The rhetoric is getting a bit thick over the "right-to-work" bill. I'm not sure if I am missing something here; all that is being proposed is that folks don't have to belong to a union if the place they're at has one. It doesn't ban unions or keep them from organizing.
Here's some choice words hurled at the Tough Nerd-
“OMG, Indiana’s screwing its workers, so Michigan has to do the same right now!” he snarked last week. “This is very literally a “race to the bottom” if ever there has been one.”
I've lived in right-to-work states and have lived in closed-shop states; I've actually done better in the former. About the only folks that will get "screwed" are union HQ staff; if dues get trimmed, marginal staff and marginal projects will get trimmed. The core functions of representing workers and handling grievances will likely be the last to go, with the first things to go being political activities and organizing outreach.
However, it's those exact folks who might get laid-off in a streamlined union are the ones who are manning the phones and the tweet-decks calling on their media friends to go to bat for them.
I'm not sure what percentage of workers will opt not to join their union if given a free choice. I'm guessing somewhere between 10% to 20%; if it is much more than that, we're starting to get to a point where decertification is a possibility, for if 51% of the workers don't want to be part of the union, they could kick them off site.
The first reality of a trimmed union budget will be either to raise dues or cut spending; with the union bosses not wanting to trim in most cases (human nature being what it is, any organization is going to try and hang on to its domain) the bias will be towards raising dues, likely with the sour grapes of "were it not for Governor Snyder and your deadbeat, freeloading, opt-outing coworkers, we wouldn't have to raise dues."
Union leadership might be a bit more responsive if their workers have the option of voting with their feet rather than voting for reformers in the union. It hits them in the pocketbook, which is why they're squealing like Maxwell on the zip line.
Union members won't be hurt much by this bill. Union bosses will be, since it will be jobs at union HQ and regional offices that will be trimmed back if their dues are cut. However, it will be marginal programs that will be cut rather than the core union functions, but it is those marginal functions that make up much of the union PR interface.
Should that marginally-affiliated worker be forced to stay a union member so that HQ can spend money on ads extolling the virtues of organized labor or the vices of Republicans? That's close to what is really at stake here. My pro-union friends are welcome to pick at my logic here, but I'm not seeing a big dent in anything but Big Labor's future PR budgets, which means they'll use the current PR budget to avoid it.