based on the most recent financial filings with the Michigan Secretary of State. In turn, business-backed groups spent more than $30 million in opposition. . . .
Note: Proposal 1 did pass.
While Governor Snyder’s desired outcome was almost identical to reality, he lost on the proposal he believed most important to the future of Michigan. 
Proposal 1 asked if the Michigan public wanted to retain Public Act 4 of 2011. The law has also been termed “The Emergency Managers Law”, a piece of legislation that would appoint someone from the state to correct the financial disaster in Detroit municipalities, including schools. The appointed officer would have the power to dissolve existing collective bargaining agreements, alter pension agreements, and sell public assets in attempts to save three major Michigan cities from going bankrupt: Detroit, River Rouge, and Inkster. . . .  
The results have left union workers in the Detroit area feeling victorious. Yet, with this latest rejection to repair the financially deprived areas in Michigan, many others are left wondering what will save Detroit.
Unions are awfully short sighted on this.  If a city is bankrupt, these contracts will be dissolved in any case.

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