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.