A Sad Day for the Working Men and Women in Michigan
by James Turnage
With thousands of middle class men and women outside the state capitol building in Michigan voicing their protest to making their state a “right to work state”, Republican governor, Rick Snyder, signed the law that made his state the first outside of the south and western plains states to join the ranks of the anti-working class.
Michigan, who boasts the highest percentage of union workers at 17.5%, was targeted by Republicans because of its support for President Obama. Nationwide, union membership stands at 11.8%. Romney couldn’t carry the state championed by his father, and failed as well to win the state he governed, Massachusetts.
Republican authors of the bill claim it will bring more employment to Michigan. Detractors say that statement is simply a smokescreen. They claim it will weaken labor’s bargaining ability by reducing its resources and actually decrease employment.
What it will certainly do is decrease the standard or living for the working class. Statistics show the middle class losing in all categories in a “right to work state”. The average wage earner makes 1500 dollars less a year, health insurance provided by employers is 2.6% lower, and pension coverage is decreased by 4.8%.
At least three schools were closed as teachers joined the rally, chanting slogans while the snow fell around them.
My gut feeling is this. If the Republican bullies, who are anti-middle class, continue their path of economic destruction for the working people of the United States, (though they should have seen the signs in the election results), they will suffer greater losses in the mid-term election in 2014. No longer can the right win with their support coming primarily from upper middle class and wealthy white voters, and their fat checkbooks.
Nevada workers have suffered the effects of being a “right to work” state for decades. Our average wage for the working class is below the national average, comparable to those in the deep south. Voter turnout by the middle class is destructive to the Republican cause. I call you out, not only the citizens of Michigan, but of all states. Remember what happened today for the next two years, and who is responsible. You, and only you, can vote them out of office. You can elect officials to renounce this law and enact legislation that is fair for everyone. They may have more money, but we have the numbers.