Meanwhile In Lansing, Michigan...

Tyler Durden's picture

Hours ago, the US labor union movement was dealt another crushing blow (the most recent being the recent liquidation of Hostess which left thousands of workers cold and unemployed just in time for Thanksgiving) when the Michigan legislature gave final approval to "right-to-work" restrictions on public sector unions in a state considered a stronghold of organized labor. In the meantime, over 10,000 protesters had gathered outside the legislature, chanted in the gallery, and generally expressed their displeasure quite vocally with this development that further set back labor in its endless fight against capital. As Reuters reports, "the House passed the measure making membership and payment of union dues voluntary for public sector employees such as teachers by a 58-51 vote.  The only government workers excluded would be police and fire unions. The Senate approved the same bill last week so it will now go to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who has promised to sign it into law."

Incidentally, these same workers would be better advised to direct their anger at Chairman Bernanke who has done everything in his power in the past several years to shift the balance of power far more in benefit of capital courtesy of ZIRP and zero cost of capital, which allows companies to cut as many workers as needed in order to pursue the almight bottom line dollar, while extracting unprecedented productivity gains out of those still employed, as workers no longer can fall back on savings and are forced to accept any labor conditions in a New Normal world in which living paycheck to paycheck is becoming the norm for most, and thus giving employers all the leverage.

But that is a philosophical debate for a different place. But for now, here are two short clips to serve as a harbinger of what may and most likely will happen in the US as labor unions are stripped of even more power in the coming months and years, showcasing their reluctance to go gentle into that good night. This is how close the US is from violence at any one moment.

Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt this time.

Has the Syntagma riotcam finally crossed the Atlantic?

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CH1's picture

That logic eludes me.

Probably union trolls.

MisterMousePotato's picture

It's called the Hegelian dialectic. Are you for the spotted owl or do you like trees? Etc.

1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Easy now Union boy, I know it hurts but you know you are overpaid and lazy to boot, I have had to deal with your whiney asses several times you shall recieve what you got coming. just face it like a man..

GubbermintWorker's picture

What? They won't get their gold plated retirements complete with health care ad infinatum? 


The horror.

klockwerks's picture

HG, I think you might be the idiot. How do you go from unions to bankers. Sorry loser, no connection

Cathartes Aura's picture


Alameda firefighters could not even go into the water to get the body, so they waited until a woman in her 20s volunteered to bring the body back to the beach.

"The frustration is certainly understandable and I think the sensibility would be probably that we're going to evaluate our response protocols," Zombeck said.

and when you're done with that, evaluate your fucking humanity.

"Zombeck"  can't make this shit up. . .

Papasmurf's picture

Right.  But WTF does AFP have to do with that?  Why is AFP there with a tent?  I see Koch hoof prints.

waterhorse's picture

hoof prints of the cloven variety?

NidStyles's picture

The problem is that they are the same side only different capitalization levels.

fonzannoon's picture

It's the easiest call in the world. Don't choose.

Sauk Leader's picture

Union bosses are just as greedy as execs. Would this law allow non-union members to opt out of paying into an unfunded pension system that the union bosses take huge pensions without paying a nickel into?

Dapper Dan's picture

Remember this?

No label on this hall / Non-union construction workers used to cut costs on new Teamsters building L.M. SIXEL Staff SAT 08/10/2002 Houston Chronicle, Section A, Page 01, 3 STAR Edition

Teamsters Union 988 is holding the grand opening this weekend for its new union hall, which is expected to feature Teamsters President James P. Hoffa.

But it has become a sour moment for other labor leaders because the Teamsters didn't use union construction workers. They were told by the Teamsters that union contractors cost too much.

"No one is happy about it," said Paul Dunnam, organizer of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 716.

dbTX's picture

Divided States: I don't consider this a close call, The union movement has hamstrung the states, it's now time to insure your job security and wage level by the work you are willing to individually perform.

AldoHux_IV's picture

That's the whole problem with America, we (read most Americans both left and right) don't know who or what to be mad about and effect change in, but we have every right to be mad about the system and want to effect change.  Where we will get stuck and fall along the way to truly fixing things are instances like this where both sides are wrong and there's no mechanism to move in the right direction because each side is steadfast onto things they feel entitled to.  Generally speaking most things are pretty fucked from the beginning when you look at it from a one side vs another.

exi1ed0ne's picture

I usually lean toward the option that increases an individuals options.  In this case, it reinstates the ability of someone to NOT associate, which previoulsy had been a condition of employment.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

"I honestly dont know whose side I would support on this..."

I understand where you're coming from on this one. The corruption runs so deep through so many sectors of our society anymore that it's easy to give up on about all it.

However, I have to admit that the schmarmy fucker in the leather jacket got exactly what he deserved. Well, not quite as the puncher didn't know how to land a good one. I know, I know, free speech and all that crap, but I also know you union-hating conservativrs would say the same thing if a peace advocate got punched out at a pro-war rally for acting in the same manner as this arrogant ass. There's free speech and there's common sense it's usually best to use both.

otto skorzeny's picture

I see tha sacred cops and firefighters are left out of this muck like they were in WI. can't have the Praetorian guard pissed off- they might go on strike against writing speeding tickets and getting cats down out of trees.

akak's picture

Oh, but we have to do EVERYTHING possible for the "heroes"!


PS: It used to be that one was not automatically a "hero" just for doing the job that they were paid (extremely well) to do.

otto skorzeny's picture

thank the media(4th branch of govt) and 9/11

Esso's picture

God, I love ZH. It seems to be the last bastion of sanity in an insane world.

I suppose that means it will have to be destroyed.

Vendetta's picture

You noticed that 'little' detail too?  Don't firefighters and cops want the grand FREEDOM of being able to choose whether to be in a union or not?  The real meaning doesn't escape me but apparently is lost on many.

LongBalls's picture

As we learned in Greece. If you work for the government and carry a gun/riot control arms, your pensions and rights will be stepped on last. Remember that policemen. What they use you to enforce, will be enforced on you in due time. I am not a fan of unions but I am a fan of low wages, crappy benefits, and poor work enviornments even less. The subject of unions is a tough one. If management would pay and care for their workforce instead of pocketing the collective profits and if labor would not hold management hostage for the same we would have balance. I guess the major issue when it comes to unions is their right to hold the tax payer hostage. That is B.S. But who cares.......we are circling the drain no matter what.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

it is so fitting....Fight Club is coming on on IFC....think I'll watch....and prepare.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The fear of unions by the monied men were the reason that corporations were formed.

Ineverslice's picture


one step closer to the mattresses, Consigliare....and make sure they're clean.

LawsofPhysics's picture

correct.  moreover, remind me, what percentage of America's workers are unionized today?  Less than 7% or something.  How many are working part-time or "under the table"?  Sorry, I just don't see those few remaining teachers unions getting too violent.  Fuck the monied men, they are destroying their own wealth by destroying reasonable unions leaving violence the only option as well as destroying the currency of their neighbors (who may actually know how to make shit), then the very "money" these "monied" men has becomes worthless.  Good plan morons.

I remain long black markets and any asset that can not be devalued by paper-pushers and their banking/corporate masters.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

I might agree with you, if we get rid of government unions.  They aren't working for "monied men" or corporations.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Again, get some facts about how many state and federal government workers are in fact unionized with a right to strike at any time realtive to the total population of state and federal workers or those working as a contractor.

Regarding your last comment, are you suggesting that federal employees (government workers) are not working for the "monied men"?!?!?

LMFAO!!!    The monied men own your representation dipshit.  They bought it via K-street quite some time ago.  Fucking halarious.

Uncle Remus's picture

"destroying reasonable unions"


1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Reasonable Unions? I have not had the pleasure to come across one..

CH1's picture

Reasonable Unions? I have not had the pleasure to come across one.

Nor have I, and I've known many.

CH1's picture

The fear of unions by the monied men were the reason that corporations were formed.

That was really stupid, Hendrix. I KNOW you can do better than that.

Vashta Nerada's picture

Pinkerton must be rolling over in his grave to see union violence not responded to appropriately.

JKearney3153's picture

i miss the good ol' days where big corporations were balanced by big Unions and big gov't

bobthehorse's picture

I believe in unions.

Does that make me a filthy communist?

Or am I a dirty socialist?

Unions protect workers. 

The last thing I want is to slave away for nothing like a China man.

redpill's picture

Wrong, unions protect unions.  They protect their own infrastructure.  If you don't think they squash workers without a second thought along the way to meet their own long-term goals you have your head in the sand.

Conceptually there is nothing wrong with collective bargaining, for many industries it would be to the workers' advantage as long as that relationship is held in check by a very real possibility that their group could get busted if their demands become too unreasonable.  The problem is that when it becomes mandated, promoted and protected by federal law, it immediately yields corruption, not worker protection.  It destroys industries, it doesn't save them.

Cursive's picture


It's time everyone stop the in-fighting and focus the attention squarely where it belongs:  on the banking elite (the proverbial hand) and the political class (the proverbial glove).  Replace "unions" with "bankers" and then re-read what you wrote.  The root problem is not the unions, they are only a symptom of easy money policies.  The root problem is the Federal Reserve, allowing a private institutional to control our money supply, fractional reserve lending and the political class that promotes this. 

fonzannoon's picture

Cursive the Bankers and the Unions are both infected. It does not matter how at this point. They both need to be amputated.

JKearney3153's picture

amputated? completely annihilated? revolution or evolution? They both piss me off like no other, but where would we be without Unions in the 1930's 40's and 50's? Bernankers, though? Different story. I suggest we go Big Brother on THEM and completely eliminate them from history

Cursive's picture


The hard unions are and will be amputated.  There is a big difference between teamsters/UAW on one hand and SEIU on the other.  The government unions, the service unions, will be the last to go.  But, the social reset does not happen if the rent seeking bankers are allowed to continue to suck the life blood from the citizenry.

samsara's picture

Cursive,  Big Up Vote

Yes,  Let's (bankers talking)  find a new divide and conquer to keep them fighting amongst themselves.

Gay/Straight is not being effective enough anymore,,,,    Let's go with Union/Non-Union.  We can keep'm fighting each other for another few years while we Continue to rob both of them. 

Joe,  Get some colorful news feed,  get some presstitutes to rev this one up.  Show them distroying property,  Then show them smoking pot before burning a building down....  Something like that there.



redpill's picture

The merger of large unions and government is no less corrupt than the merger of large banks with government.  They extract their pound(s) of flesh in different ways, but they are variations of the same disease.

Papasmurf's picture

All three are taxing authorities and exist only for that purpose.