Right to work for less

To the Editor: I am a proud member of the Utility Workers Union of America, working for Consumers Energy at the Campbell Complex.
Dec 25, 2012

 

I am also one of the so-called union bosses or “union thugs” that have been portrayed as the root of all evil by the Koch Brothers and others, like Sen. Meekhof and Mr. Van Andel.

The reality is, this could not be further from the truth. 

As a unionized worker, I am among some of the most-qualified, hardest-working and dedicated employees in Michigan. Unionized workers have made many a company executive rich. 

Meanwhile, all we workers ask is to be recognized and bargained with fairly, so we can have a safe workplace and a decent life for ourselves and others in our communities.

The notion that this “Freedom to Work” law will make unions provide more value to our members and compete for their membership is nonsense. What Meekhof fails to mention is that he included in the legislation language that requires that the employee who doesn’t pay union dues get all the benefits of the union contract. All the while, the union is required, by law, to represent the nonmember as if they were a dues-paying member.

I wonder if the person who thinks this is fair is a member in a club or business entity that gives their services away for free. I think not.

When you have a protest, like we had in Lansing on Dec. 11, and those voices fall on deaf ears, it’s time to get some new ears in there to listen.

Considering the unionized workforce in Michigan is about 18 percent, why were the Republicans so bent on passing right to work (for less)? This is nothing more than class warfare. Unions in Michigan are the reason that all workers are in the middle class, and without us the standard of living in this state will decline. 

I am proud to wear the colors of the union!

Mark Bridgewater

President, Local 388 UWUA

Vice President, Michigan State Utility Workers Council

Comments

christopher

We need to stop whining. The fact is the unionized labor drives up costs for all of us in the middle class. It is so interesting that union leaders cry against corporate monopolies yet they have no problem at all promoting a labor monopoly.

If that does not make sense to you, it is simple economics. A monopoly occurs when an entity is the only source (or practically the only source) of a good or service. However monopolies often (usually) want to be the only source of a good (labor) in a particular business. If you do not believe it, try being non-unionized in a union-dictated shop. The unions often want to be a monopoly (the only source of labor). And this drives up costs for all of us.

uniondude

I couldn't agree with Mr. Bridgewater more, and I too wear my union colors with pride as it seems Christopher wears his corporate color with pride . I don't see it as unions crying over company monopolies, and I don't feel unions want or need to monopolize. If someone doesn't want to belong to a union I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with them opting out and having the same benefits and rights of those who stand strong and believe in what they are paying their union dues for. unions do not drive prices, corporate greed does that for us. As for as Snyder goes fall on deaf ears is not all true, he has to pull his head out of his you know what to hear anything at all. And isn't he a CEO lover also. Another price driven issue.

whiteshadow2

Well Written Mark!

Hapless Student

My Father was union for years, it was a good union (Local 865). I worked for a horrible union (Local 951) at Meijers. Union need to be for their members, not politics.

Vladtheimp

Hapless is a poor choice for a name, because this is a great comment! Maybe if unions focused their dues money strictly on the needs of their members in the service/industry/company the members are working for rather than supporting liberal politicians who may help them in some respects, but overall represent ideas and values that the members do not support, more folks would look favorably on paying union dues.

zwesterhouse

A good person ran against Meekhof and alot good candidates ran for 89th district house in 2010. Only the phone bad people got elected. So what does that say? Well here is an acronym. Its all run by BAITER's. Backstabbers, Abusers, Imposters, Takers, Exploiters, Reckless. Amanda Price got $180,000 in campaign contributions - The other 7 candidates got zero. Meekhof got over $250,000 in contributions. The fireman who ran against him go Zilch. What does that tell you about the voters - They don't give a crap about your unions- The people in trailer parks are too lazy and unmotivated/uneducated to vote. So either run for office again - or suck it up.

zwesterhouse

A good person ran against Meekhof and alot good candidates ran for 89th district house in 2010. Only the phoney plastic bad people got elected. So what does that say? Well here is an acronym. Its all run by BAITER's. Backstabbers, Abusers, Imposters, Takers, Exploiters, Reckless. Amanda Price got $180,000 in campaign contributions - The other 7 candidates got zero. Meekhof got over $250,000 in contributions. The fireman who ran against him go Zilch. What does that tell you about the voters - They don't give a crap about your unions- The people in trailer parks are too lazy and unmotivated/uneducated to vote. So either run for office again - or suck it up.

 

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.