Michigan was once one of the nation’ s strongest union states. But with the decimation of the automobile industry and the recent takeover of state government by extremely conservative politicians, the union movement is on the defensive.
Unions in Michigan tried and failed to pass a constitutional amendment supporting their right to bargain collectively.
Now, Governor Rick Snyder is talking openly about pushing right to work legislation.
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce supports the idea.
Tennessee passed such legislation last year, as did Indiana.
Wisconsin is considering it now.
The elimination of collective bargaining will give additional momentum to the growing income inequality in this country.
The New York Times had an article about fast-food workers in New York City who need food stamps to feed their families because their wages are so low. Sixty percent of workers in this country now are hourly workers without benefits. Some have take-home pay, if they are lucky, of $18,000 a year.
Meanwhile, as Warren Buffet wrote recently, the Forbes 400 have an average annual income of $202 million.
$202 million a year.
Maybe the union movement will be born again as most Americans slide out of the middle class and into lives of not so gentle poverty.