Far from the Final Defeat in Michigan
prospect.org — Now that Michigan, with its symbolic power as the home of the United Auto Workers, has become a right-to-work state, what’s next for workers concerned about fair wages and fair working conditions? What is the long view of organizers here? Those I spoke with say there is no substitute for votes. But how to keep voters motivated when the next major election is nearly two years out? Coalition building is the other major strategy for Michigan organizers. This week’s right-to-work protests brought diverse activists and citizens together in an all-too-rare way. That collective power needs to be carried forward for exponential political influence. Building union membership to help mitigate the threat of devastation from right-to-work, which will go into effect in April. Free riders who don’t pay union dues but get the benefits of labor wins are a real problem that won’t go away with an uptick in membership. But more workers who are aware of their stake in collective bargaining, the better.