And now there are two dozen. This Tuesday, December 11, the Michigan House of Representatives passed, and Governor Rick Snyder signed, a pair of laws designed to protect employees from having to pay dues (or "agency fees" in lieu of joining) to a union in order to keep their jobs. The measures, one each applying to the private and public sector, make Michigan the nation's 24th state with "Right to Work" legislation. "We are moving forward on the topic of workplace fairness and equality," stated Gov. Snyder during an evening press conference following passage. Unions are taking the opposite view. About 12,500 opponents showed up at the State Capitol Building in Lansing to protest, with about 2,500, many of them shouting slogans, jamming the interior.
Last 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.
It'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.