House committee passes more anti-union bills--Call your state representative!

On a party line vote, the House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee passed on Tuesday House Bills 5023-5026, a package of anti-union bills meant to curtail the powers of labor unions:

  • HB 5023--fines striking public employees one day's pay and their union $5,000 for each day of the strike, expanding the penalties beyond the current rules that only apply to public school employees.

  • HB 5024--sets fines and restrictions on members and their unions for mass picketing.

  • HB 5025--requires an employee's annual written authorization to have their union dues deducted from their paycheck by employers.

  • HB 5026--eliminates the prohibition against employers advertising for strike breakers.

The most draconian of these bills, HB 5025, even drew opposition from the Michigan Association of School Boards. MASB lobbyist Peter Spadafore testified against that bill, saying that payroll deductions are bargained in contracts, and requiring an annual check-off goes around the process that is already in place.

During testimony, the roomful of union supporters changed Committee Chair Tim McMillin’s (R-Rochester) mind about disallowing committee member questions after testimony from union representatives. Audience protests gave committee member Rep. Tim Bledsoe (D-Grosse Pointe) the opportunity to ask his question.

These bills now go to the full state House for consideration. Contact your state representative today and tell him or her to stop these attacks on your rights as a union member and start focusing on putting more people back to work. These bills are an attempt to legislate problems that don't really exist and impose stricter punishment when there already are significant consequences for an action. It's just another round of attacks on unions and the middle class families we represent.