Burgoo: Dec. 13

Something to stew over

Progressive Media ProjectDecember 13, 2012 

President Barack Obama is right to side with organized labor in Michigan. Michigan is home of the United Auto Workers, one of the most powerful unions in the country. It is also home to a highly partisan Republican-controlled legislature, which rammed through an anti-labor bill in early December, which the Republican governor, Rick Snyder, signed this week. Snyder was previously noncommittal on the so-called right-to-work bill, acknowledging that it was "divisive." But it was suddenly moved through the system Dec. 6, with no chance for public review, comment or participation. Crowds rushed to the statehouse to protest. However, the Capitol was shut down by a massive police presence. Protestors were arrested and pepper-sprayed. Democrats sued to have the building reopened. Organized labor has resulted in better pay, working conditions and benefits for all employees. The labor movement brought you the weekend, the eight-hour day and the minimum wage. And by boosting wages, it increased consumption for the economy. Union membership peaked at 36 percent during the 1950s. Today, it is below 12 percent. Corporate executives have done everything in their power to crush unions. Republican officeholders have put up one obstacle after another. We need strong unions, and the underhanded move in Michigan, of all places, must not stand.

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