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Sunday, December 27, 2009 1:57 PM

Michigan Forces Business Owners Into Public Sector Unions; Detroit's Aura of Hopelessness

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Not satisfied with wrecking the auto sector and most of the state itself, unions and the state of Michigan conspired to force small business owners into unions the businesses want no part of and did not even vote for.

Disgusted minds are reading how Michigan Forces Business Owners Into Public Sector Unions.

Michelle Berry runs a private day-care service from her home on the outskirts of this city, the birthplace of General Motors. "The Berry Patch," as she calls the service, features overstuffed purple gorillas, giant cartoon murals, and a playroom covered in Astroturf. Her clients are mostly low-income parents who need child care to keep their jobs in a city that now has a 26% unemployment rate.

Ms. Berry owns her own business—yet the Michigan Department of Human Services claims she is a government employee and union member. The agency thus withholds union dues from the child-care subsidies it sends to her on behalf of her low-income clients. Those dues are funneled to a public-employee union that claims to represent her. The situation is crazy—and it's happening elsewhere in the country.

A year ago in December, Ms. Berry and more than 40,000 other home-based day care providers statewide were suddenly informed they were members of Child Care Providers Together Michigan—a union created in 2006 by the United Auto Workers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union had won a certification election conducted by mail under the auspices of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. In that election only 6,000 day-care providers voted. The pro-labor vote turned out.

Many of the state's other 34,000 day-care providers never even realized what was going on. Ms. Berry tells us she was "shocked" to find out she was suddenly in a union. The real dirty work, however, had been done when the state created an "employer" for the union to "organize" against.

Of course, Michigan's independent day-care providers don't work for anybody except the parents who were their customers. Nevertheless, because some of these parents qualified for public subsidies, the Child Care Providers "union" claimed the providers were "public employees."

Michigan's Department of Human Services then teamed with Flint-based Mott Community College to sign an "interlocal agreement" in 2006 establishing a separate government agency called the Michigan Home Based Child Care Council. This council was directed to recommend good child-care practices—and not coincidentally, to serve as a "public employer." Although the council had almost no staff, no control over the state subsidies and no supervision of the providers' daily activities, it became the shell corporation against which the union could organize.

Thus the state created an ersatz employer and an ersatz "bargaining unit" against which what was essentially an ersatz union could organize.

Today the Department of Human Services siphons about $3.7 million in annual dues to the union—from the child-care subsidies. The money should be going to home-based day-care providers—themselves not on the high end of the income scale. Ms. Berry now sees money once paid to her go to a union that does little for her. She says she is "self employed and wants nothing to do with the union."

Shielded from market pressures, public employee unions have driven up taxpayer costs for decades. Now labor leaders are shanghaiing entrepreneurs such as Ms. Berry and Ms. Loar into government unions because their clients receive government aid. Who will be next? Grocers? Landlords? Doctors?
Detroit's Model City

Detrioit set out to create a "Model City". Instead it created a nightmare as the following video shows.

Detroit did not create a model city, but did succeed in creating an entirely state dependent city.

UAW rules and job banks destroyed the auto sector. Of course management incompetence helped. Until the bitter end, concessions are seldom if ever part of union vocabulary, and the unions had the most luxurious health care coverage on the entire planet. Eventually the scheme went bankrupt as it was guaranteed to do.

Education Facts

  • Detroit students receive on average $11,100 per student. The national average is $9600. Yet Detroit students have a graduation rate of 25%.
  • Detroit students have a greater chance of ending up in prison than graduating high school.
  • Teachers fight merit pay as they do nearly everywhere else. It is difficult to get rid of a teacher with tenure no matter what the teacher does.

Snips From The Video

Steven Crowder Asks ....
Why would unions make concessions if the government continually bails them out?
And why wouldn't the government keep bailing them out when it is the unions who elect them?

You might be wondering why I've shown you this. Why is it necessary for you to see a once great city brought to its knees by government bureaucracies and powerful unions?

And to you I would ask. Look at the current administration's promises to the American people and compare them to the promises corrupt Detroit politicians over the last 50 years. They are nearly identical.

Detroit is the perfect laboratory for leftist policies at work for nearly half a century. When you continue to remove free market principles that have made this country great and you continue to create a state dependent society this is very well what America could look like in a very short amount of time.
Michigan's Cycle of Decay

  • UAW runs auto companies into the ground
  • Teachers run education system into the ground
  • Good people leave
  • Poverty rise and so does crime

Instead of discarding what is guaranteed proven not to work, the state of Michigan is hellbent on destroying what little good remains.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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