Are Some Michigan Workers ‘More Equal’ Than Others?


Surely Big Labor Michigan state Rep. Robert Kosowski agrees with the overwhelming majority of Americans that the individual employee has a right to support a union financially without being fired as a consequence, regardless of what the employer or other employees think. Why, then, does Kosowski oppose equal protection for the individual employee who doesn’t want to support a union financially? Image:

Under the principles of limited government, public decisions are generally made by majority rule, but private decisions are not unless all parties affected by the decision agree to it. Preserving the ability of the individual to make personal decisions without being bound by others’ dictates was a key objective of our Founding Fathers when they forged the U.S. Constitution two-and-a-quarter centuries ago.

The overwhelming majority of American today want to preserve the liberties sought by our Founding Fathers.

For example, because a majority of the defendants in a criminal case choose to be represented by one attorney does not mean all the defendants have to be represented by that lawyer. If a majority of the businesses in a community join and pay dues to the local chamber of commerce does not mean that all local businesses must support it financially.

Right to Work foes want this unique exception to the principle that private parties who refuse to consent in group decision-making can’t be bound by the decisions of the group.

Just like many other Americans, Right to Work foes endorse the provisions of federal law and every state law that protect the worker’s individual right to join and bankroll a union, even if a majority of his or her fellow employees don’t want one.

However, unlike the vast majority of Americans, Right to Work foes oppose equal protection for the individual employee who doesn’t want a union. His or her right not to pay dues or fees to an unwanted union must hinge on what other employees think, they insist.

To paraphrase George Orwell’s Animal Farm, they believe some workers are “more equal” than others.

Take, for example, Big Labor Michigan state Rep. Robert Kosowski (D-Westland).

Late last month, Kosowski introduced two measures that would gut the Wolverine State’s Right to Work law by making it permissible to fire an employee for refusing to pay money to a union he or she would never join financially — as long as a majority of the employees in a “bargaining unit,” or a supermajority of those voting in an “election” over the imposition of a forced-dues regime, side with Big Labor.

It would be shocking if a union-friendly politician like Kosowski didn’t regard the individual worker’s freedom to join and bankroll a union as a right that must be, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson famously put it in his 1943 Barnette v. West Virginia Board of Education opinion, “beyond the reach of majorities and officials.”

At the same time, Kosowski wants to make individual employees’ ability to withhold financial support for a union they haven’t joined contingent on the opinions of union members.

The only plausible explanation for Kosowski’s selective advocacy of tyranny of the majority is that he cares only about what’s good for union bosses, and not a whit about what’s best for employees.

Michigan Legislature – House Bill 5398 (2016)Michigan Legislature – House Bill 5399 (2016)