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The next battlefront moves to Michigan

A nasty assault on collective bargaining rights is playing out in the Michigan Legislature.

A series of anti-worker bills introduced by the conservative led legislature is threatening the existence of public unions across the state.

Labor unions are particularly concerned about the Emergency Financial Manager legislation.

The bill was recently approved by the House and awaiting a vote in the Senate would allow financial managers appointed by the state to void contracts negotiated between unions and municipal governments without a court directive. The state has been training some 175 emergency financial managers to help with the process.

If that’s not bad enough, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants the 50,000 state employees to concede $180 million in benefits.  The governor said he would like to see the money come from collective bargaining.

In a speech to unionized construction workers Tuesday, the governor declared that “Michigan is not Wisconsin.”

Unfortunately, from our standpoint we can’t tell the difference because the outcomes are the same with hardworking people having less say in their futures and more families struggling for economic security.

Snyder is also using a familiar political strategy, pitting private and public union members against each other. The governor has asked private sector union members to support cuts for public employees, playing up the perception that public employees haven’t sacrificed enough of their earnings.

Don’t fall for the political line.

It looks like old-fashioned union busting --- at its worst.

Comments (1) -

  • Craig Russell (Crowley)

    3/6/2011 9:23:58 AM |

    Solidarity? AFL-CIO funds cop haters
    Friday, Mar 4, 2011 at 2:35 PM EST

    Glenn dedicated a whole show last night to showing the attitude of distrust being bred against police officers by a variety of leftist groups. On radio today, he talked more about the anti-cop curriculum being developed in New York State and funded by the AFL/CIO and some of the other proponents of an anti-police attitude.

    “This isn’t just a little thing that you need to make sure you know about. This attitude of distrusting police cost lives. It cost lives. People teach their children. They get this in their head that the police are against them, that they should be running away from them, treat them disrespectfully and all this stuff, and every time all of these terrible stories happen where someone innocent gets shot or a minor fraction, something happened with the cops, it’s because they’ve been taught their entire lives that the cops are against them. Why would we want to beat that into kids’ heads? It’s terrible,” Stu said.

    And what is in this new curriculum?

    “Here’s a part of this curriculum that the AFL/CIO through the NYSUT has published and put in schools for every schoolchild in New York state, AFL/CIO, gang. It is a whole book that has, you know, holds up Desmond TuTu and all kinds of heros who have spoken out in the face of power and then you have Van Jones, and one of the study things that they ask their kids to read is about Van Jones and it’s lessons from a killing, changing news coverage of police brutality in San Francisco by Van Jones. I’m going to read a little bit, ‘In the fall of ’96, San Francisco police review commission held hearings on the death of Aaron Williams, an African-American man suspected of a $50 pet store burglary that died in police custody. According to witnesses and police sources, a team of police led by Officer Mack repeatedly kicked Williams in the head and emptied three caps of pepper spray. Despite he was having trouble breathing, the police left him hog tied and gagged in the back of a police van where he died.’  I don’t know this story. But if this story happened the way Van Jones is describing it, it’s bad,” Glenn said.

    “Those police officers should have been prosecuted if it happened the way Van Jones, but that’s a huge, huge if. [Jones said] ‘My organization, Ella Baker Center of human rights for police watch followed this for two years.’  He goes on to talk about what the news report did and blah, blah what and teaching your kid how to organize and get into the news and change opinions in the news,” Glenn said.

    Glenn then adressed the cops who were being asked to stand in solidarity with people who are instituting this new curriculum. “I understand the idea of standing with people that disagree with you. There’s no problem with that. But not on major issues. Especially major issues concerning your job.”

    Glenn explained more about why police officers should be wary of standing with groups and movements organized by radicals on TV last night. Watch the video below for more from TV:

    Glenn continued on radio, “This curriculum has good things in it. However, you get to Van Jones where they urge kids to find out about Van Jones. I have been urging the press to find out about Van Jones for some time. He’s harmless. Sure, he’s a communist radical. Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it. He called for violent revolution and then when he shut down his organization STORM, it’s because he realized he couldn’t convince enough people with the language of Marxism to be able to go for a violent revolution. So they had to change from things like Cop Watch to the Ella Baker Center. They changed the radical pose for the radical ends because they knew they could scoop in a bunch of people.”

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