The New York Times reports that the failure of Proposal 2 is “an embarrassing loss for labor in a state known as a cradle of American unionism.”

F. Vincent Vernuccio, labor policy director, told The Times that “Voters were afraid of amending the constitution to give that much power to organized labor and make them a superlegislature above their representatives.”

The Times also pointed out that Proposal 2 received about 600,000 fewer votes than President Obama got in Michigan, “indicating that many Democrats turned against labor on this issue.”

Vernuccio noted that many Democrats and members of private-sector unions saw the amendment as “a power grab by government unions.”

The Daily Caller noted that the rejection of Proposal 2 “was a major defeat for teachers’ unions.” The MEA, AFT and local affiliates gave about $1 million to support the initiative.

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“It shows that the Democratic Party is not knee-jerk union anymore,” Vernuccio said. “It shows how much of an overreach it was that even Obama Democrats voted against [the proposal].”


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As part of our efforts on government transparency, we obtained data on the compensation of most public employees in the state. This information has been used to fact check claims about salaries, verify data from other open records requests, and hold government spending accountable.

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