Dearborn UAW Prepares to Rally Against Right-to-Work Tuesday in Lansing

Opponents of the bill are discussing ways to fight its passage, while a final vote is expected to come this week.

As Michigan’s right-to-work legislation heads back for a final vote on Tuesday, unions and legislative opponents of the law say that the battle is not over—even if there’s not much they can do to stop the bill from passing.

The bills, separate versions of which were passed last week in the house and senate, are sitting through a five-day waiting period before they can be reconciled.

Democratic Dearborn Sen. Morris Hood said that the expectation in Lansing is that the Senate-approved versions of the bills will go over to the house for approval on Tuesday.

“At this point, (senators) don’t have a large course of action in which we can do besides continue to lobby on behalf of our contingent and still have a process before it goes to the house,” he said Friday. “There is some time for things to be done, but we don’t know to what level it will be received.”

Hood urged residents to continue to fight to be part of the legislative process.

Dearborn UAW Local 600 members are taking that message to heart.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Local 600 hosted a training for hundreds of union members Saturday aimed at educating them about constructive ways to protest.

President Bernie Ricke said Friday that their chapter had more than 100 members protesting at the Capitol on Thursday, and are planning an even bigger outcry on Tuesday.

“It’s a very important issue to us, but we knew it has been on the back burner for some time,” he said, adding that union members mobilized quickly once they heard that right-to-work was being pushed through and would be signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Snyder announced his support for the legislation—which would essentially prohibit the requirement of a worker to pay union dues as a condition of employment—on Thursday. In a Pure Michigan ad published on YouTube, he says his decision to pursue such legislation is "about being pro-work and giving workers the freedom to choose who they associate with."

By 8 p.m. that evening, the house and the senate had approved separate right-to-work bills. Votes fell mostly along party lines, with heavy GOP support.

A protest raged on all day Thursday at the Capitol, where an estimated 2,500 union members and supporters from all across the state rallied against right-to-work.

“I think you’re going to see a lot more people on Tuesday than you did this week,” Ricke predicted.

He added that unions felt that the sudden push for the bills—which had been stalled since 2011—was a planned-out tactic, and that unions hope to see it challenged.

“I believe there will be some legal challenges because of the way they did it,” he said. “I’m sure (legislators) are looking at a lot of options, because it definitely wasn’t done democratically.

“We’ll move forward and do whatever we can to repeal it.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, a union activist out of Highland Park has already filed a lawsuit over right-to-work, stating that legislators violated the Open Meetings Act by barring protesters from the Capitol for a brief period on Thursday.

Sen. Hood could not confirm that the course of action by senate and house Democrats would be to put up a legal challenge if the bills are passed.

“I haven’t been in conversations … but that’s not to say that’s not a discussion,” he said, adding that a legal challenge would likely be something decided upon by Democratic minority leaders in the house and senate.

Hood’s focus right now—like union members—is to fight until Snyder’s signature is on the paper.

“It’s not over until its over,” Hood said. “The governor has not signed it into law, so I still am having hope … that there’s still some small chance that it could happen. So we’ll still keep shooting for that.”

UAW local chapters from around Dearborn and the downriver area will be sending a number of busses to Lansing on Tuesday for the rally. For more information, see the contact sheet attached to this article.

Ben Bachrach December 09, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Why does the UAW fear that auto workers will not choose to join the UAW?
Donna Hay December 09, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Great question Ben.
William Capler December 09, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Why Can't there be FREEDOM TO CHOOSE???
bitsy08 December 09, 2012 at 01:47 PM
This wouldn't be the first law that Michigan has pushed through undemocratically. It's getting to be a regular thing with Snyder and his "gang" of Republicans. I don't see how putting more picketers in Lansing will help, but go for it. I think they've made up their mind already.
Harold Leese December 09, 2012 at 02:28 PM
The plan to raise car registration fees for a new Regional Transit Authority in southeast Michigan is supported by Gov. Snyder, so he can raise the wages of his Unionized work force. If the workers are SMART, they will vote NO on transit authority tax increases and renewals to force industry to pay for the needs of workers. Or, maybe someday industry will pay decent wages and benefits out the kindness of their big hearts?
Charles L Walls December 09, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Why is it that the have-nots always think that "industry" is the enemy? Truth is: human greed is at the heart of the union problem. Funny how threats to guard the cheese brings the rats out in droves to protest.
Heba December 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
It's appalling that you are calling underpaid union workers who are really just trying to keep their voice rats.
Charles L Walls December 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM
What is "undemocratic" about a majority of democratically elected legislators enacting laws. In'st that the way democracy is supposed to work?
Charles L Walls December 09, 2012 at 05:36 PM
How do you know they are underpaid? It's probably true that they are paid LESS than what the WANT. But, in the case of government employees, are they paid less than what the taxpayers want to give them for what they do? In the case of industry, can a business survive on the prices they have to charge for their products in order to keep the workers paid what they WANT? That is the REAL question. The labor special interests always want to spin the question to being what is "fair" for workers. But what is "fair" for those who have to pay for their wages and benefits? And I don't mean business owners...I mean the people who buy the products and services at the prices required to satisfy those workers. Business owners never pay this price. They just pass it on to the customers. And when the prices get too high the business folds, the workers lose their jobs and the owners skate off under the protection of bankruptcy to create another business.
Charles L Walls December 09, 2012 at 05:43 PM
That's the false hope that the labor unions want their members to believe in. But of course "industry" will NEVER pay what the labor unions would consider "decent wages". As soon as wages go up a little, prices go up to pay for those wage increases. Pretty soon the wage earners see that those wage increases no longer buy any more that they used to buy when everything was less. So now the unions want even more in order keep their members above the wage-price spiral. At this point, they have lost the principles of "fairness", and now "greed" kicks in.
Harold Leese December 09, 2012 at 05:46 PM
My post does not imply in any way that industry is the enemy. In any civilized society, the strong take care of the weak. In June 2003, I went out and filled up the SMART buses to standing room only in Livonia and Dearborn on my own by helping to program their radios and computers. That is what I do for a living working in the transportation industry. Michigan has lost its competitive edge largely because of high taxes, yet Gov. Snyder wants even higher taxes. I want to help him out and am doing just that by getting him to come into my website and learn how to fill up the trains and buses without raising new taxes. It’s Wal-Mart and other large employers who should do more to help pay for the bus fares to transport Detroit workers to their jobs and not new countywide tax increases, if we ever want to bring back Michigan’s economy to compete in the Worldwide market.
marooned in Dbn December 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Because, as I understand it, a lot of UAW members are disgusted with the UAW.
Lee Jacobsen December 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Ben, with the first comment, still has the most pertinent question. "Why are the UAW folk worried that car workers won't choose to join their union? " Also, the UAW has benefits with Obamacare that most of us do not have. How so? Massive subsidies given by Obama and the US govt. to offset what UAW members would otherwise have to pay, like the rest of us , to afford Obamacare. Read here for more info. http://nlpc.org/stories/2011/04/06/uaw-and-gm-benefit-covert-bailout It's easy to support Obamacare and the UAW when the govt is paying the bill for you. I would join the UAW tomorrow and get my healthcare free, who wouldn't? Of course, if you are a taxpayer, paying for the UAW free ride, you may be unhappy, but , as they say, "suck it up". Obama and the UAW watch each other's backs, at the taxpayer's expense. Bet you won't hear a peep from the UAW about this aspect when Obama visits Detroit Diesel Monday. Nor a response to Ben's question, What is the UAW fearing about workers not choosing to join the UAW with the recent law passed giving workers a choice?
marooned in Dbn December 09, 2012 at 06:15 PM
It sure seems that Snyder is wasting NO time in getting the wet dreams of the Koch brothers into practice. Think of it, an employer environment were unions are side stepped and eventually rendered irrelevant, while braying that the ability of joining a union is "constitutionally protected". This comes at a time when Snyder put a tax policy into practice...(taxing retirees income), without bothering to put this to a public vote. Just instituting this law by signing the document. Talk about "taxation without representation". If the people of the state of MI, wanted, or thought that taxing a vulnerable segment of the population was a good idea....there should have been a public vote .
Charles L Walls December 09, 2012 at 06:40 PM
marooned, Since you can no longer claim that a law duly enacted by democratically elected legislators is "undemocratic", I see you are reverting to try to blame it on some kind of boogeyman conspiracy between a democratically elected governor and some businessmen. Where's your proof? Your are also full ob beans when you try to inflame people about "taxation without representation". Apparently you don't even know the meaning of that phrase. You may not like the taxation -- I don't either -- but it is not without representation. What to you think democratically elected state legislators are anyway? "Taxation without representation" comes about through un-democratic imposition of taxes from unelected officials like Kings and dictators.
Dearborn Taxpayer December 09, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Undemocratic? These bills have been around for almost 2 years now and democratically elected representatives have now finally voted on them and will likely have to vote again on Tuesday. As a reminder, Governor Snyder was "democratically" elected in 2010 with a large margin of votes. Perhaps when you say "pushed through undemocratically" you mean that no representative or senator from the Democratic Party voted in favor of it?
Lee Jacobsen December 09, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Marooned, even with Snyder's new tax on retiree's pension income, which does not include/tax military and RR folk, and folk born before 1946, Michigan is considered one of the top ten states friendly to retirees. Compare for yourself at this site. http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/retiree_map/ Actually, compared to a lot of other states, such as Colorado, we are on easy street with respect to retiree taxes. Better by a long shot, all Snyder did was even the playing field somewhat, now we are only better than 40 other states instead of 45.
Rick Fulton December 09, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Lee, Lee, Lee...Why not ask if the Michigan Chamber of Commerce would be upset if their members(businesses) had a choice of not paying dues? Most members would not, if they were assured of still receiving the benefits of joining...same goes for the union members. But Snyder isn't interested in destroying organizations that support Republicans... just the ones that support Democrats. And Charles... these RTW bills were ram-rodded through WITHOUT A HEARING. DeVos's 2008 campaign manager drafted the bills, they were discharged out of committee WITHOUT DISCUSSION from Dems or Repubs or citizens, voted through second reading WITHOUT AMENDMENTS BEING HEARD OR VOTED ON before it was passed by a LAME DUCK legislature. No matter what side of the arguement you are on, this is a very important piece of legislation that should have been thoroughly examined and discussed before it was jammed through, as it was.
Harold Leese December 09, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Not good enough to be in top ten. Michigan should be number one. No excuses.
Lee Jacobsen December 10, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Rick, Rick, Rick, You are comparing apples to oranges. You left out the job, the employer. Using your example, as a business, I can function as much as I want in the state of Michigan without joining the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Joining them and paying dues is a choice that I have available as a business decision. I don't have to join the Michigan Chamber of Commerce in order to do business in Michigan, right? However, I do have to join the UAW, (or used to) when I got a job at an auto plant, or other employer with a union. With the new law, I have freedom of choice. Using your example, If I feel it benefits me to join the Michigan Chamber of Commerce to get better results for my company in Michigan, then I join. If I feel they are not worth the dues, I don't. Ditto for the worker who wants a job at an auto plant. If he feels the union will help him get better benefits or results, he will still join. If the worker feels the union is not worth the dues, then he does not. It is up to the MI Chamber and the UAW and other unions, to prove their worth. I am not forced to join the MI Chamber of Commerce in order to conduct business. A worker should not be forced to join a union in order to conduct his job. Do you like to be forced? The union can still bargain, collect dues, etc, nothing changed there. It's just that the Union is upset that their monopoly is gone, that dues are not auto deducted, they don't like the fact of fairness happening so fast.
Harold Leese December 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Gov. Snyner is chansing good jbos away by slashing benefits to the poor and the handicapped and the elderly. All he has done so far is raise taxes many times. If you like higher taxes on your car license, higher income and sales taxes, bus service reductions, tax breaks for the trucking industries and large retail stores, and low low wages with no benefits and more jobs moving to Mexicao the Gov. Synder is your man. Wow, what a great guy. I'm sure he will support the SMART property tax renewal next August 2014. And why not? It's more money to support the Republican dream of a 2 class society of extremely rich and poor people with no middle class. Y'all voters are stupid if ya think raisiing taxes in Michigan will bring back good paying jobs. it will never happen until our government is cleaned up. The cleaning should start from the top down, not by taking more from the poor.
Charles L Walls December 10, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Harold, Man, is your head screwed on backwards , or what! First, jobs are not "chased away" by "slashing" benefits to the poor and handicapped. What do poor and handicapped benefits have to do with job creation. More likely jobs disappear because employers disappear, and employers disappear because the cost of running the business becomes higher than the revenue received by selling its products and services. Government benefits to the poor have nothing to do with it other than the cost of those benefits comes from tax money that comes form businesses. If you want MORE benefits for the poor and handicapped, then you DO want more taxes. So why are you upset about higher taxes on you card license, etc.? That's seems to be EXACTLY what you want. What we DON'T want is more taxpayer money going to people who don't produce. As one Texas lawmaker once said: "We don't have much welfare down here because we don't pay for it. You get what you pay for." If you want a lot of unemployed and unemployable people hanging around like flies, then by all means, have the taxpayers fund generous benefits for doing nothing. If, on the other hand, you want to put them to work to earn their own living, then cut the taxes and restrictions and restraints on the businesses that would employ them.
Lee Jacobsen December 10, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Harold, you are right, the cleaning should start from the top down, not by taking more from the poor. But it is too late to clean out Obama, and he is on the verge (cliff) of raising everyone's taxes, not just the rich, by not compromising, and using the excuse of taxing the rich to tax all of us. The death tax will rise, margin taxes will rise, gas taxes will rise, and he can do something about it, but won't. Odds are, he will be spending 4 million tax payer dollars vacationing in Hawaii for 3 weeks, Dec 17th thru Jan 6th, right at the time when he should be in Washington bringing our country back together. I hope he slices a lot of golf balls....... Snyder took us from nearly the worst state to do business in , to the 5th best, and has leveled the playing field. He reduced Granholm's billion dollar debt to a surplus. We are getting a bridge almost free, the Canadians are paying for it, not Michigan, and now, with the right to work bill, and our smart work force, companies will flock to Michigan to build parts, and forget Indiana. That means good paying jobs Harold, and that means you can afford higher taxes, and perhaps may even become one of the 'rich' folk that you seem to despise. Keep in mind that over half the folk don't even pay Federal taxes, and the so called rich are footing 77% of the tax bill. Now is that fair? Whether they can afford it or not is immaterial. Any of us can be rich if we want to, most would rather cheer on the Lions. Hmmm
Harold Leese December 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I'm opposed to giving more money to those who won't work and that is why I'm want to defeat the SMART Property tax. They are no longer supported by the Michigan Department of Transportation or area businesses as a whole. The tax is best capped because it is now nothing but a charity donation and is not supportive of good public mass transit. SMART costs too much and does not support the need to remove cars from overcrowded dangerous roads with oversized trucks I think our country will be in serious economic trouble if we don't all work together to help out our neighbors and everyone else and put God first. So, thanks very much for posting your thoughts on my comment. .
Keith Best December 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM
There is nothing wrong with having a choice, and that's what this legislation does. It's time for right-to-work.
Julia Childy January 22, 2013 at 03:00 AM
Here, Here, to Charles L. Walls for his brilliant comments - A breath of fresh air!


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