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December 13, 2012

How Republicans Engineered a Big Blow to Unions

"From outside Michigan Republican circles, it appeared that the Republican drive to weaken unions came out of the blue - proposed, passed and signed in a mere six days."

But Reuters reports the transformation had been in the making since March 2011 when two state senators "first seriously considered legislation to ban mandatory collection of union dues as a condition of employment in Michigan... The upstarts were flirting with the once unthinkable, limiting union rights in a state that is the home of the heavily unionized U.S. auto industry and the birthplace of the nation's richest union, the United Auto Workers. For many Americans, Michigan is the state that defines organized labor."

"But in a convergence of methodical planning and patient alliance building -- the 'systematic approach' -- the reformers were on a roll, one that establishment Michigan Republicans came to embrace and promised to bankroll. Republicans executed a plan -- the timing, the language of the bills, the media strategy, and perhaps most importantly, the behind-the-scenes lobbying of top Republicans" including Gov. Rick Snyder (R).


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