MIFTW

Freedom To Work

It is the independence day weekend.

How fitting it would be to have some measure of freedom be re-declared and promoted.  On Wednesday July 6th 2011, it will be.

I am presenting this resolution to the Grand Traverse County board of commissioners for approval.  It is merely a declaration of belief that workers ought not be trapped into a scheme of having to pay for union representation if they do not feel represented in order to keep their job.  It is a statement that we as Michigan workers are truly free, and third party interests in our employment are subservient to OUR wishes, not the other way around.

This is the resolution I am offering:

Whereas , we agree with President John F. Kennedy’s executive order regarding federal employees, that all persons “should have the right, freely and without fear of penalty, to form, join, or assist a labor organization,” and of equal importance, “or to refrain from any such activity.”

Whereas , to ensure individual freedom of choice, we believe that no person should be compelled, as a condition of employment, to: (1) refrain from voluntary membership or financial support of a labor organization, or (2) become or remain a member of a labor organization, or (3) pay any dues, fees, or assessments to a labor organization.

Whereas , we believe that the freedom to choose regarding union membership or financial support is a civil right, and that job discrimination on the basis of union membership or non-membership or financial support or nonsupport should be prohibited by law.

Whereas , in addition to being a matter of individual freedom and civil rights, those states that have enacted laws prohibiting the threat of being discriminated against or fired based on union affiliation have experienced dramatically higher job creation and income growth, a benefit Michigan can no longer afford to do without.

Whereas , over the last decade, Michigan suffered the biggest loss of jobs of any state in the nation, while the top five states for the creation of new private sector jobs over that same time were all states that protect employees’ individual freedom of choice regarding union membership and financial support.

Whereas , according to the U.S. Census Bureau, two-thirds of the states which guarantee employees individual freedom to choose regarding union membership and support have higher per capita income than do the citizens of Michigan.

Whereas , over the last half-century, eight of the top ten states with the highest average annual growth in income were such voluntary unionism states, while Michigan ranked 50th among the states.

Whereas , when adjusted for taxes and the cost of living, families in voluntary unionism states have been found to have over $2,000 more disposable income each year than in states such as Michigan, where employees face the threat of being discriminated against and fired if they choose not to join or financially support a labor organization.

Whereas , we conclude that in addition to protecting our citizens’ individual freedom and civil rights, passage of a state law guaranteeing voluntary unionism and prohibiting job discrimination based on union affiliation will also dramatically improve Michigan’s ability to attract and create new jobs and thus stimulate our economy.

Therefore be it resolved , that the Grand Traverse County board of commissioners hereby calls on Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature, and specifically Senator Howard Walker and Representative Wayne Schmidt, to propose and enact an Employee Freedom To Work Act that will safeguard our individual freedom and civil rights by guaranteeing that all persons in Michigan have the right, freely and without fear of penalty, to form, join, or assist a labor organization, or to refrain from any such activity in order to to acquire, keep or maintain employment.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution shall be sent to Gov. Snyder, Sen. Walker, and Rep. Schmidt, and also to the boards of county commissioners of the other counties of the state, who we urge to join us in calling for the enactment of an Employee Freedom To Work Act for the people of Michigan.

Please join us on the 6th of July in the commission chambers at 7pm for the debate that surely will follow.