On Labor Day 2015, Gov. Rick Snyder is leading the Mackinac Bridge Walk, as he has done since taking office in 2011. Labor Day is a statutory holiday enacted by the federal government and all 50 states to honor workers.
According to the Department of Labor:
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
However, Gov. Snyder’s march across the Bridge is not to honor Michigan workers, it is a victory lap in his campaign against the advancement of those who work for a living. On December 11, 2012, Gov. Snyder signed The Employee Free Choice Act (TEFCA), which prohibits the “union shop,” where employment is conditioned on the payment of union dues. This was his crowning achievement in the fight against workers’ rights. Although he has not followed up the enactment of TEFCA with further anti-labor laws, his administration has done little to encourage higher wages for hourly workers. Furthermore, signing TEFCA would be a difficult act to top.
The United States and Michigan have experienced more than three decades of wage stagnation. This Labor Day is an opportunity to reflect on the sad state of the American worker and labor organizations. This coming year we need to elect candidates who will promote workers’ rights and fight for pay equity between the workers and the executives whose compensation they generate. Most corporate executives who take home eight- and nine-figure compensation packages show little regard for the employees whose efforts produce the corporate revenue. For more discussion, see “Labor Day Rant” from 2011.
John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2015 John B. Payne, Attorney