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Barack Obama Takes Aim at Right-to-Work Laws

President says proposed right-to-work laws give people "the right to work for less money" during an appearance in Redford Township.

President Barack Obama took direct aim at proposed right-to-work legislation during an appearance Monday in Redford Township.

Obama waded into Michigan’s brewing labor battle that erupted last week when Gov. Rick Snyder said right-to-work legislation was on his agenda and union groups protested at the state Capitol in Lansing.

"We should do everything we can to keep creating good middle-class jobs that help folks rebuild security for their families," Obama said Monday in a speech at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant, according to the Huffington Post.

Obama added that with right-to-work laws, “what they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.”

More protests are expected in Lansing on Tuesday as right-to-work legislation continues to make its way through the state Legislature.

Keith Best December 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM
There is nothing wrong with having a choice and that's what this legislation does. It's time for right-to-work.
Jerry Grubb December 11, 2012 at 01:26 PM
The Patch, the President and the media in general is mis-characterizing RTW. It does not do away with collective bargaining. It changes nothing that unions currently do but gives employees the right to choose if they want to join. Unions are a business. They love having a monopoly on workers and taking their money. According to the MEA's own documents they spend 61% of collected dues on wages and compensation. Only 11% was spent on bargaining activities. (http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/18017). Get all the facts and use some critical thinking to come to a conclusion instead of having a preset conclusion. I grew up in a right to work state, Texas. The fact is that most all workers in a union shop there joined the union anyway. If the union is doing a good job and has a lot to offer, workers will join up. People shouldn't get so worked up over it. Not much will change.
Matthew Ungaro December 11, 2012 at 02:44 PM
If the President is so concerned with what folks work for & what they bring home, why doesn't he do more to cut the federal income tax? Hiim claiming he's trying to avoid the fiscal cliff for his definition of the "middle class" is bull, cause the spending he''s done, in addition to the new healthcare law thats about to take hold is making absolutely no positive impact on my paycheck & it's only surely going to shrink even further after the new year. Furthermore, the self proclaimed "savior" of Detroit's auto industry didn't seem to take issue when union contracts were cracked open back in '09 & wages for new hires were slashed in half, an attribute in which the same union bosses who are denouncing "Freedom to work" in Lansing this morning agreed to. To add insult to injury, those post bankrupt era new hires are still forced to pay union dues monthly from their new "slashed" salaries...hypocritical, maybe?
R. EALLY December 11, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Absolutly.. end Obama's socialism, people should be able to make thier own choices!
R. EALLY December 11, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Really? The President "should" have more important things to do...let the states handle their issues and problems, he, if he was competent, would focus on the nations problems, but since he has no clue, he spends his time playing games on the local issues, hiding from his real responsibilities...
hayfray December 11, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Deal with the federal budget you socialist dictator. Why don't you appoint another czar to take care of union issues. How many do you have now? I lost track.
Ray Smith December 11, 2012 at 09:38 PM
While I disagree with Snyder's decision, if politicians always acted with such warp speed on issues like they did on this one, we could accomplish some things in this country!
Stephen Kiluk December 12, 2012 at 10:37 AM
What unions have given EVERYONE. (Even people who don't support unions) 1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend 2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality: 3. Unions Helped End Child Labor 4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: 5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor 6. Unions gave us the 8 hour workday and the 40 hour work week If you enjoy spending time with your family, if you enjoy leisure time, if you enjoy safety standards at your job, thank unions or there never would have been a middle class in America.
Tom Skyler December 12, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Stephen, I think th issue is not what unions did for us in the past, it is what they are doing for us now that appears to be the issue. They are no longer doing that groundbreaking stuff, no new initatives, so the current generations do not see any benefit to the unions anymore, they instead see unions making concessions, increasing fees and deliverying less value for them so they no longer look at unions as something they need anymore, they thinks its usefulness and glory days are behind it. There is hope that with this change the unions will step up their game and prove they are still a good value for your money, Nevada is a good example of that when even though it is RTW the unions still get 100% of workers in union shops to pay the dues and not elect out. The union has a bad image problem lately that has turned people off, last i saw Michigan went from 40% union to less then 17% and dropping, so even without RTW the unions were struggling to survive. It remains to be seen if this makes the Unions step up to the challenge and prove they are worth it or if they fade away, time will tell.
DJG December 12, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Stephen, what the unions provided for us in the past...yes, the past, is not what's in question. What are they currently providing? If what they were currently providing is so enticing and valuable, none of this would be an issue at all. The economy, both local, regional and global has changed. Yet the majority of unions have failed to change with it. And that currently is...and will continue to be their downfall. Over and over again, I keep reading about what unions did in the past. I keep reading about how right to work states make less money, etc. Here's the question I keep asking but no one wants to answer. Take the states that are right to work, look at their wages before RTW and then after, and show me the direct correlation as to how RTW negatively effected them. Newsflash...many states in the south had less wages than, Michigan for example, before rtw. So...yes, they have lesser wages today. Compare apples to apples, not state to state. What's the next argument? New York has higher wages than Michigan? Of course..it always has. Always will. My issue, although a supporter of RTW, is how it was pushed through and enacted. I feel it should've been put to popular vote. However, political moves come with consequences. And Synder was very clear...Prop 2 was pushed...and this is that consequence.
Lianne Mathie December 12, 2012 at 09:28 PM
DJG, I agree with everything you said. Collectively, we should not be at each others throats, but at those part timers in Lansing working 180 days a year, pulling down full time wages and benefits at taxpayer expense, while deeming the Michigan population to stupid to decide issues for ourselves.
DJG December 13, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Ohh..Lianne, don't get me started on Politicians. They get time off like they still travel with horse and buggy, compared to 20th and 21st century means of transportation. Our government, their work schedule and pay/benefits is a mockery of our system. I'm with you 100% on that one!

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