MI legislator confuses unions and trade associations
The Michigan Legislators are having a difficult time explaining why they excluded police and fire unions from their Right to Work Bills they are pushing through.
All of the reasons they have cited for granting RTW exclusions to police and fire unions would seem to apply to other potentially dangerous occupations as well, say for instance, prison guards.
So here is the reason prison guard unions aren’t the same. From The Detroit News: GOP defends right-to-work exclusion of cop, fire unions
Some rank-and-file GOP lawmakers said there are other reasons why police and firefighters are getting a better deal than their union brethren who work in other dangerous jobs in prisons, construction and utilities.
“They behave more like value-adding trade associations than unions,” said state Rep. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, the leading advocate for the drive to make Michigan the 24th right-to-work state.
So in Shirkey’s world the prison guard union is simply a trade association that apparently promotes the prison industry itself and not the men and women who actually do the work? Does he even understand what a trade association is? From Wiki..
A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association or sector association, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying and publishing, but its main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardization.
That doesn’t sound even remotely like the role of a labor union. Maybe Shirkey meant to imply the prison guard union was more like a trade union and not a trade association. That would at least make some sense. But then it would mean he thinks prison guard work is essentially the same thing as being a plumber, just with a different toolbox.