There’s always one high profile person or organization who obnoxiously takes advantage of the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor to push a an offensive self-serving message. Last year, it was then Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. The year before that, it was also . . . Newt Gingrich. Having been on a twitter hiatus for the last for the last several days, though, the former Speaker of the House left claim to the day of infamy wide open, and pro-union group We are Ohio swooped right in.
The group posted a graphic comparing the passage of a right-to-work law by the Republican legislature in border state Michigan to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor not one, but three times, on its Facebook today to show its outrage. The law passed in Michigan Thursday will weaken unions’ ability to coerce non-union members into becoming a part of a business or field’s respective union in order to get hired or not get fired. Current union contracts are exempt from the law, however, as are police and fire unions.
According to We are Ohio’s website, the group opposes any right-to-work legislation because it “takes away the professional voices of those we trust,” including teachers and nurses. This is categorically false, as right to work legislation does not ban unions, it merely gives workers who do not wish to be part of a union the ability to abstain from paying union dues and participating in union activities.
“It is unfair because it lets a small number of workers game the system and cheat by not paying their fair share dues at the expense of employees who work hard and play by the rules,” the website claims. By “game the system and cheat” it presumably means ‘exercise their Constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of association, which includes the right to not associate with a group.’ And the “rules” it refers to are those put forth by unions, who are apparently in charge of businesses and governments these days.
Union ‘rights’ have been a hot topic in 2011, causing turmoil in the legislatures of multiple Great Lakes states, including Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan, but whether someone is pro- or anti-union, the comparison to of the debate over right-to-work laws to Pearl Harbor is plainly offensive and disrespectful to the families of those men and women who unexpectedly lost their lives that terrible day in 1941.