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Posted on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 10:55 a.m.

Right-to-work efforts announced Thursday by Republican leaders

By Ben Freed

Update: Follow right-to-work updates from Michigan's Capitol

MLive’s David Eggert reports that Republican lawmakers in Lansing announced plans to pass “right-to-work” legislation at a press conference Thursday morning. Governor Rick Snyder was also a part of the press conference.


Until today, Governor Snyder has been hesitant to publicly take a stand on right-to-work, saying it has not been a priority.

Ryan J. Stanton |

According to Eggert’s report, both state police and union members were building a large presence in the capital ahead of the announcement and potential voting on the issue, which could occur later Thursday.

Snyder said he did not view the legislation as anti-union and that he hopes it will help the Michigan economy continue to grow.

Right-to-work laws are designed to make union dues non-mandatory for workers whose employment is covered by collective bargaining agreements negotiated by labor unions. Opponents fear that such legislation could weaken the power of unions and conditions for workers across the state.

Proponents of the laws argue that passing right-to-work would attract employers and help bring more jobs to the state. According to a recent The EPIC-MRA poll, voters are divided as to whether Michigan should become the nation's 24th right-to-work state.

Read the preview report from

Read the full report on the press conference from

MLive's Meegan Holland live-tweeted the press conference. Follow her @Meholland to see what was said.

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



Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Some states have had right-to-work laws for decades, and the results are mixed. On the one hand, such states trail the nation on average pay and percentage with health care insurance. On the other hand, they lead the nation in percentage receiving public assistance and percentage of the population in prison. If we want what they have, we have to jump on it now before the bottom of the barrel is all filled up.


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 1:43 a.m.

I think that this will bring a lot of new jobs to Michigan! Everyone ready to make 7 dollars an hour! Oh yeah, hopefully I can work next Thanksgiving too. Trickle me down some money... WOO HOO!

Nottingham Kid

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

This is the right thing to do for Michigan. This is a free country, and no one should be required to join a union to work in a certain place. Especially since those union dues are then used almost exclusively to support a particular political party. In a couple of years, everyone will be thanking Governor Snyder for being the dynamic leader this state needs. Keep up the good work Mr. Snyder. After all, if union membership is desirable, they shouldn't have a hard time holding onto membership. What are they afraid of?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

Totally agree. If being in a union is so desirable, people would be clamoring to get in.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Governor Snyder has divided our state in a shameful act. He's proven himself to be a liar and is aligning himself with Dick DeVos and the Koch brothers. Remember this next election!!


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

So tell me union supporters, how come no major corproations or businesses are making a bee line to Michigan open up shop? Is it because of union demands and exorbitant business and property taxes?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

JohnQ, that happens everywhere. Why cannot Michigan do the same?

John Q

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

No, they get massive amounts of taxpayer funded handouts to open up in the South.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Wrong for the economy Communities lose jobs when wages are lowered by right to work. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that for every $1 million in wage cuts, the local economy sheds six jobs. ( Right to work does not improve the employment rate. In fact, eight of the 12 states with the highest unemployment rates have right-to-work laws on the books. ( According to a report from Ohio University, these laws actually led to a decrease in employment in certain industries. ( Right to work proponents are wrong Right-to-work supporters hide behind the claim that right to work protects workers who don't want to join a union or agree with a union's politics. But federal labor law already protects workers who don't want to join a union or make political contributions. Right to work's true purpose is to hurt the ability of unions to advocate for all workers and serve as a check on corporate greed.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

These laws drive down wages for all workers, including non-union members, women, and people of color. Workers living in right-to-work states earn about $1,500 less per year than workers in states without these laws. The wage penalty is even higher for women and workers of color. ( Workers in right-to-work states are less likely to have health insurance. The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance for workers in right-to-work states is 2.6 percentage points lower than in states without these restrictions. ( Right to work makes workplaces more dangerous. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 52.9 percent higher in right-to-work states. ( Wrong for businesses Right-to-work laws do not improve business conditions in states. ( Right to work is not a deciding factor in where businesses locate. ( High-tech companies that provide good-paying, American jobs favor states where unions have a strong presence, because unions provide a high-skilled workforce and decrease turnover. (


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

dsponini, Instead of spouting statistics from a union organization it would be helpful to use actual Bureau of Labor Statistics from the United States Department of Labor. And here it is: from 2011 Occupation Median wages in RTW states Median wages in CB states Difference All occupations $15.31/hour $16.89/hour -$1.58/hour (-9.4%) Now you have to factor in your union dues, there isn't much difference. Health insurance is a moot point. Starting in 2014, people can buy from the healthcare exchange and have the government pay for most of your premiums, if not all of them. Please show me statistics from the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows occupational death rates are higher in Right to work states than in union states.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

Michigan employees/citizens are sick of the union bullies giving millions of dollars to whatever democrat politician or PAC regardless of their views or moral standards. We are sick of the teachers unions extreme demands for more money, even greater benefits (paid for by taxpayers), and less work as school districts are hurting financially. We are sick of the private unions extreme demands for more money, even greater benefits (paid for by consumers), and less work. Unions were a good thing at one time but they changed from FAIR benefits, wages, work hours, and safe working enviroments to politics and protecting worthless workers. Unfortunately the unions have simply gotten out of control!

John Q

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

Let me get this straight - unions are bad for workers because they get workers high wages and benefits. Wow, that's terrible.

David Paris

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

Austerity Bomb, Right-to-work, and Ora Pescovitz email... the Grinch Lives this Holiday Season!

Dr Bones

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 10:25 a.m.

I am not sure what is sadder ... the fact that Snyder blatantly said he thought this issue was too divisive for Michigan and then turns around and rubber stamps it (can any one say liar liar pants on fire)... that it was run roughshod through in a lame duck session without any period for public comment, no committee meetings, and with an addendum blocking a referendum on the issue (and after Democrats were initially blocked from entering the capitol) under the eyes of a governor who supports transparency in government. And of course, lest we forget he said this was NOT on the agenda but then here it is quickly appearing on the agenda(where is that look of shock and awe governor - that is right this was't a surprise). Not sure how many of you saw it but Thursday morning at 5 am a commercial on RTW and how it was the future of Michigan and good for the state was actually shown on the TV (remember this was before the vote) so this was planned weeks ago. While you may or may not support RTW is one thing but I personally find this behavior on getting this through the legislature and to the governors desk one of the most back door, vindictive, underhanded attempts to thwart the democratic process I have seen in a long time. Of course what can we expect from a republican control legislature whereby one of its own members tries to pay someone to falsely run for office. A SAD SAD DAY IN MICHIGAN


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

That's because Governor DeVos has told his boy Snyder to sign zee papers.

G. Orwell

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

Let's get this straight. BOTH the Democratic AND Republican leadership, mainly at the federal level, are responsible for the decimation of the unions and the middle class. It is not possible the damage that has been done without the complicity of BOTH parties. Both parties work for the interest of big corporations. I believe Hillary Clinton worked or represented Walmart during her law practice. And, Obama works for big banks.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

I say let there be both. If you want to be in the Union, fine. You will benefit from all that is negotiated between employee and employer. If you want to opt out, again, fine. But, you will be subject to what the employer says. Yes, there will be two standards within the work place. Now, set back and watch all those not included in the Union come running to join so they can enjoy the benefits of a safe, healthy, respectful and productive work place. No near for legislature regarding this in the future once workers are reminded why Unions were organized in the first place..

John Q

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

That's false. Unions are still required to negotiate for the freeloaders.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

hadit, That's exactly what this proposal is all about. It is giving employees to choice whether they want to pay for a union or not. It is not taking away the union. You do realize that 88% of the workforce is not in a union? So if you think that a bunch of non workers are going to go running to join a union it isn't going to happen. It would have happened a long time ago.

Boo Radley

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

Unusual Suspect, you are wrong ... they do still occur. I thought for many years that my money was wasted going to pay union dues, then a new administration came in and reminded all of us why we have a union. I am glad you have always had good employers and benevolent bosses. There are many who are very thankful for union protection from those cat-o-nine-tails.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:41 a.m.

I'm not in a union, and none of the 1920's-era sweatshop problems you are spreading fear about occur, nor have occurred in my 30 years of work. How do you explain that? Is the simple fact that a union exists at a business somewhere else in town all that's keeping my boss form whipping me with a cat-o-nine-tails?

Rick Stevens

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

The Walmartization of the middle class is almost complete. Please remember to thank the Republicans at the state and national level next time you vote. $1.8 billion gift to businesses (with the tax burden transferred to the middle class and workers was the first step. Education was cut and this is step #2.

John Q

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Let's call this what it is, "Right to Freeload" legislation. Non-union workers want the unions to do the work to negotiate wages and benefits and don't want to have to pay for it. So much for the hackneyed "Freedom isn't Free!" It is when it's "Freedom to Work" and you get to freeload off your fellow workers.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:45 p.m.

For those who think this would be a boon for our state's economy. The states who have enacted "right to work" legislation make an average of 3.2% less than the states without it.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

G. Orwell, Shhhh.....let's not let the people know that the unemployment rates are lower in the Right To Work states than union states. That will hurt the unions talking points! Gotta keep it on the down low.

Rork Kuick

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

If I can hire 10 people for the price of 9, and still have enough left over to put more money in my pocket, I'll be better off, and get to say I created more jobs. Whether that really is helping generally is doubtful - folks have mentioned negative effects on taxes, other people's wages, consumer demand, though there are effects the other way too - I'm not saying it's simple. I do get how the corporations might like it though, and I also get how their money talks, to both politicians, and the not-so-skeptical.

G. Orwell

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

BUT, what are their unemployment rates?

G. Orwell

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

The root of the problem is outsourcing. If our government wouldn't incentivize outsourcing of good manufacturing jobs to China and other third world and developing countries, unions would not have a problem retaining and growing union members because there would be plenty of manufacturing jobs and maybe even labor shortages. Thus, giving more power to the unions. This problem began with Clinton/Gore when they rammed NAFTA, CAFTA, and all other "free trade"agreements through. Al Gore said, "it's good for America, Larry (King)." Now he is pushing another Wall Street scam called global warming. He wants to tax you for breathing. I think it should be free.

Ron Granger

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

But romney received more from the banks and wallstreet. Feel free to refute it with facts, but anything less is just an opinion.

G. Orwell

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:28 a.m.

Wrong again Ron. Obama received millions from JP Morgan, Goldman Saches and other banks during the 2008 and 2012 elections. Obama even received hundreds of thousands from Bain Capital. Obama lied. He said he would not take corporate money. He also said he would not hire lobbiests. His admin. is full of lobbiests. He is lying to you.

Ron Granger

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

Actually, wallstreet and the big banks you mention mainly funded Romney, not Obama. The notion that republicans aren't all for offshoring jobs if someone can make a buck from it is grossly inaccurate.

G. Orwell

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

Ross Perrot said that and he was right. Al Gore was wrong. The Democrats have purposely done more damage to the unions and the middle lass than the Republicans. Bill Clinton also got rid of the Glass-Steagal Act that greatly favored the big banks at the expense of the middle class. And, we all know Obama is funded and works for big banks. That is obvious.

Ron Granger

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

"You hear that giant sucking sound? That is the sound of jobs being sucked over the border!"

Tom Todd

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

Housing values just dropped more.

A Voice of Reason

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

Finally, the teachers will be free of their money grabbing union and can be treated and paid by professionals. Also, districts will no longer be held hostage to add a premium to the their health insurance cost that funds the unions. For once, education will be about the kids first!

John Q

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

That's why teachers in private schools have such great pay and benefits.

Tom Todd

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

Paid professional get paid a lot more then teachers currently make, also raise your kids and maybe a teacher can teach them since you expect the tv to entertain them and they don't know numbers upon arrival to kindergarten.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Obviously the pros and cons of making Michigan a RTW state need to be weighed thoroughly, but there are certainly a number of advantages and opportunities that would come Michigan's way should it make the move ( Furthermore, ending the practice of forced dues, especially in the public sector, would go a long way in reducing the corrosive influence that unions can create through extensive lobbying efforts (

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

This is going to hurt our state for years to come if it passes. It isn't an accident that wages are lower in Right-to-Work states. We'll pay a lot just in decreased tax revenue because lower wages means lower taxes and really low wages means paying for food stamps and medicaid as well as for the sorts of social problems associated with poverty.

Ron Granger

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Why aren't the GOP more concerned with changing the laws so they encourage more entrepreneurship, like those in California? The laws of California are a big part of why startups and talent concentrate there. Instead, they seem fixated on making Michigan a state of disposable worker-drones.

Nottingham Kid

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

The reason California is successful is because of the critical mass of educated talent and the critical mass of high tech workers and universities already there. Same reasons Henry Ford started in Detroit, because there were already skilled tradesman and manufacturers there. The laws of CA have nothing to do with it. In fact they are a disincentive for companies to stay there once they get up and running. Oh yeah, I think the weather and natural beauty have something to do with it too.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Republicrites are turning Michigan into Luisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama. No high-tech or any kind of innovative start-ups will ever come here now.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:37 a.m.

How absurd. CA voters just overwhelmingly voted themselves a(nother) tax increase. That sound like GOP to you Ron? And stay tuned. Like leaving NY, mobile folks will/are leaving CA for reasonable pastures.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

And their unemployment is above 10%.

Ron Granger

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

We're not talking about coal plants and fracking. Or teaparty talking points. California is still the prime ecosystem for startups, in large part due to their worker-friendly laws. California law does not allow non-competes. You can't restrict where a worker works after they leave, unless you are still paying them. In California, what a worker creates on their own time belongs to them. Etc.

G. Orwell

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

You are kidding, right. Companies are leaving California in droves because of high taxes and draconian and costly environmental regulations.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

Ron - The unemployment rate in California is 10.1%...the third highest in the U.S. When they stop running wildly unsustainable deficits at the state level, unemployment will spike even higher. I know what you are saying, but your example is bad.

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

That's exactly what this will do.

Stephen Landes

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

I heard Bob King, president of the UAW, on WJR this morning. Mr. King was arguing that freedom to work legislation isn't necessary because workers in union shops currently have the right not to join the union -- they just have to pay the union contract management cost portion of union dues. These people get a rebate form the union for the non-contract management portion of their dues and a "nice letter" explaining to them the value of being a union member. I don't trust Mr. King or unions in general in this regard. I don't trust them because of unions' history of behavior. Unions seem to have a very difficult time with accounting (see union officials in jail for accounting/monetary offenses), so I have no trust that what they say is the cost of administering the contract is, in fact, just that. Unions and union members have a history of berating, abusing, bullying, and occasionally physically harming those who don't toe the union line. I know union members who have been threatened by their "brothers and sisters" because they dared to have a different political view. My great-grandfather was a suit cutter and an early member of the garment workers. I have another family member who was a co-founder of a union. My first office had a view of the legendary overpass in the Rouge. I am not insensitive to labor history, the benefits that have come from unions in the past, nor to the rights that workers have -- and should continue to have -- to organize. However, I believe unions are their own worst enemy. Unions should be able to demonstrate their value to workers and employers alike by providing the highest quality workers -- best trained, best motivated, most efficient, most productive, and highest quality work producing employees. Unions should be able to tell employers, "hire us and we will handle all the personnel issues, so you don't have to". Instead, unions tend to protect the worst and discourage the best all in the name of


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

Leaguebus, Not sure where you are getting your so called numbers about Oklahoma from, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the law has passed in Oklahoma jobs are up 3.8 percent in the past ten years despite the two recessions. During that time, Michigan has lost 13.8 percent of its jobs. To take it even further, between 1980 and 2011, Right to work states grew 71 percent in total employment. While union states only grew 32 percent.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

All beating up the unions does is lower wages and benefits which lowers the amount of state taxes the workers pay and ultimately lowers demand for products and services, which causes more teacher and public service layoffs and less private sector hiring. We get caught in a death spiral. Oklahoma went RTW in 2001 after NAFTA and lost 50K jobs in the next 10 years. There is no evidence that RTW slowed the loss of jobs or created any jobs in the state. When a company decides to move to lower wages, they are not looking for a RTW state. They look overseas for $1 and hour places. Snyder and his TeaBaggers have done enough damage to the state by causing the layoff of thousands of teachers and public service workers. RTW is just another nail in the fiscal coffin.

rusty shackelford

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

Love how cops get to keep their unions in Snyder's bill. Hey, got to keep them happy if you expect them to break skulls of the rest of us trying to have a decent life through a union, right?

Steven Taylor

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

Cops tend to get jumpy when union thugs push a riot line and are generally uncouth. The bitter tears of union thug protestors gassed by union thug cops is DELICIOUS!

rusty shackelford

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

Freep reports cops have just maced union members protesting outside the capitol.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

The only reasonable way to do this is to put it to the people in ballot form next November. Let the voters decide...all the voters. The reason to do it next November is there will be no other big issue on the ballot, so people will get to focus on this one.

Stephen Landes

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

The voters decided to elect their representatives in the State legislature. We have a representative form of government -- it should be sufficient to have the debate in the legislature.

rusty shackelford

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

IN the past, I'd defended Snyder as basically Granholm but less phony and much more effective. If you covered the letters after their names, you'd not have known which was which. No more. He's lost his reputation as an honest broker and a reasonable moderate with this. He'll loose a lot of support as a result. Hope making sure we all work for minimum wage (until you abolish minimum wage) will be worth it to you, Rick.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

A small victory for the republican 1% bootlickers, too bad their party won't be around to enjoy it for much longer. The GOP is dead in the water, gerrymandering can't keep you in the house forever, it's only a matter of time.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Westfringe - I really hope you're right. It's time for middle-class and blue-collar people to wake up and stop electing the republicrites. Ignorant folks voting against their own self interest.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

I totally understand why shareholders love right-to-work laws. If you don't know what the labor market was like before unions, please read some history. 6 hour work weeks, no paid overtime or leave, no sick time, no health insurance, no reason needed to be provided for firing. All the benefits that we as modern workers take for granted came from the labor union movement. So I don't understand at all why anyone who works for a living would pass one.

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

dotdash is invoking the fallacy of the false alternative: if we stop forcing people to join unions, we will have children working in factories and we will all be working 25 hours per day. It's of course not true, but fear is the only tool they have to defeat this since pretty much everybody is in favor of workplace freedom.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

We'll assume you meant "6 DAY work weeks"!

Rabid Wolverine

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

And back before the unions came into being there were no federal/state labor laws to protect all workers (union/non-union) from deplorable working conditions. Now that there are organizations in every workplace like HSE (Health, safety and environment) the need of unions is far less, but there has been no reduction in their power or reach. There is a large overlap in what the union's do and what the HSE/federal laws prohibit. You are attempting to compare working conditions which are almost 100 years apart...


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

This is about freedom in the workplace and workers' rights. 90% of union members have never voted to be part of a union, they simply joined a workplace that already had a union. Collective Bargaining laws remain in place and are federally protected. This simply gives the worker the right to choose whether they want to join the union, and ultimately, the right to hold their union more accountable, particularly if they never voted to join that union in the first place. If the union provides value to the worker, and does it for reasonable dues, there is no change when the worker chooses to be part of that union.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Yeah! When I chose the job I have at the salary I have, there was no freedom. Now I work for someone who actually expects me to WORK. I never got to vote for that. Where is my freedom?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

I'm sorry Rusty, but your argument is that it is better if people simply don't have the opportunity to vote because there is a risk they might vote in the "wrong" direction? We get to vote out the Republicans in two years if we so choose. That makes them accountable. There are some fascinating things happening in Indiana where RTW passed. Membership numbers are not dropping materially. Maybe the union leaders are listening a bit more and they become better representatives for their workers as a result. Anyway, I appreciate the civil discussion. There probably aren't going to be a lot of those on this topic for the next few months.

Stephen Landes

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

Yeah, Rusty. That's why unions wanted car check, so there would be no need for those nasty elections -- just twist some arms to get people to sign a card and -- boom -- they're in a union shop.

rusty shackelford

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

The problem (well, from conservatives' point of view, it's the best feature, not a problem) is that currently labor election regulations are skewed so insanely in favor of management (after years of GOP working to make them so) that these "votes" are anything but free or democratic.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

Rusty - Their lack of freedom is in being able to work in that workplace and choose whether the union is generating value for them or not. There is an interesting alternative to this that simply requires that there be a binding vote every five years by everyone in that workplace. If there is a majority vote, everyone is required to be in the union. That still drives accountability for the union.

rusty shackelford

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

"...joined a workplace that already had a union." So where is the lack of freedom, exactly? You just said yourself that this imaginary worker chose to join this imaginary workplace


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

As the 20th century deaths of hundreds of union organizers at the hands of anti-union forces in this state proves, forming a union and holding it together is extremely difficult and often dangerous work. Forming any large organization is a politically difficult task and with the financial and even physical attacks union membership brings, it is nearly impossible. Allow some workers to free-ride on the toil of others and you kill unions. This is what corporate ownership knows and this is why they have poured so much money into right to work legislation around this country, It should be obvious, painfully so to the 99.99%, that the decay of union power around this country has led to wage stagnation and benefit degradation resulting in the enrichment of the very wealthy. When we allow the very wealthy to buy elections and even legislation like this fraud, we hurt ourselves very badly.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

Ray- UAW is now part owners of Chrysler and GM, they are hiring workers at $12 an hour, and demand a portion of that hourly rate for Union dues. So what is your answer for those wages being offered to new employees by the Union running these companies? crickets.....


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

Yes, it is true that corporate profits are at an all time high, and your point is what? If you dig deeper you will understand the reason behind this. When the economy was great, employers had to employ more people to meet all the demands. Their profits weren't as large as they are now because they had to employ more people, pay more benefits, pay higher wages due to labor shortage, etc. When the economy crashed, their expenses skyrocketed while their profits plummetted. So they cut the excess fat, laid off people, beneftis, and drastically cut expenses. This has allowed them to become profitable again. There is not labor shortage so they can pick and choose who they higher at lower wages, and many aren't even hiring because there is no demand for their products, therefore creating higher profits. It is simple economics.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

RayA2 you have a future as a journalist in Europe. They beckon your arrival. When we allow the very wealthy to buy elections? You mean Soros. OOOPS, I meant Obama's people/community. Get real.

Tom Whitaker

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

In fact, corporate profits are at an all-time high (up 18% over last year), while wages are at an all-time low as a share of GDP, even as worker productivity has increased dramatically.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

These hideously named "right to work" (more aptly named right to work for much less) laws are naked power grabs by the 0.01% at the expense of the rest of us. You can expect that there is huge money pushing this greedy legislation. Naturally when you elect republicons, you get action on behalf of the 0.01% that is harmful to the rest of us.

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

... and, "right to work" is a very apt term. Have you ever worked on a union stage? I have. An hour before a show the union took a break, so everybody had to take a break. That is, work was against the rules. Before that I had never experienced the environment where work was against the rules.

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

It's erroneous and arrogant to state that employees who are forced to join a union are paid better than employees who don't join once given the choice. If I were an employer, I would pay non-union employees more because they are "lower maintenance." That is, fewer headaches and baggage come with them, requiring much less HR resources to interface with them.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

when he ran for office he tried to make it sound like he was not gonna do the things that he is now trying to do,he also said that he wouldn't tax seniors pensions. this guy is no friend of unions or seniors.!! hes a true business man and republican and i don't mean that in a favorable way !!!


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

When Snyder was running when did he say that he wouldn't tax seniors pensions?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

Just start calling him "One-Term Rick."


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

If the issue is truly all about union dues - I can't see the evidence. I've worked in union and non-union shops since adulthood (46 years) and never found reason for complaint about union dues nor have I heard complaints by other union members. Something tells me that, as I originally suspected, this "right to work law" is a false banner disguising an much different agenda. The political pendulum swings - inevitably. During the Sixties the country leaned left (the Dems dominated), but that created dissatisfaction because their "successes" became obvious frauds. Same thing is happening - it takes time for the accumulation of inequities to be felt by the voters, disenchantment and a swing the other way follows. This is what's happening with Republicans (the "political right") and they'll end up again as the minority party of the wealthy (the same party which bought McKinley as THEIR president but ended up with Teddy Roosevelt, the anti-monopoly man who ended their control of government, our economy and workers' lives). Justice, fairness, HONESTY: is the proper way to avoid or resolve conflicts. Until we insist on applying these principles, the political wonks will continue the battle for "dominance" they don't deserve and can't sustain.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

I'm PRO-CHOICE! Keep your laws off my wallet! Let me decide who gets my money not some Greedy Union Boss who will give the money to the Democrat Party!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

Dot I'm a union member and support this for the reason xmo gave, along with the fact that union don't care about the employees like they used to be. I've been taking pay cuts and other consessions the last 5 years, and the union has the nerve to raise my dues. I guess the vacations, I mean trainings are costing more now.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

you have the right to work any place you like. Don't like a union shop find a just as good a paying job with benefits some place else and good luck you'll need it!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Are you in a union?

Superior Twp voter

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.



Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

This shouldn't be a surprise to the Union boss's or anyone else in this state who paid attention to the last election - the union boss's were asked by Snyder not to put proposal 2 on the ballot as it would open this Pandora's box - Snyder told them he had no intention of signing it if it were to come up. But the union boss's not only ignored Snyder on prop 2, but then went and accepted millions from Matty Maroon and asked their members to support passing proposal 6 the bridge to Canada - So now they want to rally their troops to fight when they started this mess - Isn't having choices what this country is about?

Tom Whitaker

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

Mr. Snyder's Republican-dominated legislature voted against the bridge, too, when it was before them. Are you saying Mr. Snyder is a spiteful and will flip-flop on an issue just for revenge? What legitimate reasons has he given for this 180 degree reversal in policy?

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

Snyder had said he didn't want to see it cross his desk, and it would have died there. Then the unions started the war with Proposition 2. Now we see that we need this as a firewall against the out-of-control unions. If the union leadership had let it go, we wouldn't be talking about this now. I was previously saying I didn't have a horse in this race; I could take it whichever way it went. Now that the unions have fired the first shot, I am totally in favor of workplace freedom, because I now see the need for it. If you didn't want a war, you should have waged one. Now you've got one.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Tom I'm saying the union should of recognized the good thing they had instead of being greedy - If they didn't want this fight they should of been willing to agree and keep their word. Snyder told them that if they were going to push the issue then he would push the issue. And the unions will lose this one. But that is the mentality and arrogance of the unions leadership.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

If we are lucky, this will wake the people up and they will vote out Snyder because of this.

Tom Whitaker

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

So your saying Mr. Snyder is giving up his previously-held beliefs out of spite? Other than Revenge of the Nerd, what legitimate reason has he given for this apparent flip-flop?

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

As are you, of course!


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

my post came in after your post you are correct on all points.

Ben Freed

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

What do you think the real results will be if right to work legislation passes? Do you foresee immediate economic gains or decreases? Immediate impact on workers or unions? Or do you think it will play out as a longer game?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

I have to say it would level the playing field - Honda, Nissan, BMW, Volvo, Mercedes, Boeing all avoided this state like the plague when they were looking to locate plants; just about every incentive imaginable was presented and they elected to go elsewhere, in order to get the labor force they needed. Tennessee now calls itself the Automotive state if that gives you an idea of how much business has gone elsewhere because of the Union's solidarity house being in Michigan


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

The hyperbole around the discussion of the issue is extremely irritating. It is portrayed as either "the death of unions and the further ascendancy of the corrupt plutocrats" versus "Michigan jobs are going to increase by 5000% and workers will be happier and more productive and better paid." As with everything, no doubt the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but it would be really nice if we could get closer to the truth and get some honest analysis. This is not the death of unions. It doesn't prohibit collective bargaining. All it does is allow people to not join unions. To be sure, it is not a good thing for unions and in particular union leadership, but how exactly (without resorting to hyperbole) is it really that bad for workers? There is so much garbage floating around on this issue it is hard to make real sense of it. Blaming Snyder is not the answer - republicans keep getting elected to state wide offices and most of them make no bones about how they want this legislation. Why should anyone be surprised when they put it forward? Snyder was trying to avoid it but it seems clear he really can't avoid it so he is involved now. Isn't that a good thing?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Ghost, "poorer working conditions" will not result because of allowing people to join or not join a union. Have you heard of OSHA? They are the ones that set the laws for working conditions, not the unions. And why can't one work longer hours if they want to? As it is right now, because of a union contract the employee can't work longer hours if he or she would like to. What a shame. Also, why are we contiously trying to protect such a small class of workers? Is it really for the workers or is it for the business of being union. As one union leader put it, "We are a business and it is hurting our business." According to the United States Department of Labor only 11.8% of the workforce is union as of 2011. That shows a huge majority of the American people do not want to be union!

Ghost of Tom Joad

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

@ yaah, it opens the door to employers not allowing unionization to be started through intimidation. @unusual suspect, you say you've negotiated your contract for 30 years. unless you are a privately contracted individual, your contract has benefited from the rules set in place through collective bargaining.

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

It doesn't prevent anybody from forming or joining a union. What is does it introduce competition which will force union leadership to represent their workers interests, not their own. If the unions provide a useful service, employees will join happily them.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:52 p.m.

OK, that is a fair point (to Ghost), but how does this prevent workers from joining unions and using collective bargaining? It doesn't seem to. There are lots of workers who don't want to join unions.

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

"it forces employees to negotiate on their own in regards to compensation/standards" I hope I never have to do that! Oh, wait, I've been doing it for thirty years and I'm doing just fine and making a good living.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

You're right, the Republicans have made no bones about the fact that they want to prevent closed-shop collective bargaining in the state. The real effect that has though, is that it forces employees to negotiate on their own in regards to compensation/standards. The power of the union is in the numbers. If we allow this state to become a "right to work" state, it will further empower employers when it comes to negotiating. The risk that results from that is poorer working conditions for less pay, and longer hours. The immediate effect isn't the danger with this type of legislation. It's the leverage that is given to those who already hold the upper hand that will become dangerous down the road.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

originally I only planned to vote against Snyder. Now I plan to devote as much energy as possible actively campaigning against this liar. The aim of the Republicans in this state has been clear from the start. They want to eliminate labor laws that have provided this country with the foundation to a middle class that is absolutely necessary for our success. These guys are willing to sacrifice all that has been achieved for a short-term profit, that benefits only them. Their greed will cost the rest of us everything if we're not willing to fight back.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Ghost you obvioulsy do not work in a union job or shop. Unions only protect bad workers these days- they do absolutely nothing for a person who comes in an does their job. See what happens when a union member threatens another union member on the job - nothing managment can't do anything becuase of the contract & the union will snub their noses at the member who complained.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

Ghost, In your own words "Enough with the hyperbolic rhetoric." Please explain how "they want to eliminate labor laws?" What labor laws are they eliminating?

Ghost of Tom Joad

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

I'll forgive you, woman in ypsilanti....this time. :)

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

I am sorry. I clicked on the wrong button when I was voting and I voted you down when I meant to vote you up.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

This will pretty much cement that fact that Snyder will be GONE next round of elections....


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

Yeah all he has done is fix our economy, create more jobs, get rid of stupid antiquated laws (helmet law, no booze before noon Sunday, scanner law). Surely he needs to go. /sarcasm


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Voting yourself money and power is a pretty sweet concept, but its inevitable that Unions fall. They are not needed these days. Want proof ? The unions don't want people to be given a choice to join unions or not...

Unusual Suspect

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

"This will pretty much cement that fact that Snyder will be GONE next round of elections...." Right! It will cause union members to start voting Democrat! That will be a game-changer!

Superior Twp voter

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

I believe just the opposite, poni.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

That's actually not true --- if you look at our OWN poll above, where Ann Arborites usually overwhelmingly vote against these things, you see a pretty close divide...and Ann Arbor is not Michigan, where polls show overwhelming support for Right to Work outside of Detroit/Ann Arbor... While there is a loud vocal minority in Ann Arbor that somehow think Snyder is their nemesis, you will find that it is the exact opposite in most of Michigan, and even Ann Arbor is divided on that one. I totally support Snyder and his efforts, as does half of Ann Arbor...


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Remember when someone said that Proposal 2 was unnecessary, because Michigan was in no danger of ever becoming a "right to work" (for less) state? Now, who was that... Oh yes, that's right: the governerd.


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

Normally, I'd step in to say something to defend the Governor. Not today. You're right. With this and the helmet law, I'm out. I voted against the amendment last time. I'll vote for it next time. Call it karma. Call it the law of unintended consequences. But this is legislation is a bad idea. It's divisive when we need unity. If non-union workers want the same contract as union workers, then they should pay dues. That would be fair and that would be a right-to-work law I could stomach. I had such high hopes for you Governor Snyder...


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

Yep, keep in mind who overplayed their own hand: Unions, trying to create a constitutional amendment to curtail any other choices in the future. As the unions couldn't "live and let live," Gov. Snyder shouldn't either.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

"Right to Work": is code for gutting the unions. That means less on the job protection for workers, lower wages, no bargaining power for wotrkers, and a regression to the time when families had to worry about the wage earner(s) being injured on the job with no recourse. How can this be right?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

Workers now have protections afforded to them through Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). What does a worker do when there is a violation? They call OSHA. What does the union do when there is a violation? They call OSHA. Let the workers choose whether they want a union vs forcing them to be in a union. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

And who do you think the government works's a clue it's isn't the US people


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

What you said is true 100 years ago, but absolutely false today. The government has stepped in with workplace protections.

tom swift jr.

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

Snyder and his republican cohort take yet another step to giving the state of Michigan and its workers to their corporate cronies.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

LoL! What exactly is wrong with not FORCING employees to pay union fees ? I know several teachers and NONE of them like the unions. They pay fees and the union only protects bad teachers. Why ? Because bad teachers are the only ones that need to be protected. haha This whole thing is a joke. I can't wait til it passes...


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

unlike the more reasonable friendly down to earth Union boss's controlling the workers