**Posted by Phineas
Forget the rule of law. This is rule by fist:
Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Tuesday he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into “civil war” after the state legislature passed right-to-work bills that would weaken unions’ power.
“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.”
The Republican-controlled state House passed two bills that had already been approved by the GOP-dominated state Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is poised to sign the bill, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues.
As thousands of protestors gathered at the state capitol on Tuesday, Hoffa called the legislation a “tremendous mistake” and “a monumental decision to make” by outgoing lawmakers in a lame duck session.
“What they’re doing is basically betraying democracy,” he told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “If there’s any question here, let’s put it on the ballot and let the people of Michigan decide what’s good for Michigan.”
Proponents of the legislation say it gives workers more freedom, while opponents say a less robust union presence will negatively affect workers’ rights. Hoffa also argued that those who don’t pay union dues will be considered “free riders,” as they’re getting the same benefits from union representation without the cost.
Hoffa pointed to Michigan’s recovering auto industry, saying the Wolverine State has bounced back from the recession without being a “right to work” state.
“This is basically a step backward,” he argued.
(CNN via Zero Hedge)
And if anyone knows about thuggery and violence, it’s a Hoffa.
What Jimmy Junior is saying here is, in a nutshell, that the duly-elected representatives of the people of Michigan, acting in accordance with their state’s constitution, have no right to amend the state’s labor laws. Even though there is strong evidence that the people have already spoken. Under the Hoffa theory of democracy, the mob has the vote and the veto, and he who has the biggest, most violent mob wins. The only debate that counts is “me” outshouting “you,” which means I win.
So, shut up or I’ll kill you.
Now, you’d think this attack on constitutionalism, the rule of law, and representative democracy would draw the united condemnation of the state’s legislators, who are sworn to uphold the US and Michigan constitutions.
“There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state.
“I really wish we had not gone here,” Geiss continued. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on election day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the 11th hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.”
This isn’t democracy or republicanism: it’s mob rule. It’s extortion — “Nice state you have there. Shame if something happened to it.” It’s intimidation, using the threat of violence to impose their will. Now, where have I seen this before?
We know why they’re doing this, of course. It’s not because the union leadership and their Democratic allies are worried about workers’ wages and working conditions: right to work states have been shown to have slightly higher wages and better job choices. And most if not all states have workplace safety and worker’s compensation laws on the books. It’s not as if right-to-work will mean a return to a dime-a-day and child labor. They would still have the right, as every worker should, to form a union and press for collective bargaining. And they still would have the right to withhold their labor should conditions not be satisfactory.
No, what the union bosses and their politician allies are frightened of is the prospect of losing the millions they collected in forced exactions (dues) from their members, money which is then funneled to pliant politicians in the form of campaign contributions and other political spending, in return for laws benefiting the unions at the expense of the taxpayers and regardless of the economic consequences to the state.
They fear the end of their kickback racket.
Whatever the noble origins and ends of trade unionism, we’re seeing now the true face of the corruption that’s overtaken it. Faced with long-term decline, perhaps irreversible if left to the free market, they can only maintain their power in places where law compels membership and tribute.
Threaten that, and they promise blood.
RELATED: What is it with union goons and their hatred for Black small businessmen? First it was Kenneth Gladney, beaten by an SEIU mob in Missouri a few years ago, and now they’ve wrecked the business of Clint Tarver, who ran a hot dog cart outside the state capitol in Lansing. Shouldn’t be surprised I guess; unions have a long history (PDF) of racism. If you want to help Mr. Tarver rebuild his business, click here.
ALSO: Patterico on the Stalinist effort by the online Left to whitewash the violence in Lansing and blame the victim.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)