Time to raise hell over Michigan anti-labor law
volume 34
issue 1
February 2013

The recent passage of union-busting “right to work” legislation in Michigan was an OMG! moment for all of labor. Unionists wonder how this could happen in Michigan, the fifth most unionized state in the nation, where legendary mass strikes in the 1930s organized the auto industry by standing up to the violence of police, company goons, and the National Guard.

But it did happen, and the now emboldened National Right to Work Committee is eyeing Alaska, Missouri, Montana, and Pennsylvania with the same fate in mind.

Militancy reminiscent of the 1930s did emerge before the vote on the Michigan law. Thousands descended on the Capitol, vociferously protesting the impending right-to-work-for-less bill.

But, unfortunately, Michigan labor leaders did not ramp up that fighting spirit into statewide civil disobedience after the bill became law. Instead they held “silent protests” across the state, and formed a labor/community coalition tasked with “exploring organizing and electoral options.”

Union officials tend to stick with electoral strategies, as they did in Wisconsin, with disastrous results. But now is the time to hit the streets and defend the working class by using its economic power. Surely, building for a general strike is in order.

For more labor news, see: Labor Weather Report