Hon. Rev. John Burns II of St. Matthew AME Church in Lansing explains why he supports the Constitutional amendment
At a midday press conference at the Capitol, Todd Cook, director of the union advocacy group We Are the People, announced a campaign called Protect Our Jobs. The petition drive hopes to collect enough signatures to put a Constitutional amendment on the ballot this November that would enshrine collective bargaining rights in the Michigan state Constitution. Details about the logistics are yet to come; however, the language of the proposed amendment in full reads:
Todd Cook of We are the People and workers from around the state discuss why the amendment is needed now
- ARTICLE I, Section 28: COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS
(1) The people shall have the rights to organize together to form, join or assist labor organizations, and to bargain collectively with a public or private employer through an exclusive representative of the employees’ choosing, to the fullest extent not preempted by the laws of the United States.
(2) As used in subsection (1), to bargain collectively is to perform the mutual obligation of the employer and the exclusive representative of the employees to negotiate in good faith regarding wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and to execute and comply with any agreement reached; but this obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or make a concession.
(3) No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall abridge, impair or limit the foregoing rights; provided that the State may prohibit or restrict strikes by employees of the State and its political subdivisions. The legislature’s exercise of its power to enact laws relative to the hours and conditions of employment shall not abridge, impair or limit the right to collectively bargain for wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment that exceed minimum levels established by the legislature.
(4) No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall impair, restrict or limit the negotiation and enforcement of any collectively bargained agreement with a public or private employer respecting financial support by employees of their collective bargaining representative according to the terms of that agreement.
(5) For purposes of this Section, “employee” means a person who works for any employer for compensation, and “employer” means a person or entity employing one or more employees.
(6) This section and each part thereof shall be self-executing. If any part of this section is found to be in conflict with or preempted by the United States Constitution or federal law, such part shall be severable from the remainder of this section, and such part and the remainder of this section shall be effective to the fullest extent that the United States Constitution and federal law permit.
A fact sheet about the initiative is downloadable below: