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Editorial: Collective bargaining ballot proposal doesn’t make sense

June 14, 2012
The Alpena News

Why?

It appears this week an initiative to rewrite Michigan's Constitution to include collective bargaining rights for workers will appear on the November ballot.

More than enough petition signatures were turned in and after review and verification, the measure likely will pass muster and be placed on the fall ballot.

Our question this morning is "why?"

If Michigan seriously was facing a right-to-work movement, like other Midwest states, then perhaps it would have more merit. However, it isn't. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has said numerous times, in numerous ways, right-to-work legislation was not on his radar screen.

And, just last year in November state voters rejected a constitutional convention to examine and revamp the constitution. If voters then thought the constitution was OK as is, why look now at changes to it?

The whole collective bargaining/right-to-work issue is contentious and divisive. It is not going to sit well with the electorate, who will quickly grow tired of the "he said/she said" ads that both sides will run.

And, there is an inherent flaw in the logic of bringing the issue before voters now.

We believe most state residents are fine with things just the way they are today. They appreciate the history of the labor movement in Michigan and the business environment in the state, yet they also understand the world today is vastly different than it was 50-75 years ago. We believe in most instances union and non-union neighbors can co-exist peacefully, respecting each other.

By forcing voters to choose one side or the other, that harmony is disrupted. Neighbors now have to choose sides.

Given the mood of the Midwest, we're not sure which way voters will go.

"Be careful what you ask for" would seem appropriate to point out in this instance. Honestly, we're not sure this ballot proponents have thought through the consequences should voters reject the issue.

 
 

 

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