So it looks like one of the big stories right now is the fact that Michigan is going to be the 24th state to pass a "right-to-work" law. If you're unclear about what "right-to-work" means, it goes to the heart of something I've bitched about before on this blog.
As with most issues, it is, at it's core, a fight between individual liberty and statism. "Right to work" laws are all about individual liberty and freedom of choice so it should come as no surprise that Obama and the Left / Liberals / Socialists / Leftists / Progressives / whatever you want to call them have come out stauchly opposed to "right to work" legislation.
Obama and his band of statists naturally frame right to work as a ploy by Republicans to weakrn unions and destroy the ability of workers to engage in collective bargaining. Bullshit. Right to work laws don't change collective bargaining rules at all. What they do is make it harder for unions to hold power because they give individuals something that leftists like President Obama abhor. Free choice. Oh the horror!
Here's what Obama had to say,
"Right to work laws have nothing to do with economics, and everything to do with politics....We should do everything we can to keep creating good middle-class jobs that help folks rebuild security for their families... What we shouldn't be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions...What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."
In a non Right-to-work state, like Delaware, if you become employed by a business that has a union you can be compelled to pay dues to that union. So, if a business has both union and non-union employees the union can force those non-unionized employees to cough up money for "dues." How in the hell that was legal in the first place is beyond me?
Furthermore, in a non Right-to-work state you can be compelled to join a union as a condition of employment. I've written about this before, as my part time jobs in college required that I do this. I was working part time a few months out of the year and I had to join a union so I could push grocery carts in the winter. If you accepted employment you had to join the union. It wasn't optional, and it is one of the single biggest reasons why I have such disdain for unions today. Hell, when I worked at the deli I had to join TWO unions, the grocery union and the meatworkers union. Two unions, two union dues for a crappy part-time job.
Freedom of association necessarily means the freedom to choose NOT to associate with a specific group. Unions requiring employees to be members, whether they want to or not, and requiring non-members to pay them dues is authoritarian thuggery. If the unions can not exist without compulsory extraction of money from workers, then they need not exist. Period. This becomes an even bigger issue when you consider just how political (and leftist) unions are. Why should a person be compelled to monetarily support an organization which advocates for and donates to politicians who do not respect that persons rights or with whom that person fundamentally disagrees?
If you want to join a union and pay them money more power to you. I'm all for you having that choice. The problem occurs when you want to make that same choice for others. That said, such action is completely expected, given that these are liberal Dems and President Obama we're talking about. I'm chuckling a bit thinking of the uproar that anti-gun liberals would have if they were required by their employer to have money withheld from their paychecks to be donated to the NRA-ILA.
Updated to add video of Obama's asinine comments