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Will Michigan Repeal Its Right to Work Law?

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It’s hard to convince workers that Democrats really care about them when they don’t actually do anything for unions. Yeah, there’s lots of lip service, but even when they have political control, the total real gains for workers tend to be very little. That’s especially true of unions. Never mind that there’s no way the PRO Act was going to get over the filibuster hump, but even if that didn’t exist, there wasn’t 50 Democratic votes for it either. It’s not just Manchin here, it’s Warner and Coons. The fact is that real support for unions among lots of elected Democrats is very squishy. When Virginia Democrats controlled all branches of state government, it did not repeal the state’s right to work law. Well, it’s Virginia, I’m not super surprised by that. Meanwhile, while Biden’s response to rail workers threatening to strike was a lot less extreme than when critical workers did that under FDR or Truman, in the end, he still used his power to stop them striking. So it’s hard to counter union workers being not so happy with Democrats with a lot of counter examples. And don’t give me the ACA or whatever–union workers already have better health plans than that.

One can excuse or at least explain all of this. But now Democrats control all branches of government in Michigan, one of the nation’s core union states. Under the loathsome Rick Snyder, Republicans pushed through a right to work law. So will Democrats repeal it? Steven Greenhouse has a piece in The New Republic that argues that they really must. It’s more an overview of the evils of such laws than any real discussion of Michigan itself. But really, if Democrats don’t overturn this law in Michigan, well, what are you going to say the union member who likes his guns and his religion but also likes his union and is on the fence about which side to vote for?

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