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Unions, Democrats: Michigan right-to-work law means war

Published: Sun, December 9, 2012 @ 5:06 p.m.

Unions, Democrats: Michigan right-to-work law means war

Associated Press


With defeat in the Michigan Legislature virtually certain, Democrats and organized labor intend to make enactment of right-to-work laws as uncomfortable as possible for Gov. Rick Snyder and his Republican allies while laying the groundwork to seek payback at the polls.

Shell-shocked opponents of the laws spent the weekend mapping strategy for protests and acts of civil disobedience, while acknowledging the cold reality that Republican majorities in both the House and Senate cannot be stopped — or even delayed for long by parliamentary maneuvers. Leaders vowed to resist to the end, and then set their sights on winning control of the Legislature and defeating Snyder when he seeks re-election in 2014.

“They’ve awakened a sleeping giant,” United Auto Workers President Bob King told The Associated Press on Saturday at a Detroit-area union hall, where about 200 activists were attending a planning session. “Not just union members. A lot of regular citizens, non-union households, realize this is a negative thing.”

Right-to-work laws prohibit requiring employees to join a union or pay fees similar to union dues as a condition of employment. Supporters say it’s about freedom of association for workers and a better business climate. Critics contend the real intent is to bleed unions of money and bargaining power.

Hundreds of chanting, whistle-blowing demonstrators thronged the state Capitol last week as bills were introduced and approved hours later, without the usual committee hearings allowing for public comment. Even more protesters are expected Tuesday, when the two chambers may reconcile wording differences and send final versions to Snyder, who now pledges to sign them after saying repeatedly since his 2010 election the issue wasn’t “on my agenda.”

Republicans are betting any political damage will be short-lived. During a news conference with GOP leaders last week announcing their intent to press ahead with right-to-work measures, Snyder urged labor to accept the inevitable and focus on showing workers why union representation is in their best interest.

“Let’s move forward, let’s get a conclusion, let’s get an answer and get something done so we can move on to other important issues in our state,” he said.

On that point, at least, the governor won’t get his way. Unions and their Democratic allies say this means war.

Allowing employees to opt out of financially supporting unions while enjoying the same wages and benefits as members undermines the foundation of organized labor, they contend. A UAW bulletin described it as “the worst anti-worker legislation Michigan has ever seen.”

“You will forever remember the day when you thought you could conquer labor,” Sen. Coleman Young II, a Detroit Democrat and son of the city’s fiery late mayor, boomed during floor debate Thursday. “Be prepared to engage in the fight of your life.”


1DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

More democrat temper tantrums. No wonder their cities look like toilets.

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2Silence_Dogood(1675 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

gdog I can't help but notice that you talk out your backside a lot and you can never show facts. So here we go again with another flatulent comment on your part and I quote "he stated he did not like unions, could care less for the working man and wasn't concerned about doing anything for the middle class". Now you and I both know that you could not find any PROOF that these alleged comments were ever made, we both also know that you are full of the other "stuff" that is associated with your flatulent tendency. So do me a favor and talk your silly nonsense, I really like to see ignorant brainwashed fools spout stupidity, it is good for a laugh to think that people can be so brainwashed.

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3IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

It's time for the unions to turn the tables on what is being done to them and resort to strong armed tactics. Fight fire with fire! If they want to screw with the livelihood of the working man, then I hope the powers that be end up hurt real bad.

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4rickking123(331 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Maybe it's time for the unions to stop seeking and being granted waivers from Obamacare. Tired of the do as i say not as i do mentality of unions and the democrat party.

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5saddad(655 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

913 posts, each full of your bile Silence-Dog. Maybe its yourself that you are smelling. You seem to hate humans and love business just like your hero Kasich that clearly declared war on working people and their right to collectively bargain. Man I am glad I'm not you.

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6NoBS(2829 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

mrright - are you serious??!! The UAW is the reason so many people here in the US can afford to buy a new car!!! Do you not see what the teabaggers are trying to do? (of course you don't - you're a kool-aid drinker) They want the Middle Class gone, and the average wage for working people to be $30K - $40K per year, while the business owners are raking in record profits.

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7chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

It's just a matter of time before the giant goes back to sleep.

The union members have created members of the 1 percenters, namely the $500,000 annually. Look at Dick Trumpka for example who struts his stuff at the White House in a tuxedo.

And the giant sleeps.

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8Attis(1134 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Solidarity forever! Michagan's "right-to-work (at poverty wages only)" law is destined to meet the same fate as Ohio's SB5; and the Republican Party is destined to meet the same fate as the Whig Party.

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9cambridge(4138 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Acts like this by Michigan's teabagger/republican party will do more damage to their party than unions. The voters of Michigan will overthrow both the law and the buffoons that created it.

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10cambridge(4138 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Note: The "right to work" states in general are the poorest states in the country.



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11JoeFromHubbard(1807 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Good reading in a union town.

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