Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed a Right to Work bill into law yesterday. This new law limits union power by preventing unions from taking dues from employee paychecks. Instead, employees must voluntarily give a portion of their paycheck to the union.
Supporters of the law believes that this will lead to economic growth since employees who currently aren't union members, public or private, won't be forced to have an automatic deduction from their paycheck. However, union advocates believe that this new measure will hurt all employees economically because unions won't be able to afford to bargain for better working conditions and pay rates.
When speaking in Redford, Michigan, last week, President Obama commented, "You know, these so-called right-to-work laws, they don't have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics. What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."
Media Resources: ABC News 12/11/12;Politico 12/11/12; Washington Post 12/11/12
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .