12/13/12: I have lived in Michigan my entire life. The recent union goon terror that occurred a couple days ago in Lansing,MI is nothing new. I recall my father saying some 70 years ago (yes, seventy) that union goon terror existed in Detroit in those days.
I also recall my father saying many times in those years, “The unions won again, another company closed and moved out of Detroit”. Those union victories 70 years ago were the beginning of the end for the automotive industry in Michigan and eventually in America.
The recent union goon terror is nothing new. Most of our citizenry are too young to know that the automotive labor unions were birthed in Flint, Michigan and grew rapidly in Detroit; the former Motor City.
The famous sit down strike was in 1936-37 in Flint, MI. I find it ironic the quote from Wikipedia lists the name of the community organizer of that initiative. I quote “As Wyndham Mortimer, the UAW officer put in charge of the organizing campaign in Flint.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_Sit-Down_Strike The community organizer job description has gained more recognition in recent years in America, but the modus operandi is unchanged.
A few years ago there was an initiative among doctors to consider unionization. I was asked to give a lecture at one of our national meetings on the topic. I traveled to Flint, MI and took photographs of the downtown main street’s boarded store fronts. There was only one hamburg joint, a jail, county building, court house, social service, police station and such. At the north end was the University of Michigan, Flint campus and a partial closed automobile museum. Most of the prior automotive plants were fenced off and grass growing in the pavement cracks of acres of empty parking lots. It was very sad last chapter for Flint,MI. My father worked for Buick. Many of my relatives worked in the “shop” as they called the automotive factories in those days. There was prosperity for so many, but no more.
Granted, there was probably a need for worker’s union years ago. However the present federal and state government law protects workers. The magistrates in Michigan that make decisions on worker’s issues were all appointed by union supported Democrats in the past. Evidence of the historical prejudice in favor of workers was apparent in the leniency shown recently to Chrysler workers who were filmed on video while drinking beer and smoking marijuana on the job. The union appointed magistrate determined there was not enough evidence to make a judgment. The millions who saw the video that went viral on the Internet did not come to the same conclusion. There was considerable evidence.
The present governor of Michigan now has the opportunity to appoint many new labor magistrates. http://workerscomplawyerhelp.com/workers-comp-lawyer-blog/tag/house-bill-5002/ Hopefully this will bring some balance, common sense, and fairness to the work place.