Big Labor Bosses’ Rejected at Polls

Lee-Chatfield
Incoming Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (Levering) has publicly opposed Right to Work destruction. Credit: U.P. Politico/Wikimedia Commons

Right to Work Consolidates Recent State Gains

Bids to Bring Back Forced Dues Will Be ‘Categorically’ Rejected

Thanks to recent progress made by Right to Work proponents, 27 of the 50 states now have laws on the books prohibiting forced union dues and fees, and just over half of all Americans today enjoy the benefits of living in a Right to Work state.

But in this fall’s elections, union political strategists anticipated at least making substantial headway towards reinstating forced unionism in several of the five states — Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Kentucky — that have adopted and implemented Right to Work laws since early 2012.

Top Union Bosses Were Out For Revenge In 2018 Elections

Unfortunately for Big Labor, the people of Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Kentucky refused to cooperate with its plan.

Next year, Right to Work advocates will remain firmly in control of both legislative chambers in all five of these states.

Among the many rebukes union bosses received at the grass-roots level in Right to Work states on November 6, the most bitter of all may have been the unraveling of their scheme to punish Kentucky lawmakers for opposing forced dues and fees.

The Bluegrass State is the only one of the 27 Right to Work states to have adopted its ban on the termination of employees for refusal to bankroll an unwanted union since the beginning of 2017.

Consequently, over the course of 2018, voters in Kentucky had their first opportunities to react at the polls to what their politicians had done.

Kentucky Electoral Results Were a Let Down For Union-Boss Politicians

Counting on the union political machine to deliver for him and his fellow pro-forced unionism politicians, Kentucky House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook) boldly declared in late October:

“I’m optimistic that we have a very good chance to take back the Kentucky House. . . . That is our goal.”

But when the dust settled after the November elections, there were roughly as many identified Right to Work supporters in the Kentucky House as the 58 (out of 100) who had voted against compulsory dues in early 2017.

And Right to Work clearly gained strength in the Kentucky Senate, where 19 of the 38 seats were up for grabs.

In Michigan, union-label politicians openly vowed last fall that, if granted the opportunity, they would immediately move to kill the state Right to Work law that took effect in the spring of 2013.

Less than a week before Election Day, Rep. Brian Elder (Bay City), one of three Big Labor Democrats openly campaigning to become speaker if their party took over the chamber, declared:

“The very first bill that we will pass will be a repeal of the Right to Work law.”

Michigan Lawmakers Who Have Supported Right to Work Are Not Going to Change Course

But it turns out that this wasn’t remotely what Michigan voters wanted.

Despite receiving massive support (much of it funded by forced union dues and fees collected out of state) from Big Labor bosses who smelled blood in the water and a political climate that was unfavorable to Republicans, pro-employee compulsion Michigan Democrat legislative candidates underperformed on Election Day.

In 2019, the GOP caucuses who delivered all of the votes that sent Right to Work legislation to then-Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk at the end of 2012 will hold a 58-52 House majority and a 22-16 Senate Majority.

And both the new House speaker and the new Senate majority leader have already made it clear they will not cooperate with any bid by incoming union-boss Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her allies to repeal or gut Michigan’s Right to Work law.

Senate head Mike Shirkey (Clarklake), who was one of Right to Work’s lead sponsors, is particularly adamant that he will “categorically reject” any tampering with Right to Work.

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen commented: “As the evidence continues to mount that voters reward politicians for standing up to the union bosses, I believe there may well be positive repercussions even in states like Pennsylvania and Montana, where recent Right to Work efforts have been uphill.”

(source: January 2019 National Right To Work Newsletter)