In the three-quarters of a century since the deflationary 1930’s ended, long-term union contracts have virtually always resulted in employees getting lower pay and benefits over time than short-term union contracts. When union officials’ aim really is higher compensation for the employees they are supposed to represent, their view with regard to contract length is, the shorter, the better.
But, as Detroit News writer Nolan Finley points out in the column linked below, many Michigan union officials are now seeking to cut extraordinarily long-term contract deals with employers. At Wayne State University, union bigwigs want a 10-year contract.
The obvious intent is to lock in Big Labor’s privilege to force employees to pay union dues, or be fired, for as long as possible after Michigan’s new Right to Work law takes effect in late March. Sustaining the flow of forced dues and fees from employees, not better compensation packages for those employees, is Big Labor’s priority. Finley explains:
Unions . . . are rushing to renegotiate labor contracts before the March 27 effective date of the newly passed right-to-work law.
Because the law includes a grandfather clause, contracts in place before that date aren’t affected by right to work until they expire.
In Wayne State’s case, that would be 10 years from now, if the professors union’s proposal to extend the current contract is approved by a board of trustees made up nearly entirely by Democrats whose election campaigns were financed by labor unions.
Similar extensions are being weighed at Western Michigan and the Taylor and Berkley public schools, and a growing list of other places.
It’s a warning flag that right to work alone will not be enough to break labor’s stranglehold on local politics and policy making.
Unions busy subverting right to work