Give us your money or lose everything! I wonder if Republicans used to be bank robbers in a past life.

Why do I suspect that workers will make significant concessions – and end up losing their collective bargaining rights, anyway? Because that’s how Republicans roll!

Michigan’s new Emergency Manager Law is already forcing major concessions from unions. The law gives the governor the power to declare a city insolvent and appoint an emergency manager with virtually unlimited power to reorganize every aspect of city business, including dissolving the city entirely. The emergency manager even has the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements.

As a result of these expanded new powers, public employees unions in some Michigan municipalities are already making large preemptive concessions to keep their cities from tripping any of the “triggers” in the new law that might give the governor an opening to send in a union-bustingemergency manager, Eartha Jane Melzer reports in the Michigan Messenger.

In Flint, the firefighters’ union agreed to increase contributions to health insurance and give up holiday pay and night shift differentials. Flint Firefighters Union President Raul Garcia told the Wall Street Journal that these concessions were driven by fear of a state takeover of Flint. “I would rather give concessions that I would like than have an [emergency financial manager] or something of that magnitude come in and say this is what you are going to do,” Garcia said.

The new law also gives the Emergency Manager the power to privatize prisons, Melzer notes.

2 thoughts on “Michigan

  1. The emergency manager even has the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements.

    but that power is probably unconstitutional under the contracts clause of the constitution (Article I, Section 10, Clause 1) that prohibits states from passing any law that “impair[es] the Obligation of Contracts”. the rule is that states can put restrictions on new contracts going forward, but they can’t alter a contract mid-term, unless of course the other party (the union in this case) consents to the change.

  2. counting on constitutional protections for ordinary people is just SO endearingly naive in this era of the Roberts court.

    I’m sure that Roberts, Alito, and their accomplices will come up with some semi-plausible, if insanely convoluted, simulacrum of legal “reasoning” that justifies tossing those contracts the GOP doesn’t like.

    That’s why they were appointed, after all.

    Why yes, I do hold them in utter contempt, why do you ask?

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