You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

Right to work legislation for Michigan has been in the works for years

By Ben Freed

While the "right to work" melee throughout the past two weeks seemed to develop extremely quickly, a Reuters report Thursday said the groundwork had been laid by the bills’ authors during the past two years.


Rick Snyder only announced in early December that he would support right to work legislation.

Jonathan Oosting |

According to the report, state senator Patrick Colbeck had systematically been putting together support for the legislation among Republican legislators, going from the bottom up. Getting the Republican leadership, including Governor Rick Snyder, on board with the initiative actually was a final step rather than a first step.

The campaign to make Michigan a right-to-work state also benefitted from deep-pocketed support from the Koch brothers and Richard DeVos. DeVos was cited in the article as helping to sway some Republican lawmakers who were not 100 percent on board with the legislation.

Click here to read the full report from Reuters.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:43 a.m.

Greedy Old People.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:56 a.m.

It is pretty simple. A college football star hires an experienced negotiator (Agent) to negotiate an employment contract with a pro football team. Unionized workers do the same thing. They hire a Union Bargaining Agent. It is called "collective bargaining" and goes back 75 years to 1935 and the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act, sometimes called the "Wagner Act," named for its sponsor, Senator Robert Wagner of New York). Bargaining for wages is good enough for college football stars; it should be good enough for blue collar workers! Legalize so-called "Right to Work" and foolish employees opt-out of paying for a bargaining agent; the Union crumbles. I tell yins this power grab by the GOP is the dumbest thing they have done since they bragged about "legitimate rape." Prediction: the GOP will go the way of the Whigs and the No-Nothing political parties. Prove me wrong dudes!

Stephen Landes

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

Why does it take Reuters -- a foreign news service -- to print the truth about the development of the RTW/Freedom To Work legislation? All the US media I have seen and read emphasized that this bill was rushed through in a week "from start to finnish" in the lame duck session. Per Reuters that isn't true: the bill has had a long term of development, discussion, and study to get it to the point where it was ready to be acted upon. Where was the investigative journalism from Too tough to do or just not the popular thing to do?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Maybe I was confused by Snyders comment that RTW was "not on my agenda", when apparently is WAS. The Agenda probably said something like "meeting: 9:00, Koch Bros and DeVos; RE: RTW legislation"


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

Where does it say that this bill was discussed with both sides of the issue? How about some PUBLIC debate? Now do I have the Right to a Job? If I show up at your place of business can I start immediately?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:46 a.m.

You got that right Talker. Bernero is a really smart guy! His heart is in the right place, unlike Ricky-boy.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:44 a.m.

I lay this at the "feet" of the Detroit Free Press. They refuse to take so many hints seriously in 2010 and they endorsed Snyder over Bernero for governor. Whatever they have been publishing since last weekend doesn't compensate for their endorsement of Snyder even after they were advised things like this would happen.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

Koch Brothers' Products -- We're Surrounded. If you have been following news about the Koch brothers, you might be curious as to which products they manufacture. Lots!

Angelika Lewis

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:43 a.m.

Thank you, dsponini, for posting your list of Koch Brothers' products. I've made a note of the few that I buy, and will stop buying them. They'll listen to us when they lose money.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Yes there are lots of them...boycott them all! Angel Soft toilet paper Brawny paper towels Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups Mardi Gras napkins and towels Quilted Northern toilet paper Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper Sparkle napkins Vanity Fair napkins Zee napkins Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes All Georgia-Pacific lumber and building products, including: Dense Armor Drywall and Decking ToughArmor Gypsum board Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood Flexrock Densglass sheathing G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of crafters) FibreStrong Rim board G/P Lam board Blue Ribbon OSB Rated Sheathing Blue Ribbon Sub-floor DryGuard Enhanced OSB Nautilus Wall Sheathing Thermostat OSB Radiant Barrier Sheathing Broadspan Engineered Wood Products XJ 85 I-Joists FireDefender Banded Cores FireDefender FS FireDefender Mineral Core Hardboard and Thin MDF including Auto Hardboard, Perforated Hardboard and Thin MDF Wood Fiberboard Commercial Roof Fiberboard Hushboard Sound Deadening Board Regular Fiberboard Sheathing Structural Fiberboard Sheathing Koch/INVISTA Products: COMFOREL® fiberfill COOLMAX® fabric CORDURA® fabric DACRON® fiber POLYSHIELD® resin SOLARMAX® fabric SOMERELLE® bedding products STAINMASTER® carpet SUPPLEX® fabric TACTEL® fiber TACTESSE® carpet fiber TERATE® polyols TERATHANE® polyether glycol THERMOLITE® fabric PHENREZ® resin POLARGUARD® fiber and LYCRA® fiber

Ghost of Tom Joad

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

clearly we all know who their real constituents are. The Koch brothers are not Michiganders and care nothing for the betterment of this country, only their bank accounts.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

East-Side-Dad: The company you work for is "rare" the CEO's and owners must "not" be the normal greedy business types. Not all business are like this and lowering the business taxes business pays does not always benefit the employees or the state in which the business is located.

East Side Dad

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

The Koch brothers are trying to create jobs. The company I work for has nearly 100 manufacturing plants around the world. Many of them are in the US. There used to be many of them in Michigan, but most have been closed because of the negative business climate in Michigan - high taxes on business and a lot of union influence that is focused on trying to hang onto what they have and bringing back the past instead of working with companies to build a bright future. If things stabilize in Michigan with reasonable business taxes and RTW, there is potential for building new plants in Michigan. If not, they will be built in Indiana and other states to our south with RTW and moderate business taxes. Michigan has a choice to either change or become irrelevant in our national economy. I'm happy to see our governor doing what's right instead of ignoring reality and continuing to watch companies and jobs leave our state. By the way - all our workers are represented by the UAW and are paid the same whether in Michigan or RTW states. Even though they are paid the same, we still would not build a new plant in Michigan until we see that the improvements in Michigan from RTW and business tax changes are here to stay.

greg, too

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

They will use the passing of RTW and other right-ist policies to get them passed in other states. Once they get their agenda passed, they will never spend another dime in Michigan.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Gee I love being a tool of the rich!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:49 a.m.

It's certainly becoming of you.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

A sleazy power grab by an incompetent governor and fueled by the Koch brother's big wallets. Can't wait until 2014.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:05 p.m.

Proof...that if you have enough money. You can buy the government!


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

JBK- buying the people in "government" is different then buying the general puplic "the voters."


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

Not quite. If that was the case, Prop 2 & 6 would have passed. Pro Labor and Matty Maroun spent a fortune on these two proposals and got crushed. :)