The state’s leading small business organization,
the National Federation of Independent
Business (NFIB), praised action by the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Higher Education that would cut $500,000 from the Michigan
State University (MSU) budget for each occurrence of inappropriate activity
that promotes union organizing of private business.
The budget cut was the
result of protests by the Associated
Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Michigan office of the NFIB over
courses offered at MSU that train union organizers how to be more effective in
trying to push unions onto private employers.
“Using MSU or any
public, taxpayer-supported educational institution as a front and proxy to
teach union staff how to organize private employers is a conflict of interest
and an inappropriate use of a university’s reputation and taxpayer
dollars,” said NFIB State Director
Charlie Owens. “Imagine if the
MSU College of Business offered a course for employers on how to resist a union
organizing effort. We would never hear
the end of it from labor and social justice activists.”
MSU spokespersons have
claimed that the courses are actually money makers for the college and do not
cost taxpayers any money.
“That is hogwash and
they know it,” said Owens. “Just because they reimburse at the back
end after using university resources at the front end doesn’t change the fact
that this is advocacy by a public university for labor union activities that
foster labor unrest in private taxpaying businesses.”
Senator Tonya Schuitmaker
sponsored the language that would penalize MSU for their union activities.
deserves credit for making clear that public universities and colleges have no
business taking sides against private employers and businesses when it comes to
labor relations in the workplace,” said Owens.