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Michigan's working families, fed up with an assault that has more than 80 bills currently before the legislature that would strip their rights, will soon start collecting signatures to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would protect those rights from legislative overreach. From attempts to ban collective bargaining for government workers to criminalizing strikes and other forms of protest, most of the proposed bills come from conservative Republicans, but even a few Democrats — Reps. Douglas Geiss, Tim Melton, and Fred Durhal J. — have signed on to the anti-worker agenda.
Michigan citizens from all backgrounds who work hard and play by the rules are joining together and taking a stand.
For more than a year, Lansing politicians and corporate special interests have made one attack after another on Michigan workers: cutting middle-class families’ wages, health care benefits, retirement security and safety protections.
These political attacks on basic collective bargaining rights have done nothing to put Michiganders back to work. Instead, all they’ve done is hurt middle-class families, small businesses and local communities.
Enough is enough.
Citizens from across Michigan will soon begin collecting signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that will enshrine into our state Constitution the basic right of every worker to collectively bargain.
Collective bargaining gives all workers a voice and the ability to come together to negotiate a fair contract. Without these protections, rich CEOs can arbitrarily fire workers and outsource jobs to countries like China and Mexico.
The text of the amendment:
The proposal would add a new Section 28 to Article I of the State Constitution, as follows: (1) The people shall have the rights to organize together to form, join or assist labor organizations, and to bargain collectively with a public or private employer through an exclusive representative of the employees' choosing, to the fullest extent not preempted by the laws of the United States.
(2) As used in subsection (1), to bargain collectively is to perform the mutual obligation of the employer and the exclusive representative of the employees to negotiate in good faith regarding wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and to execute and comply with any agreement reached; but this obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or make a concession.
(3) No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall abridge, impair or limit the foregoing rights; provided that the State may prohibit or restrict strikes by employees of the State and its political subdivisions. The legislature's exercise of its power to enact laws relative to the hours and conditions of employment shall not abridge, impair or limit the right to collectively bargain for wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment that exceed minimum levels established by the legislature.
(4) No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall impair, restrict or limit the negotiation and enforcement of any collectively bargained agreement with a public or private employer respecting financial support by employees of their collective bargaining representative according to the terms of that agreement.
(5) For purposes of this Section, "employee" means a person who works for any employer for compensation, and "employer" means a person or entity employing one or more employees.
(6) This section and each part thereof shall be self executing. If any part of this section is found to be in conflict with or preempted by the United States Constitution or federal law, such part shall be severable from the remainder of this section, and such part and the remainder of this section shall be effective to the fullest extent that the United States Constitution and federal law permit.
The proposal would add the following to Article XI, Section 5 of the State Constitution: Classified state civil service employees shall, through their exclusive representative, have the right to bargain collectively with their employer concerning conditions of their employment, compensation, hours, working conditions, retirement, pensions, and other aspects of employment except promotions, which will be determined by competitive examination and performance on the basis of merit, efficiency and fitness.
Supporters of the amendment can sign up to volunteer to help out the campaign.