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Dearborn UAW Joins Lansing Protests Over Right-to-Work Bill

Gov. Rick Snyder announced Thursday that he would like to see right-to-work legislation on his desk before the end of this year's legislative session.

Michigan could very well be a right-to-work state in 2013 following Gov. Rick Snyder's call to action Thursday for the state legislature to pass a "workplace fairness and equity" bill in the next few days.

Throngs of protesters gathered on the Capitol lawn and in the lobby of the governor's headquarters Thursday, including members of Dearborn's UAW Local 600. Union members from across the state joined the protests, organized by the Michigan chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

UAW posted updates from Lansing on its Facebook page, including video from outside of the Senate chambers, where a crowded room of protesters chanted against the legislation.

Snyder held a press conference Thursday morning to urge legislators to get a right-to-work bill on his desk before the holiday break.

In a new Pure Michigan ad published today on YouTube, Snyder says his decision to pursue such legislation is "about being pro-work and giving workers the freedom to choose who they associate with."

Opponents of the law argue that it would result in lowered wages for workers across the board, and would not spur job creation.

AFL-CIO of Michigan President Karla Swift responded that partisan legislation was not the way to better Michigan's economy.

"The Michigan labor movement remains committed to working with anyone who prioritizes the creation of family-sustaining jobs instead rather than partisan politics," Swift said in a statement. "Ordinary citizens across the state are counting on their elected officials to hear them out on this issue, and will continue to make their voices heard."

Although this legislation would cover both the public and private sectors, there would be an exception for police and firefighters.

With the end of this year's legislative session fast approaching, The Detroit News suggests Republican lawmakers would "likely attach right-to-work legislation to an existing bill to bypass the normal process of introducing new legislation that has to sit in both houses of the Legislature for at least five days." 

Would you like to see Michigan become a right-to-work state? Tell us in the comments.

R. EALLY December 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Great points Lee...The people that don't want to in the unions have many reasons they don't want to be...and probably number one reson is that they are good workers that dont need "protection" from the union to be successful. The ones that need that protection are the people that would have been fired long ago without union protection
Don R Farmer December 11, 2012 at 03:46 AM
"Right to Work", so called, is nothing but garbage. I moved from Arkansas to Michigan long ago and have never regretted it. by the way, Arkansas is a Right to Work state. Check the Stats between Arkansas and Michigan concerning any average position or job and you will see why I love Michigan, or at least used to. Ths legislation is simply about union busting and everyone knows it.
Lee Jacobsen December 11, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Don, I did check the stats, everyone can , here they are . http://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-by-state Note that the folk in Ark , a Right to Work state, make more than the folk in Michigan, at least when you compare the Detroit area to the Little Rock area with respect to job income and cost of living etc. Actually , they are very close, with Arkansas folk making slightly more, and, factoring in a lack of paying union dues, probably a lot more. Union busting? Don, do you really have to force folk to join a union? I thought the union had a function, fighting for better pay, work conditions etc. If folk are not happy, they will seek the unions out, join and become 'brothers and sisters', right? However, some may not appreciate the strong arm tactics of unions, or their obvious biased political leanings, and decline the union's request to join. Now folk can make that choice without fear of union retribution. It means more work for the union bosses, promoting the union cause, something they never needed to do when they had a monopoly, when folk had to join as part of getting a job. it also means dues won't be auto deposited from workers checks into the union coffers, members will need to pay the union directly , a pain, the up side, many companies debating on where to relocate will pick Michigan, since we have some of the best skilled workers in the country, and Right to Work to them means more cooperation, competition, lower costs, and for us, more jobs.
ANITA FUBEL December 12, 2012 at 12:21 AM
yea it maybe means more Jobs low paying Jobs no benefits or Pension we the Uniion workers will not give up and we will remember its in 2014 the Freeloaders want Union protection but they do not want to pay Dues they are Scum
Lee Jacobsen December 12, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Anita, the unions are the ones who volunteered to represent everyone, dues paying or not. Are you suggesting that some union brothers and sisters may hesitate to pay their share of dues? If the cause is just, they will pay. All the union has to do is spread the word. If the mantra the union states does not ring true, workers will consider the union bosses scum instead. Pensions? Must be a talking point. Most places now offer 401Ks instead. Some folk say no debate was discussed on the Right to Work bill. That Snyder was sneaky...Come on folk! We had the discussion with the Michigan voters at the polls in Nov with prop 2, where it was roundly defeated. You want to talk about no debate? Try the debate on Obamacare, where there was no debate, and we ended up passing the largest tax in USA history.

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