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Unions are good for economic recovery and growth

U.S. economic boom of 1950s followed greatest sustained union expansion in American history.

It is no accident that the prosperity and consumer boom of the 1950s – a period of unprecedented middle class expansion, broad business growth, increased home ownership, rising consumer spending, and the shared expectation that a college education was within the reach of everyone and that the lives of our children would be better than our own – followed the greatest sustained expansion of unionization in American history.
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Video: what Romney doesn’t get about unions

Why is Romney union-bashing in Michigan?

RomneyThe former Governor of Massachusetts is trying to stir up resentment in Michigan – he says it was “crony capitalism” that caused Obama to give the auto companies to the UAW. That’s right, it’s not that the government bought shares in companies that used that influx of capital to save jobs and turn record profits in 2011, Romney’s saying it was some kind of back room deal to thank campaign donors that made the President somehow bamboozle the Congress into saving those jobs.

Romney was fine when Congress bailed out Wall Street bankers with no strings attached, but says GM & Chrysler should have collapsed? Seriously, Governor? That’s your idea of economic policy as we struggled with the after effects of the mortgage-crisis caused by Wall Street that dragged us into recession?

I wonder what brand of car he drives?
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Some unions are getting better at the PR side of the equation. If you’re not familiar with John Nemos’s work for the MNA you need to check him out.

Originally posted on The Same Rowdy Crowd:

On the abortion issue, one group of advocates says “Right to Life,” the other side says “Pro-Choice” and the news media usually opts for the more neutral term, calling it a debate over “abortion rights,” or describing the protagonists as being “anti-abortion” and “pro-abortion rights.” Fair enough. On that issue, reporters have done a pretty good job of striking a balance on the language they use.

But on the top labor issue of the day, one side says “Right to Work,” the other side says “Right to Work for Less” or “union busting.” The media goes with “Right to Work.”

Pioneer Press headline: “Republicans set stage for right to work fight in Minnesota”
Star Tribune headline: “State Republicans launch right-to-work amendment”
MPR headline: “One on One: The Right to Work Amendment”

In other words, the news media is framing the issue exactly how pro-amendment spin savants want it framed.


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The Union Situation

What should be done about unions?

What have unions ever done for us?

  • Maternity leave
  • Sick leave
  • Weekends off
  • Overtime pay
  • Child Labor laws
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Workplace safety laws
  • Military leave
  • Paid holidays
The list goes on. If you want to read a longer list, not just the highlights, it’s been compiled by same people who brought that MoveOn video to our attention, the New Hampshire Labor News, for their recent article: “What Have American Unions Ever Done For Us?

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The 2 problems with “Right-to-Work” laws

Not paying union dues?
Better than the mythical free lunch, right?

According to Ron Klain, writing at, the tempting-sounding so-called “Right-to-Work Laws Won’t Bring Back Manufacturing.” Why? As Klain, a senior executive with a private investment firm, explains, “There are two problems with right-to-work laws as simple solutions for our manufacturing woes: They aren’t right and they don’t work.”

Don't buy Right-to-Work; it's a lie!Regardless of how you feel about unions, the unfairness of this legislation should offend you.

Klain uses a different metaphor than our favorite “Right to Work Out” explanation, but regardless of whether you think such legislation is aimed at undermining either unions or the desire of anyone to pay their fair share, the bottom line is Read the rest of this entry

So-called “Right-to-Work” has dangerous side-effects

Hidden behind the name “Right-to-Work” are some serious problems.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s “Kaiser State Health Facts” compiled by the Urban Institute and Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured estimates based on the Census reveal alarming facts about health care coverage. Currently 9.6% of Minnesotans do not have health insurance, compared to 16.6% uninsured in states that have enacted various “Right-to-Work” statutes.

So-called “Right to Work” is, of course, meant to mislead voters, and perhaps even politicians. Everybody has a right to work. Nobody is ever forced to join a union, let alone to pay dues. Labor law already requires unions to represent non-members who seek redress for grievances, etc. The name sounds great; the reality is a little more disturbing.
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Right to Work Out

Constitutional Amendment: Should MN become a “Right to Work Out” state?

Right to work out?What is a “Right-to-work-out” law?

A “Right to work out” law would prevent health clubs from forcing people to pay dues or membership fees to use the equipment, services, and facilities. Such laws would require gyms and health clubs to admit everybody, whether or not he or she pays a cent.

In other words, “right to work out” laws would allow everybody to get all the benefits of health club membership absolutely free! How cool is that?

Without a “Right-to-work-out” law, can I be forced to join a health club?

No. Membership is voluntary, like joining a union. Incidentally, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that no collective bargaining agreement can require anyone to join a union, either.

Look, you already have a “Right to work out,” Read the rest of this entry


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