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Unions Score a Major Victory as Judge Blocks Michigan Paycheck Law
By: Sarah JonesJun. 7th, 2012more from Sarah Jones
Another win for unions as a federal Judge blocks Michigan’s controversial law prohibiting school districts from collecting union dues via payroll deductions.
As we’ve learned from Republican governor Scott Walker’s own mouth, the real reason Republicans are coming so hard for the unions is quite simply because they want to defund the largest reliable source of political contributions to Democrats.
The Detroit Free Press reported:
U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday blocking Public Act 53, the controversial new law that was effective March 16, union officials said.
"We feel very, very confident that this decision will hold up," said David Hecker, president of the American Federation of Teachers Michigan. The judge, Hecker said, indicated, "It was likely we were going to win because it was likely the law was going to be found unconstitutional."
Republicans claim publicly that they are coming after unions in order to save money for state budgets, but Scott Walker has been caught on tape admitting that the purpose is to turn the state red.
Governor Snyder and the Michigan Republicans’ efforts to destroy unions in Michigan is the exact same thing; part of a national effort to defund unions in order to destroy them. Just as Walker didn’t actually save money in his budget by killing collective bargaining, Snyder isn’t saving money by stopping unions from deducting dues via payroll.
What Republicans are doing is making it harder to contribute to the union, thereby weakening it by draining it of its resources. From the Party of Citizens United that granted free speech (aka endless political contriubtions) to corporations and unions, we have the ultimate transparent hypocrisy.
Republicans only want Citizens United applied to corporations that fund their party.
A similar Wisconsin law was struck down by a judge who ruled it a violation of First Amendment rights of workers. If you’re smelling ALEC you’re right on, the attempt to stop automatic payroll deductions is based on model legislation from our corporate brethren at ALEC who also brought us Stand Your Ground and Voter ID laws.
ALEC Exposed revealed the Orwellian labeled "PAYCHECK PROTECTION ACT" that was approved in 1998 (that’s how long they’ve been lying in wait to push this agenda):
Summary This Act requires labor organizations to establish separate funds for political purposes, establishes registration for the fund, establishes certain criminal provisions governing a labor organization's political activities, and prohibits employees from authorizing automatic payroll deductions for contributions to a labor organization's political committee or fund except through an explicit, signed statement.
They aren’t done with unions yet. At the May 11 ALEC meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina this year, Michigan’s Mackinac Center (billed as a think tank, but really a Koch funded mini ALEC) proposed a model bill that resembles Walker’s above unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment of workers. Read more about ALEC’s plans for workers here.
See, there’s nothing like wasting a bit of taxpayer cash on an already shot down power grab. Republicans just keep pushing, like a teenage boy trying to get a little action. They don't hear no.
Isn’t it ironic that Republicans love to paint Democrats as high spending judicial activists while in reality, Republicans have been pushing partisan laws across the country that keep getting shot down by judges for their violation of the constitution – thereby wasting money with their legislative activism.
Republicans continue to drain money out of unions while funneling it to wasteful and ineffective privatization schemes, basically doing a reverse Robinhood — taking from working labor to enrich wealthy corporations. And they call that "paycheck protection."
Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images North America