On the way home from work the other day, listening to our local hate talk radio station, WAAM, I had the distinct pleasure of hearing my friend, County Commissioner Andy LaBarre, called a ‘psychotic lame-brain fascist weenie clown’ by Ann Arbor’s own tea-partying, Michael Savage wannabe Thayrone X. It would seem that Thayrone was less than enthusiastic about Andy’s attempt to mitigate the local impact of Michigan recently passed anti-union legislation by renegotiating the county’s union contracts now, before right-to-work goes into effect. (Collective bargaining agreements in place prior to Michigan’s rollout of right-to-work would be exempted from the legislation.) Andy’s resolution, if passed, would direct the County Administrator and the Director of Human Resources, “to engage in expedited negotiations, as requested by the Unions, with the goal of reaching four year agreements to protect and extend each bargaining unit’s union security provisions, as well as enter into a Letter of Understanding separate from the existing collective bargaining agreements for a period of ten years.”
Here, for the 99.99% of local folks who don’t listen to Thayrone’s show, is the highly entertaining audio.
Fortunately for us, though, Thayrone has no power, and Andy’s resolution passed out of Wednesday’s Ways and Means committee with a 6 to 1 vote. So, it looks as though it will be passed at the next meeting of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners.
Here’s the resolution:
Whereas, on December 11th, 2012 Governor Rick Snyder signed “Right to Work” legislation passed in the lame duck session of the 96th session of the Michigan Legislature; legislation designed to weaken labor unions and their ability to serve their members; and
Whereas, Washtenaw County has long had a beneficial relationship with labor unions representing our county workforce, which assist in the provision of customer service to our citizens as union membership can lead to productive tenures for employees; and
Whereas, Washtenaw County has served as host to various labor conventions and training sessions for a collective thirty years with the EEI Union Training Programs; United Association Instructor Training Program; NJATC National Training Institute; Ironworkers Instructor Training Program; and others; and
Whereas, the annual positive economic impact of such events for the County is approximately $12 million; with 22,000 hotel room nights in Washtenaw County; representing 31% of the total rooms booked by the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; resulting in $2.3 million in spending at local restaurants and $3.5 million in spending on entertainment, recreation, shopping/retail, transportation at local businesses; and
Whereas, Washtenaw Community College serves a world leader in union training and has signed a new Training Agreement with Australia – UA of US, Canada and Australia; and
Whereas, both local and visiting Labor groups have made positive social impacts for Washtenaw County residents.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners formally condemns the passage of “Right to Work” legislation in the State of Michigan.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners seeks to notify all of its labor partners that it does not support the economic arguments for and assumed outcomes espoused of “Right to Work” proponents.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners calls on the Michigan Legislature to provide swift passage of SB 95 and SB 96, which would repeal “Right to Work.”
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners seeks to continue the long and successful partnerships the County, its businesses, organizations, and citizens have had with various labor organizations by re-affirming the value derived from these relationships.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners re-affirms its support for the rights of labor organizations and members to exercise their rights to the fullest possible extent;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners directs the County Administrator and the Director of Human Resources to engage in expedited negotiations, as requested by the Unions, with the goal of reaching four (4) year agreements to protect and extend each bargaining unit’s union security provisions, as well as enter into a Letter of Understanding separate from the existing collective bargaining agreements for a period of ten (10) years;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution shall be sent to the Washtenaw County delegation to the Michigan Legislature, the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and any and all labor groups deemed appropriate by staff.
Also, for what it’s worth, the easiest way to gain my respect, for those of you would would like it, is to be attacked by Thayrone.