Michigan Voters Reject Proposal 2; Thwart Public-Sector Union Power Grab

'Protect Our Jobs' placardLast Tuesday’s elections on most fronts represented a major setback for advocates of limited government. Yet it did produce its successes, most significantly, in Michigan. Voters in that state, by an unofficial 58 to 42 percent margin, rejected an initiative to authorize public employee unions, with few exceptions, to override existing and future state and local laws that “abridge, impair or limit” union collective bargaining rights. The measure, called Proposal 2 or the ‘Protect Our Jobs Amendment’ (POJA), would have amended the Michigan constitution to provide almost unlimited opportunities for union officials to file court challenges against what they see as unfavorable legislation. Because federal law long has protected collective bargaining rights in the private sector, this measure was a public-sector union gambit all but in name; “our jobs” and “union jobs” were synonymous. 

Union Corruption Update two weeks before Election Day provided a lengthy analysis of this highly contentious campaign. The …

Michigan Initiative Would Give Public Employee Unions Veto Power Over Legislation

Michigan teacher payIt’s known formally as ‘Proposal 2′ and informally as the ‘Protect Our Jobs Amendment,’ or POJA. However phrased, it describes a Michigan voter initiative this November that would trigger a union power grab that is unprecedented in any state. The measure seeks to amend the state constitution to grant government employee unions the authority, with few exceptions, to invalidate existing and future laws that “abridge, impair or limit” collective bargaining rights. Organized labor effectively would obtain pocket veto authority, via the courts, over elected state and local representatives.  The Protect Our Jobs Amendment, in practice, would “protect” only one category of jobs: union jobs. Labor leaders see a model for other states. If they succeed, reining in soaring public-sector budgets nationwide will become that much more difficult.

Michigan long has been one of the nation’s most heavily unionized states, both in private industry and government. In 2011, 17.5 percent of