Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) Being Sued Over Assault On Collective Bargaining

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State Sen. Coleman Young (D) takes on Gov. Rick Snyder over his assault on collective bargaining rights in Michigan.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan is being sued in federal court over the so-called Fair and Open Competition in Government Contracting Act which banned the use of project labor agreements in any construction projects paid for by the state. The lawsuit was initiated by the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council and Genesee, Lapeer, Shiawassee Building and Construction Trades Council.

"The enactment of 2011 P.A. 98 has substantially and severely impaired PLAs to which plaintiffs are currently parties by rendering those PLAs null and void with respect to work contracted after the law's effective date," according to the complaint...

"The prohibition in 2011 P.A. 98 against employees in the construction industry seeking to negotiate and implement project labor agreements and other pre-hire agreements through their bargaining representatives for use on public works projects in the state of Michigan also constitutes impermissible state interference with the 'free play of economic forces' that Congress intended to govern construction industry labor relations," the complaint states.

Project labor agreements are collective bargaining compacts connected to specific jobs that lay out the basic guidelines of how employment on the particular project is to work. PLAs have a long, successful history across the United States but are currently under heavy attack from conservatives seeking to undermine unions and workers. Snyder's ban on PLAs is part of a growing assault on the agreements that is popping up in a number of states.

The lawsuit charges that Snyder's anti-union law violates both the U.S. Constitution and the National Labor Relations Act.


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