Sad face: Michigan unions lose their right-to-work court challenge

posted at 6:41 pm on August 16, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Last winter, the state of Michigan officially became the country’s 24th right-to-work state — it was a bold move for a state with so much manufacturing and so many sizable union interests on the line, and Big Labor was not at all pleased about the whole thing. They raised quite the ruckus over it at the time, and they have since been trying to challenge the state’s right to implement the change in court. Nothing doing, guys:

The Michigan Legislature’s right to create a law that bans mandatory union membership trumps the authority of a state agency that oversees public employment, an appeals court ruled on Thursday.

The state legislature passed the “right to work” law in December amid union protests in Lansing, dealing a stunning blow to organized labor in the state that is home to U.S. automakers and the symbol of industrial labor in the United States.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the legislature had the authority to create the law that makes union fees voluntary because it has the constitutional right to “speak for the people on matters of significant public concern.”

Unions who brought the challenge argued the law intrudes on the power of the state’s Civil Service Commission because the agency has the authority to “regulate all conditions of employment.”

At the time, President Obama pandered/complained that the Michigan legislature’s push for right-to-work had “nothing to do with economics,” and would only succeed in helping to foster “a race to the bottom” — except that union clout is one of the major factors that pushed the city of Detroit into bankruptcy and helped the nation to realize what a “race to the bottom” really looks like.

And speaking of Detroit and angry labor unions… this is going to be interesting:

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes on Friday directed a federal judge to mediate negotiations between the City of Detroit and its labor unions over collective bargaining agreements.

In a court order, Rhodes also tasked Gerald Rosen, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, with mediating claims the various classes of creditors have against Detroit in its bankruptcy case.

Rosen filed a separate court order on Friday scheduling a Sept. 17 closed-door mediation session in his courtroom with representatives of bondholders, banks, labor unions, the city’s pension funds, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. …

The judge has said he hopes Detroit and its 100,000 creditors can resolve their debt issues out of court and avoid protracted litigation.


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Lolz! I do mine without the nose. : (

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Its a start. Perhaps it will help draw business. It works fine in the South.

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Pro choice issue. Liberals will be ecstatic.

smoothsailing on August 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Bmore, I’ve checked your Photoshop gallery. They’re good. Some are just funny and then some are near genius. But they’re all some of the highest quality I’ve seen.

smoothsailing on August 16, 2013 at 6:52 PM

smoothsailing on August 16, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Glad you enjoy. : ) You should consider taking it up yourself. Stimulates the old gray matter and makes for a great winter hobby. ; )

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM

It is a beginning. Now we need the States to outlaw public employee labor organizations.

pat on August 16, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Anyone have a hankie I can borrow?

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Good job, Michigan!!

Khun Joe on August 16, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Resist We Much on August 16, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Sure. ; ) Keep it.

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Public unions only serve the unions and their members not the citizens…….Hey Minnesota…mark dayton is a puppet for the unions and you morons voted an all dem legislature….guess who wins, not the taxpayer

crosshugger on August 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Sad face, but HAPPY DANCE.

I’ve never understood why the law compels me to hire these neo-bolsheviks.

locomotivebreath1901 on August 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

avagreen on August 16, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Go Michigan!!

The road back to sanity starts with single steps…

Keep going.

coldwarrior on August 16, 2013 at 7:07 PM

How can there be a dissenting vote?? Leftist truly are completely lawless.

besser tot als rot on August 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

The only reason this is even a “thing” is because of politicians pandering to an ill-informed base at the expense of families in need.
 
triple on August 16, 2013 at 7:04 PM

rogerb on August 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM

it was a bold move for a state with so much manufacturing

Michigan no longer manufactures anything. This is less a sign of the fall of union influence and more a function of the flight of industry.

A welcome change, nonetheless.

StubbleSpark on August 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Good.

AZCoyote on August 16, 2013 at 7:31 PM

At least there are a couple of judges there that couldn’t be bought,yet.

docflash on August 16, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Sorry, fleebaggers.

Philly on August 16, 2013 at 7:39 PM

rogerb on August 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM

; )

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 7:43 PM

ALRIGHT Michigan!

exodus2011 on August 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Unions who brought the challenge argued the law intrudes on the power of the state’s Civil Service Commission because the agency has the authority to “regulate all conditions of employment.”

Of course, the first question would be: From what laws does the state’s Civil Service Commission derive its power, and who passed those laws?

I can’t believe that one judge actually felt that the legislature didn’t have the power it exercised.

unclesmrgol on August 16, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 7:43 PM

 
Probably be seeing that quite a bit.

rogerb on August 16, 2013 at 7:48 PM

smoothsailing on August 16, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Glad you enjoy. : ) You should consider taking it up yourself. Stimulates the old gray matter and makes for a great winter hobby. ; )

Bmore on August 16, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Have to agree. A great thing to top off an even greater article. I’m buzzed. :)

avagreen on August 16, 2013 at 7:49 PM

The judge has said he hopes Detroit and its 100,000 creditors can resolve their debt issues out of court and avoid protracted litigation.

You’d think the unions would get the message……..but they aren’t that smart.

They’ll go in beating their chests…..and accomplish nothing.

GarandFan on August 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM

The judge has said he hopes Detroit and its 100,000 creditors can resolve their debt issues out of court and avoid protracted litigation.

You’d think the unions would get the message……..but they aren’t that smart.

They’ll go in beating their chests…..and accomplish nothing.

GarandFan on August 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM

As long as they don’t diss’ the president.

slickwillie2001 on August 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Emoticon sub-line?

AshleyTKing on August 16, 2013 at 8:19 PM

ALRIGHT Michigan!

exodus2011 on August 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM

…GO STATE!

KOOLAID2 on August 16, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Can someone pass the popcorn?

Savor the schadenfreude!

connertown on August 16, 2013 at 8:50 PM

President Obama pandered/complained that the Michigan legislature’s push for right-to-work had “nothing to do with economics,” and would only succeed in helping to foster “a race to the bottom”

I’m pretty sure we can declare Detroit the hands-down winner of that race.

Doug Piranha on August 16, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Good. Now, Michigan, time to deal with Dearborn.

blackgriffin on August 16, 2013 at 9:13 PM

A sad day! Just look what the Unions have done for Detroit!

They sent all the manufacturing, business, related businesses to other states. Now they have well paying Government Jobs and Welfare. Yep, the Unions have done a lot for Michigan

Obamatrix on August 16, 2013 at 9:36 PM

On the other hand- I would run the Canadian Pipeline to Detroit – Tear down all the garbage areas and put in some NON-UNION refineries.

Just think as to how much we could drive down the cost of solid, good, efficient fuel.

Obamatrix on August 16, 2013 at 9:39 PM

A sad day! Just look what the Unions have done for Detroit!

They sent all the manufacturing, business, related businesses to other states countries. Now they have well paying Government Jobs and Welfare. Yep, the Unions have done a lot for Michigan

Obamatrix on August 16, 2013 at 9:36 PM

FIFY (no offense, it was a point I saw in the article).

mad scientist on August 16, 2013 at 9:39 PM

“in the state that is home to U.S. automakers” that build many of their autos in Canada and Mexico.

mad scientist on August 16, 2013 at 9:41 PM

f*ck em.

Midas on August 16, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Sad face: Michigan unions lose their right-to-work court challenge

Mandatory membership is un-American and oppressive.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 16, 2013 at 11:32 PM

kinda interesting, they expected to happen at the state level what is happening at the federal level, were commissions/boards do what the elected officials are supposed to do.

RonK on August 16, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Pro choice issue. Liberals will be ecstatic.
smoothsailing on August 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Prohibits free contracting between two parties (unions and management). Conservatives will be upset.

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Prohibits free contracting between two parties (unions and management). Conservatives will be
upset.
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Prohibits?
In what way?

Still mad about Pontiac? :(

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 3:32 AM

Pro choice issue. Liberals will be ecstatic.
 
smoothsailing on August 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

 
Prohibits free contracting between two parties (unions and management). Conservatives will be upset.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 3:00 AM

 
How?
 
Be specific, please.

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 5:38 AM

Prohibits?
In what way?

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 3:32 AM

How?

Be specific, please.

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 5:38 AM

Limiting freedom of contract is the sine qua non of right to work laws. Those laws prohibit unions and employers from including union security provisions such as agency shops in their collective bargaining agreements. Instead, they compel unions and employers to agree to “union shops”.

Interestingly, not only do right to work laws constrict freedom of contract, they also encourage free riding. That is because such laws allow individual employees to benefit from the benefits and wage increases obtained as a result of their union’s bargaining power, without contributing any dues to that union. Of course, if enough workers “free ride” by not paying dues, the union’s power weakens and everyone’s benefits and wages suffer. Free riding is another thing conservatives generally oppose, except when they don’t (see also: the individual mandate).

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:04 AM

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:04 AM

Independent contractors of all types think your rundown is bumpkis. An independenst say, plumber, we’ll call him Joe, wantto ply his trade without the benefits of impediments of association with a union. This law allows him to work, feed his family and not donate to political parties, movements and issues he may not agree with.

See independent truckers from the 70s.

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Wantto = wants to ply his trade without the benefits “or” impediments …

And the benefits of union association?

See US economy, Detroit, SEUI, IRS. It just works so darned well.

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:18 AM

Another question righty45. Does a union/employer association also have the power to compel the employees to purchase the products produced by said company?

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:22 AM

Independent contractors of all types think your rundown is bumpkis. An independenst say, plumber, we’ll call him Joe, wantto ply his trade without the benefits of impediments of association with a union. This law allows him to work, feed his family and not donate to political parties, movements and issues he may not agree with.
smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:15 AM

This doesn’t make any sense. Joe can do all of that without right to work laws.

I don’t think you (or Roger, or Murphy) understand what right to work laws are. Or how unions work.

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:24 AM

Public unions only serve the unions and their members not the citizens…….

crosshugger on August 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

My grandfather and father were both in mandatory unions. Unions did bupkis for my grandfather after he had a stroke and his former employer backdated his retirement to 55, thus screwing him out of a pension.

Unions also did jack for my father.

So aside from not serving the citizens and screwing the taxpayers, unions screw over their own members if they’re not with the “in” crowd.

I’m glad Walker undid the union stranglehold in WI, and I’m glad MI followed suit (and passed us). I have no use for unions.

englishqueen01 on August 17, 2013 at 7:29 AM

I don’t think you (or Roger, or Murphy) understand what right to work laws are. Or how unions work.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:24 AM

 
That’s nice. Solid argument as always. Thanks.

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:31 AM

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:24 AM

I think I do actually. Lemme spain.

Try to be an independent general or specific trade contractor in Michigan without belonging to this union.

http://michiganbuildingtrades.org/

Independent contractors are denied work through collusion and outright thuggery by powerful trade unions such as this.

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Regardless
 

Limiting freedom of contract is the sine qua non…
 
Those laws prohibit unions and employers from including union security provisions..
 
constrict freedom of contract…

 
Weird. I could’ve sworn you’d said:
 

Prohibits free contracting between two parties (unions and management). Conservatives will be upset.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 3:00 AM

 
So now you’re saying free contracting isn’t prohibited and is still available (re: free riding)
 

such laws allow individual employees to benefit from the benefits and wage increases obtained as a result of their union’s bargaining power, without contributing any dues to that union.

 
but “security provisions” and “constriction” is your new position?

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:32 AM

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:31 AM

His entire argument is a cut and paste from wikipedia.

The bottom line is this is America. A person should not have to be compelled to join an organization contrary to their political beliefs just to work. Unions just don’t serve the union member anymore. They are simply a honey hole of funds for the Democratic Party and their candidates.

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:38 AM

I don’t think you (or Roger, or Murphy) understand what right to work laws are. Or how unions
work.
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:24 AM

I don’t think you have the desire or ability to argue sincerely in good faith.

alas, an impasse in dialogue…

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 7:42 AM

PS its over. Unless they want to take it to the SCOTUS. Michigan is a right to work state.

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:42 AM

Another question righty45. Does a union/employer association also have the power to compel the employees to purchase the products produced by said company?
smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:22 AM

This is another confused question. What do you mean by “the power”? Contractual power? Statutory? The short answer is no. But it’s imaginable that a CBA or employment contract could require employees to purchase products as a condition of employment. In fact I think many retail clothing stores do this (e.g. you need to buy and wear American Eagle clothes to work there).

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:43 AM

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:43 AM

What’s confusing is your responses. Or not because you know the company can’t compelled the worker to purchase the products produced by the company and you simply dont want to answer.

In other words, if you want to debate honestly, I work for GMC but want to drive a Ford F250. Can they compelled me to purchase the GMC product? Is that less confusing?

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:48 AM

Can’t compel …

Ac

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 7:49 AM

Off to an antique British car show. Y’all have fun. I’ll check back later.

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Off to an antique British car show. Y’all have fun. I’ll check back later.

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:51 AM

I’m afraid I can’t let you go unless you belong to the British Car Show Spectators Union. How can you be sure you’re afforded all of the same amenities of the other spectators without membership?

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 8:01 AM

<blockquote
That’s nice. Solid argument as always. Thanks.

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:31 AM

It’s not an argument; it’s an observation.

<blockquote
but “security provisions” and “constriction” is your new position?

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:32 AM

There is no “new” position in the quoted language. I simply phrased the exact same argument in slightly different ways over the course of the post. It’s good practice to use different words when writing.

Right to work laws “prohibit” free contracting by prohibiting two parties from agreeing to a specific contract term (agency shops). By doing so they necessarily “restrict” and “limit” freedom of contract. Please try addressing the substance of the argument rather than playing copy and paste semantic games.

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Please try addressing the substance of the argument rather than playing copy and paste semantic games.

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 8:07 AM

I might ask you the same thing. You seem to narrowly focus on the only point that really can’t be contradicted but limit the extent to which you explain or cover the subject. You seem to like wikipedia, let’s look at their complete explanation of “right to work”.

A “right-to-work” law is a statute in the United States that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers,

You pretty much stopped there as if that were the only consideration. It goes on to say …

that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. “Right-to-work” laws do not, as the short phrase might suggest, aim to provide a general guarantee of employment to people seeking work, but rather are a government regulation of the contractual agreements between employers and labor unions that prevents them from excluding non-union workers,[1] or requiring employees to pay a fee to unions that have negotiated the labor contract all the employees work under.

Right-to-work provisions (either by law or by constitutional provision) exist in twenty-four U.S. states, mostly in the southern and western United States, but also including, as of 2012, the northern states of Michigan[2] and Indiana.[3] Business interests represented by the Chamber of Commerce have lobbied extensively to pass right-to-work legislation.[4][5][6][7] Such laws are allowed under the 1947 federal Taft–Hartley Act. A further distinction is often made within the law between those employed by state and municipal governments and those employed by the private sector with states that are otherwise union shop (i.e., pay union dues or lose the job) having right to work laws in effect for government employees.

Do you want another source?

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 8:18 AM

And since you won’t address the other question, I’ll answer it for you. A company providing a product is not allowed or should ever be allowed to force employees to purchase the products produced by their company. A company/union association has no right to force them to buy the product produced by the union.

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Detroit is da Bomb!

Sherman1864 on August 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Very strange of Rhodes to involve a member of a different court in mediating creditor claims. That’s one of the core activities of the bankruptcy court, and bankruptcy judges, and while you often see appointed mediators I can’t recall seeing a federal judge appointed.. And this isn’t just any judge, its the chief judge of the federal district. Obviously, the bankruptcy court expects a very messy mediation, and probably lots of subsequent litigation, and has armed this mediation with a powerful voice for a deal.

MTF on August 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Iowa has been a right to work state for quite some time now, maybe Righty might want to check our unemployment rate….

lovingmyUSA on August 17, 2013 at 10:41 AM

The unions have been good for workers, too good. They brought us the 40 hr work week, child labor restrictions, and work place safety. Now we have DOL regulating the work week and child labor. We have OSHA and its variants regulating work place safety.

That pretty much leaves the unions with benefits, wages, and workplace rules. Now we have Obamacare that mandates health care at specific levels for all Americans. Thanks to their success, unions are rapidly becoming irrelevant, and workers know it.

WestTexasBirdDog on August 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM

I might ask you the same thing. You seem to narrowly focus on the only point that really can’t be contradicted

Well if you don’t think my argument can be contradicted I’m not sure why we’re arguing. It was admittedly a fairly banal observation: right to work laws prohibit free contracting because they prevent employers and unions from agreeing to certain union security provisions. The free rider argument in my second post is similarly conventional and the logic of it is tough to argue with. I’m not sure what you and roger are so worked up about. You keep sputtering about whether employees can be forced to buy products or something. And roger seems upset I used the words “restrict” and “limiting” in my second elaboratory post rather than copy and pasting the same exact text over again. But we seem to agree on the basic points I made.

but limit the extent to which you explain or cover the subject.

How’s that?

You seem to like wikipedia,

You keep saying that and I’m not sure why. I did not “copy and paste” anything from wikipedia nor did I obtain my arguments from wikipedia. I did not invent those particular arguments, but I certainly did not claim to. The only person quoting wikipedia here is you.

Again, what I wrote is neither novel nor particularly controversial, so it is unsurprising that the wikipedia article on right to work laws says similar things.

let’s look at their complete explanation of “right to work”.

Erm, ok.

A “right-to-work” law is a statute in the United States that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers,

You pretty much stopped there as if that were the only consideration. It goes on to say …

that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. “Right-to-work” laws do not, as the short phrase might suggest, aim to provide a general guarantee of employment to people seeking work, but rather are a government regulation of the contractual agreements between employers and labor unions that prevents them from excluding non-union workers,[1] or requiring employees to pay a fee to unions that have negotiated the labor contract all the employees work under.

Right-to-work provisions (either by law or by constitutional provision) exist in twenty-four U.S. states, mostly in the southern and western United States, but also including, as of 2012, the northern states of Michigan[2] and Indiana.[3] Business interests represented by the Chamber of Commerce have lobbied extensively to pass right-to-work legislation.[4][5][6][7] Such laws are allowed under the 1947 federal Taft–Hartley Act. A further distinction is often made within the law between those employed by state and municipal governments and those employed by the private sector with states that are otherwise union shop (i.e., pay union dues or lose the job) having right to work laws in effect for government employees.

Do you want another source?

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 8:18 AM

What does this have to do with anything? I honestly can’t tell what your goal was in copy and pasting several paragraphs of wikipedia after criticizing me (incorrectly) for copy and pasting from wikipedia.

Because you seem very interested in where I obtained my views on labor law from (and NOT because I think it is relevant), I’ll tell you: I became interested in these issues after taking a labor law class in law school several years back. Since then I have generally kept up with developments in the field by reading relevant opinions/academic articles. But I am not a labor lawyer and do not claim to be an expert on the subject.

If you don’t mind me asking, from where do you derive your views on this subject, smoothsailing?

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 12:30 PM

And since you won’t address the other question,

I did not fully address it because I did not fully understand it. I don’t think the question makes sense, at least unless you elaborate as to what you mean by by “forcing” or “power.” It may be helpful if you describe a concrete example of the scenario you have in mind.

I’ll answer it for you. A company providing a product is not allowed or should ever be allowed to force employees to purchase the products produced by their company. A company/union association has no right to force them to buy the product produced by the union.

smoothsailing on August 17, 2013 at 8:26 AM

As a general matter (without further information or context), yes I think that’s right. But as I said, I can imagine a situation in which, as a condition of the employer hiring the employee, the employer could “force” that employee to purchase the employer’s product. In fact I think lots of retail stores do this by requiring employees to purchase and wear their employer’s clothing while at work.

Of course. that wouldn’t really be “forcing,” since the employee could simply choose not to enter the contract or work for the employer in the first place. The same is true of agency shops. No one is “forced” to join a union or pay an agency fee. If the prospective employee doesn’t want to do those things, he or she can simply choose to work somewhere else (that is not unionized or is not an agency shop).

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I don’t think you (or Roger, or Murphy) understand what right to work laws are. Or how unions work.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:24 AM

 
<blockquote
That’s nice. Solid argument as always. Thanks.
 
rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:31 AM

 
It’s not an argument; it’s an observation.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 8:07 AM

 
I’m not entirely sure why you’d want to draw attention to my point, but thanks.

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 1:31 PM

(Sorry in advance btw.)
 

Prohibits free contracting between two parties (unions and management). Conservatives will be upset.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 3:00 AM

 
but “security provisions” and “constriction” is your new position?
 
rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 7:32 AM

 
There is no “new” position in the quoted language. I simply phrased the exact same argument in slightly different ways.
 
Right to work laws “prohibit” free contracting by prohibiting two parties from agreeing to a specific contract term (agency shops). By doing so they necessarily “restrict” and “limit” freedom of contract.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 8:07 AM

 
Good enough and thanks for the clarification on your position.
 
You reject and denounce any and all minimum and/or living wage legislation, correct?

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

In fact I think many retail clothing stores do this (e.g. you need to buy and wear American Eagle clothes to work there).

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:43 AM

In actual fact, they do not require employees to purchase their clothes. They give employees a “style sheet” outlining the look they want employees to follow which, of course, uses their products but they do not mandate clothing purchases. My daughter worked for Abercrombie & Fitch, which does the same thing, but she bought her own similar clothes because, even with the up to 50% discount they give their employees, she felt their clothes were way too expensive. The only requirement is that no obvious logos can be worn. Small point but big difference.

inmypajamas on August 17, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I can’t imagine being against this kind of legislation. You would have to be a union boss or elected democrat or connected lawyer.

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

In actual fact, they do not require employees to purchase their clothes. They give employees a “style sheet” outlining the look they want employees to follow which, of course, uses their products but they do not mandate clothing purchases. My daughter worked for Abercrombie & Fitch, which does the same thing, but she bought her own similar clothes because, even with the up to 50% discount they give their employees, she felt their clothes were way too expensive. The only requirement is that no obvious logos can be worn. Small point but big difference.

Though I genuinely appreciate the insight, that is indeed a small point that makes absolutely no difference.
The employers force their employees to purchase certain products as a condition of employment. To use a less obvious but more personal example, I had to buy three suit jackets and a full wardrobe of dress shirts, ties and pants for my first real job because the dress code was business formal. Doing so did not violate some sort of foundational American principle, as our friend smoothsailing suggests.

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Good enough and thanks for the clarification on your position.

You reject and denounce any and all minimum and/or living wage legislation, correct?

rogerb on August 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

As a general matter, I do not support minimum wage laws. I don’t know exactly what you mean by living wage legislation but from the sounds of it, I would not support it.

Nonetheless, I think you’re misunderstanding my posts. I observed that right to work laws limit freedom of contract. I do not support them, for that reason and other reasons. But it does not follow that I oppose all limitations on freedom of contract. To use an extreme example, I would not defend a contract for murder. And I support laws that prohibit corporations from entering collusive contracts to reduce competition (i.e., antitrust laws).

I think you’re trying to divine the principle I use (if any) for determining whether I support or oppose a limitation on freedom of contract. That’s a fair question and I’ve given it some thought. My views are as follows:

1. I think that as a general matter, freedom of contract is a very good thing. It creates value and promotes individual freedom. Creating value and promoting individual freedom are very good things too because they make people like you and I richer, healthier and happier.

2. In certain situations, I think limiting freedom of contract to a certain degree is necessary because otherwise it will do violence to even more important principles. For example, as indicated above, I think prohibiting contracts for murder is ok, because protecting the life of the targeted victim is more important than the conspirers’ freedom of contract. I also support antitrust laws because again, allocative efficiency and the maximization of consumer welfare are more important to me than the conspirers’ right to contract. I suspect you’d agree with both of those examples.

3. A purely paternalistic justification is not sufficient to limit freedom of contract, in my view. So saying “you can’t agree to that because I know better” is not good enough.

4. Right to work laws limit freedom of contract by prohibiting unions and employers from agreeing to agency shop provisions.

5. I simply can’t ascertain a persuasive non-paternalistic rationale for that limitation, and so I do not support it. It is not as if there is crippling, unequal bargaining power or informational asymmetries between the employer and union, such that an employer cannot refuse an agency shop provision or does not understand it. Both parties know exactly what they’re getting into. And I also do not buy the notion that agency shops limit the freedom of contract of prospective employees that oppose unions, as those employees can simply find a job elsewhere, or even demand that their agency fees be refunded to the extent they finance certain objectionable political activity. At their core, these laws are motivated by a hatred of unions and/or a paternalistic view that managers and unions are too stupid to be allowed to bargain over union security provisions. I don’t think either reason is good enough to abrogate freedom of contract.

I hope that makes sense. Now that I’ve explained my views, I’d really appreciate it if you’d do the same. Do you support freedom of contract? Right to work laws? What about minimum wage laws? If you think freedom of contract should be limited, when and why? Based on what principle? This is a good opportunity for you to try out what I suggested a few weeks back: making an affirmative, logical argument rather than sniping from the sidelines and/or playing copy and paste semantic games.

I can’t imagine being against this kind of legislation.

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Why? Why do you support it? And what do you think of this problem:

Interestingly, not only do right to work laws constrict freedom of contract, they also encourage free riding. That is because such laws allow individual employees to benefit from the benefits and wage increases obtained as a result of their union’s bargaining power, without contributing any dues to that union. Of course, if enough workers “free ride” by not paying dues, the union’s power weakens and everyone’s benefits and wages suffer.

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:04 AM

One possible (but imperfect) solution is to pay employees who refuse to contribute union dues a (lower) non-union wage and benefits. That would avoid compensating them for the attendant benefits of the union they chose not to support. What do you think of that?

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Why?

I’m pro markets and anti corporatist(democrats).

BTW, I’m an officer in my UAW local.

Cheers.

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Michigan no longer manufactures anything. This is less a sign of the fall of union influence and more a function of the flight of industry.

A welcome change, nonetheless.

StubbleSpark on August 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM

I have bought some of the finest yachts built in Holland Michigan.

Tiara and S-2. Non union and family owned.

seven on August 17, 2013 at 9:18 PM

The mouth-breathing, obese, fascists that write the slovenly articles in Solidarity! don’t show the conviction, if you want to call it that, that you do when they try to pass off their bs.

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 9:21 PM

One possible (but imperfect) solution is to pay employees who refuse to contribute union dues a
(lower) non-union wage and benefits. That would avoid compensating them for the attendant
benefits of the union they chose not to support. What do you think of that?
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

I reject your idiotic and false presupposition that their wages would be higher.

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 9:26 PM

This is a good opportunity for you to try out what I suggested a few weeks back: making an affirmative, logical argument rather than sniping from the sidelines and/or playing copy and paste semantic games.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

 
And as I responded to that post a few weeks back, I find arguing with the faithful repetitive, mostly boring, and essentially pointless. Not to mention extremely predictable. There are no shortage of people ready to yell “YES IT IS!” at you so you can yell “NO IT’S NOT!” back at them. I don’t find that interesting. I don’t mind that you enjoy it, and I wouldn’t think for a moment it was my place to tell you to try something different, but yelling and immediate name calling isn’t for me.
 
(I’m sure you didn’t re-hash that as another “observation”, though. You probably just forgot that part.)
 
And, yes, it’s also amusing to discredit the overall (D) belief system by pointing out obvious inconsistencies and watching them back up to re-explain how it’s completely different while still being exactly the same.
 
We’ve covered all of this. Please keep up.
 
Speaking of, you really don’t know about the “living wage” debate? That’s bizarre. It’s been discussed for at least the last decade. Here’s the link to the White House supporting it. I would’ve assumed you were informed about most of the major topics.
 
Come to think of it, that’s one more reason direct debate is usually so boring.
 
Regardless, I’ll answer your questions since you put so much effort into answering a yes or no question.
 

Now that I’ve explained my views, I’d really appreciate it if you’d do the same. Do you support freedom of contract? Right to work laws? What about minimum wage laws? If you think freedom of contract should be limited, when and why? Based on what principle?

 
For who? Workers in Charlotte? Michigan? West Virginia? Wyoming? Hollywood? China?
 
I’ll defer to my core belief about our nation:
 
The decisions should be made at the lowest authority possible. If I don’t like them, I can move.
 
I doubt my answers are appropriate for Raleigh or Fayetteville, much less Salt Lake City or Compton’s (or China’s), values and legacies. I also don’t believe we’re similar enough that my solutions can fit their problems, and I expect the same respectful attitude towards my town/county/state.
 
That ship has sailed, of course, but that’s still my default position on everything I can think of.
 
We’re travelling for a bit. I’ll try to find the thread when I get back. I’m fairly sure I won’t post triumphantly two weeks from now, though.

rogerb on August 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Thread off main page, safe to come back and declare #threadwon righty.

Murphy9 on August 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

…rather than sniping from the sidelines and/or playing copy and paste semantic games.
 
righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

 
There are no shortage of people ready to yell “YES IT IS!” at you so you can yell “NO IT’S NOT!” back at them. I don’t find that interesting. I don’t mind that you enjoy it, and I wouldn’t think for a moment it was my place to tell you to try something different, but yelling and immediate name calling isn’t for me…
 
rogerb on August 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM

 
Thread off main page, safe to come back and declare #threadwon righty.
 
Murphy9 on August 18, 2013 at 8:49 PM

 
Thanks Murphy9. That reminds me of the other reason too much effort responding is almost never warranted.
 
What are we at now, two days?
 
Just twelve days to go before one of us can post triumphantly and declare himself the winner.

rogerb on August 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Now that I’ve explained my views, I’d really appreciate it if you’d do the same. Do you support freedom of contract? Right to work laws? What about minimum wage laws? If you think freedom of contract should be limited, when and why? Based on what principle?

righty45 on August 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

For who? Workers in Charlotte? Michigan? West Virginia? Wyoming? Hollywood? China?

I’ll defer to my core belief about our nation:

The decisions should be made at the lowest authority possible. If I don’t like them, I can move.

I doubt my answers are appropriate for Raleigh or Fayetteville, much less Salt Lake City or Compton’s (or China’s), values and legacies. I also don’t believe we’re similar enough that my solutions can fit their problems, and I expect the same respectful attitude towards my town/county/state.

That ship has sailed, of course, but that’s still my default position on everything I can think of.

rogerb on August 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Where are we now, twelve or so times you’ll flee the thread instead of posting a simple yes or no?

rogerb on August 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM

:)

Have a good one roger.

righty45 on August 26, 2013 at 12:12 AM