‘Union Thugs,’ ‘Employee Freedom,’ and Conservative Lies

union thugs

(By NCrissie B)

I hope the proverbial cooler heads will prevail in Michigan, as the right-wing media are eager to tell tales of “union thugs” who take away “employee freedom.”

Take Steven Crowder, a contributor to the conservative Dana Loesch Radio Show, who went to the union protests against Michigan’s right to work Freedom to Freeload law with a camera crew in tow, looking to provoke a fight. And he got one:

There was also come clever editing. At about 35 seconds into the video, Crowder is arguing with his hands raised. At 39 seconds there’s an abrupt shift in the camera angle to show a union member throwing a punch. The effect suggests the Crowder was still standing there with his hands raised when the union man started swinging, but we don’t know because of course we can’t see what was cut out during that shift in camera angles. Maybe the unedited footage would spoil the conservative meme of “union thugs.”

This isn’t a new meme. Business supporters have a long history of provoking or even carrying out violence and then blaming unions. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation – a corporate-funded union-busting group – calls union representation contracts “a classic mafia enterprise: the protection racket.”

Of course, they’re all about “freedom to work without coercion,” says Michelle Malkin.

That clever lie ignores the existing federal law that says no one can be forced to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment:

Right-to-work laws do not, as one might think, confer any sort of right to a job. Nor do they have anything to do with people being forced to join a union or pay dues for political causes they do not support. Federal law already guarantees that no one can be forced to join a union, and no one can be required to pay union dues that fund political causes they oppose.

What is permitted under federal law is for a group of employees to propose – and if their employer agrees, to write into a contract – that all employees who benefit from the terms of a union contract are required to pay their fair share of the costs of administering that contract. Right-to-work laws make it illegal for employees and employers to negotiate such a contract.

In other words, the new Michigan law allows non-union members earn union wages and union benefits and use union arbitration to settle disputes with the boss, without contributing anything to support the union that negotiated those wages, benefits, and arbitration rights. It’s a Freedom to Freeload law, and its intent is to starve unions of members and money until the unions disappear entirely:

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So if this isn’t really about worker’s rights, what is it about? Allahpundit at the conservative HotAir lets the real agenda slip here:

It’s a tough choice, and I sympathize with the unions, but the fact is that in the global economy where you have to compete on wages and other elements, of the units of production, you can you either have, you know, high wages with low employment or you can, as Obama would say, spread around the wealth.

That is, you can “spread around the wealth” of hardworking families. When it comes to tax increases for billionaires and big corporations, Allahpundit writes in another article, that’s “squeezing the rich.”

So this is really all about making hardworking families poorer so the rich can get richer. No wonder union leader James Hoffa predicted “a civil war.”

Needless to say, conservatives are outraged by that phrase. Not so much about blogger Ace of Spades’ reply: “I would advise conservatives – don’t retreat, reload.”

Like I said, I hope cooler heads prevail and the rhetoric is toned down. But if Republicans continue helping billionaires and big corporations prey on hardworking families … at some point, even squirrels will fight to protect their kids.

(Crossposted from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute (BPICampus.com))

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