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 Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

U.S. Rep. John Dingell: Republicans have 'kicked open a hornet's nest' by passing right-to-work

By Ryan J. Stanton


Thousands of right-to-work protesters crowded downtown Lansing as the Michigan legislature geared up to vote on bills that would ban the requirement for union membership in private and public workplaces.

J. Scott Park |

U.S. Rep. John Dingell voiced strong opposition to passage of right-to-work legislation by the Michigan House on Tuesday, urging Gov. Rick Snyder to veto it when it comes to his desk.

"There is no need or reason for this legislation," Dingell said shortly after the 58-51 vote on House Bill 4003. "By forcing this issue through the Legislature, Republicans in the state House and Senate have kicked open a hornet's nest that could have been avoided altogether."

The House voted 58-51 to pass the right-to-work bill for public employees, and 58-52 on another bill for private sector workers as thousands of protesters rallied around the state Capitol. Snyder has indicated he will sign the legislation into law.


U.S. Rep. John Dingell

Ryan J. Stanton |

State Rep. Rick Olson, R-York Township, spoke with while on his lunch break after voting in favor of the right-to-work legislation.

Olson expressed regret that protesters in Lansing tore down a tent owned by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that advocates for right-to-work laws. He said protesters used knives to slash it apart with members of AFP still inside.

"Unfortunately there have been some people hurt outside," Olson said. "I've heard a couple of people have gotten maced."

Olson spoke on the House floor on Tuesday in favor of right-to-work. It was only the second time in his two years in the Legislature that he's decided to speak on the floor.

While right-to-work legislation weakens the power of unions, Olson said that's not what his vote was about. He said it's about giving workers the freedom to choose whether to pay union dues.

"I voted for it primarily on the basis of supporting our constitutional right of freedom of assembly," he said. "I believe people should be free to join or not join something if they choose."

State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, offered harsh criticisms of his Republican colleagues on his Facebook page, saying they rammed through the legislation without a single committee meeting and attached a spending provision to the legislation to make it referendum-proof.

"When the House passed HB 4003, the Republicans and their clerk, Gary Randall, illegally refused to hear our motion for reconsideration," Irwin wrote in a post, claiming the GOP ignored House rules. "This is all part of a pattern of lousy and lazy parliamentary process in the Michigan House."

Irwin concluded, "This is a sad day in Lansing."

Olson criticized Democrats for making an issue of the procedure. He said the motion to reconsider the vote was made after the bill already was ruled enrolled and sent to the governor, and the House leadership's decision not to reconsider the vote was upheld by a roll call vote.

"Once the bill leaves the floor, a motion to reconsider is no longer appropriate," Olson said. "That's the sequence of events that happened and that was the ruling. Was it enrolled and sent to the governor quickly? Yeah. But the rules were applied."

Dingell, D-Dearborn, said Michigan's industrial heritage is defined by the labor movement, and Republican and Democratic state lawmakers alike have worked to safeguard it in the past.

"All this right-to-work bill does is cut the legs out from under middle-class Michigan families and bring on further needless political conflict," he said. "I urge Governor Snyder to be reasonable, uphold the sensible legacies of former Republican Governors George Romney and Bill Milliken, and veto what the Michigan Legislature has sent him.”

State police dressed in riot gear gathered outside the state Capitol on Tuesday while an estimated 10,000 demonstrators rallied in protest. Michigan State Police Capt. Harold Love told a trooper pepper sprayed someone after another trooper began to get pulled into the crowd.

The crowd extended a full city block down Michigan Avenue, where the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Sen. Gretchen Whitmer spoke outside of Lansing City Hall.

A group of labor supporters spent Monday night singing Christmas carols outside Snyder's gated community near Ann Arbor in hopes that he would reverse his stance on right-to-work, which makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment.

The bills working their way through the Legislature cover all public and private workers except police and firefighters.

Snyder and Republican leaders argue workers should have a choice whether to financially support a union. Democrats and labor supporters call it a heavy-handed attack on unions and argue it deprives unions the ability to fairly collect dues from those who benefit from the bargaining process.

While Snyder has been criticized for supporting right-to-work after saying for the last couple of years that it wasn't on his agenda, he did tell Michigan Business Review in May 2009 when he was exploring a run for governor that he would support a movement to make Michigan a right-to-work state.

"I think it would be helpful if Michigan was right-to-work, but primarily from a marketing perspective. I think it would show the rest of the country that we're open for business," he said at the time, adding, "I'm not an anti-union person, though. I would rather have the unions be part of it."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

For 20 + years every governor has said " We need to diversify Michigans economy." Michigan's attempts at encouraging new business was to give away taxpayer $ in the form of various tax breaks. If you read the articles after plants located in Right to Work States, they all said" I did not go to Michigan because I did not want to deal with the UAW". Michigan has now tried to do something different. Indiana has added jobs since they passed RTW. We will see how this works out for Michigan.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

Maybe Dingle can call off his union thug pals who attacked a black man during the riots in Lansing yesterday.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

Rep Dingle should crawl back to Dearborn and coddle some more welfare recipient middle eastern immigrants. We don't need to hear from him about what working people should or should not be doing.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

This was just a law designed to reduce union influence. It has nothing to due with freedom and citizenship. If you choose to live and own in a community, you accept your responsibility to pay for fire and police protection. You DO NOT have the freedom to not pay for these services and you accept the majority decision through representative government on how these services are run. If you are unhappy, you can leave the community or try to change it. By the same token, if you choose to work in a company represented by a union, you should pay for these services. The union was placed there by the majority of the employees, and if you don't wish to pay for it, you should leave the company or work to decertify the union. Folks, its the same logic! If you choose to be part of the work community, you pay for the services it provides. All this talk of "freedom" is patriotic prattle meant to avoid responsibility to your community.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

Right idea, wrong application [of the metaphor]. "Kicking open a hornets nest" was prop 2, the stinging was right-to-work.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

Two years from now this will turn out to be a blessing. We live in a blue state, but many Dems didn't vote in the state elections two years ago. This horse phooey the Repugs just pulled will have the same effect as the voter suppression had this past election. It will fire up the Dem voters to turn out and get rid of these tea partiers and corporate organ grinders .

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

"By forcing this issue through the Legislature, Republicans in the state House and Senate have kicked open a hornet's nest that could have been avoided altogether." This shows that Dingell's memory is fading. He can't even remember back one month to Proposal 2, which actually started all this. Of course, it's also possible his statement was just plain bravo sierra.

Stevie Welles

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

The difference being that Prop 2 was voted on by the citizens of this state, not rammed through in the dark of night behind locked doors. If you don't see the difference, you're not trying.

Robert Granville

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

It was already illegal to require full union or dues as a condition of employment. This law just allows free-riders to be represented by union attorneys without paying their fair share of the cost. Compulsory union membership is a myth.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

If a union had a contract with the company that they will represent ALL employees (both union paying members and non-union workers) then the union got to extract a "fee" from the non union workers for "representing" them. It was a very smart move on the unions to put that in the contract with the company. Now the law states workers don't have to pay that fee anymore. Now the union has a choice as to whether they want to continue representing ALL employees or change their contract with the employer and to represent only those that pay dues. The whole thing of "free riders" is a myth.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

I support the union members who choose to keep paying their union dues and stay in the union. I also support the people who don't want to stay in the union and don't want to pay dues. It's about choice and everyone wins!


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Now it is up to the unions whether or not if they want to represent ALL employees in a work place, or just those that are union paying members. Right now, most union contracts with companies state they will represent ALL employees (both union paying members and non members) therefore those who didn't want to join the union still had to pay a fee. (Smart of the unions to get more moeny.) Now the workers have a choice to pay that fee or not. Now the union has a choice as to whether or not they want to represent ALL workers in a workplace or if they want to rewrite their contract with the company.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

And there's also the choice to go to a different state if you don't like workplace freedom.

Stevie Welles

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

The choice already existed. The choice to go work for a different company if you don't like the increased pay and benefits your dues got you.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

in theory you would be right only if those who choose not to pay dues also didn't benifit from the union's negotiated protections.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

I agree with many posters that the over reaching of Proposition 2 caused the right to work fervor backlash. But I also agree with Congressman Dingell that this has "kicked open a hornet's nest" and now a lot of other legislation won't be able to go forward. What I wonder now is was this really the biggest most important issue for the state of Michigan? If not why was so much political capital used up to pass it? Perhaps the Republicans were told by major employers with thousands of jobs that were merely waiting for the legislation to be signed before running into Michigan. But I fear it is more likely that it was in your face partisanism extracting revenge for Proposal 2. If this is the case the future of Michigan just became more divisive and partisan without any substantial benefit to the state.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Olson is so wealthy that he doesn't connect with any working class people and can't understand their day-to-day problems with making ends meet. RTW seemed logical to him because now the wealthy (like him) can eliminate worker benefits and pay their employees less. Instead of competing in our capitalist economic system, people like Olson have discovered that passing laws that bring them more profits is easier than earning them in the free market.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

Stevie, "when adjusted for costs of living." Please show me where you are getting your "fact" from. And while we are at it, it has been shown that RTW states make $1,500 less than CB states. However, the union members pay about $1,500 annually in dues. So it's a wash.

Stevie Welles

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

RTW states have lower benefits than CB states when adjusted for costs of living, for ALL WORKERS, not just union members. It's just a fact.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

Estate, Please explain how RTW eliminates worker benefits? And is it competing when the unions block non union companies from working on government projects? Is that what competition is?

Seasoned Cit

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

I'd say that the Unions are the ones that kicked the hornets' nest when they tried to sneak in two proposals this election year. They spent the big bucks trying to put Unions in the Constitution and the people spoke quite clearly. Hey we're the 24th state to pass such legislation... not actually ground breaking. Union leaders should concentrate on getting thieir retirement accounts in order and developing services that members will be happy to pay for.

Stevie Welles

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

Sneak in?! By requiring the citizens of this state to vote on them? You've got to be kidding right? Comparing the two is completely disingenuous, and if you can't see that, you're blind. RTW got pushed through in the dark of night behind locked doors. How are they similar....I'll wait.

Jeffersonian Liberal

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

I think the U of M's Natural History Museum is missing a dinosaur.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

No, not nice.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.



Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

No Mr. Dingell it was not the Republicans who "kicked open the hornet's nest" it was the unions who tried to hoodwink the people of Michigan with Prop 2. Prop 2 should have never happened. If the unions would have backed off RTW would have never happened. Jeff Irwin continues to embarass himself and is unfit to be a representative in Lansing. He is captive to the union interests and defends the staus quo. He continues to embrace Granholm policies. The policies that doomed our great state. irwin offers nothing in terms of fiscal responsibility and long term economic sustainability. He most likely has a union label tatoo on his rump. The MEA continues with hypocriscy. While teaching tolerance, diversity, and acceptance to students they use bully tactics on the lawn of the Capital. they should be ashamed of themselves.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 10:42 p.m.

"embarass" "staus" "irwin" *tatoo" "hypocriscy" One point I'll agree with - the MEA apparently really let somebody down along the way.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

Better a union label on your rump than a tether to the super wealthy, which would make you a republicon.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

Maybe John Dingell check the stats about the right to work states and how it shows that after looking at many facts show that they have more spending power that union folks.

Robert Granville

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

No such stats exist.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Mark Twain comes to mind on this one. Lies, D-Lies and statatistics. Carole, you are going to have to publish the studies on that one. find the links and put them up because I have seen the opposite. Right to work states have the worst education systems, worst medical care, they are terrible on minority rights and they lead the nation in things like crime per capital in their cities and abject poverty. A am pretty neutral on right-to-work. Just don't lie to people about why you are doing it. This will not improve the economic situation here in Michigan.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 11:40 a.m.

YEAH, the democrats will be losing money!


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 11:32 a.m.

Obviously Mr. Dingell is speaking for southeast MI, which is diminishing in power in the state. I'd guess the rest of MI is pretty much on board with the legislation.

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

"While Snyder has been criticized for supporting right-to-work after saying for the last couple of years that it wasn't on his agenda, he did tell Michigan Business Review in May 2009 when he was exploring a run for governor that he would support a movement to make Michigan a right-to-work state." Somehow I don't recall reading this in the coverage of Rick Snyder's campaign for Governor in 2010. What a surprise.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:54 a.m.

Many opponents of proposal 2 thought it was too far reaching even though they stated they favored collective bargaining. Either you are for it or against it and by voting against proposal 2 you opened the door for this heinous legislation. People should have known that failure to pass the proposal would lead to right to work. Many editorial boards who cried out against RTW opposed proposal 2 so they get no sympathy from this reader.

Stevie Welles

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

I saw this coming a mile away. They were waiting to see what happened with Prop 2. If it failed they planned all along to push RTW through immediately after. The Republicans in this state have been salivating over RTW since 2007. And don't think for one second that all that Koch money didn't get Snyder "have a change of heart". Too bad Dems are scared of touching the constitution based on some sort of antiquated reverence for old paper.

Robert Granville

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

I trusted the governor when he said he wasn't planning on signing RTW in MI. If he hadn't lied, I would've voted for prop 2.

Jay Thomas

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:17 a.m.

Cry about it...


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:08 a.m.

Who cares what Dingell thinks, he lost that ability a hundred years ago. And , he and his union buddies, like Bob King of the UAW, started the ball rolling with proposal 2-they kicked the hornets nest, and got stung. It's poetic justice.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:05 a.m.

Latest thoughts from Dingell after Snyder signs bill: "Governor Snyder has kowtowed to ultra-right-wing partisan interests and stuck it to working men and women all over Michigan. By signing this bill into law, the governor has turned his back on decades of peaceful cooperation between labor, state government, and business. I recall a time when Republican governors like Romney and Milliken helped advance the cause of the middle class. Sadly, Governor Snyder does not follow in their footsteps and has loosed upon Michigan bitterness and ill will that will poison labor-management relations at a time when the State can least afford it."

Stevie Welles

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

Just peacefully comply everyone. Everything will be fine. The Koch brothers have your best interests in mind. Watch TV. Relax. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

Peaceful cooperation? Like the one we experienced yesterday in Lansing? That was peaceful? Or when a restaurant was opening up in Dexter last year and the unions came out in full force and tried to bully the owner? That was peaceful? Or when the unions of the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press went on strike in the 90's and broke car windows, slashed tires of workers who dared to work? Or delivery drivers being beaten for doing their job in delivering the paper? Is that the peaceful cooperation that Dingell is talking about?

Stephen Landes

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

I've experienced the "peaceful cooperation" between labor and business -- not a pretty sight to behold.

Robert D. Mosley

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:11 a.m.

In the month of November, Michigan lost 16 thousand jobs. The jobs that are being developed here in the state have been in manufacturing and that means it is because of Obama's bailout of the auto industry and the companies of suppliers who feed those same companies. The focus of GOP has been on anything and everything except jobs. The same GOP that says the government should leave us alone is the essence of Big Government. Those in the GOP did not have the courage to say that they were for the right to work when they ran. I truly believe that this is indeed kicking the hornet's nest and you have seen the last of Rick Snyder as a governor and for Republicans. They, along with the Koch Brothers, Dick DeVos--no friends of the working man--will find that just as in the country as a whole, the numbers of people they saw vote in the last election will turn out against them. No amount of money can defeat the changing demographics now focused on ridding the state of these abject tools of the rich and fools who aren't rich and follow them.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:09 a.m.

I support Right to Work! No one should be FORCED to join a club... I mean, union. If you want to be a part of one, fine, go for it. But if someone doesn't want to be part of the gang, then leave them be to do their job.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

Steve, The unoins are legally bound to represent non union members because of their CONTRACT with the company. There is NO state law and NO federal law that says unions have to represent non members. When unions write a contract with a company, they have the option of setting it up as representing ALL employees (union and non union) or just representing union members. Most unions set it up as representing ALL employees because this way they can extract a fee out every employee. Now it's up to the union whether they still want negotiate for ALL employees, or just the union members. They have to go back and rewrite their contract with the company.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 3:39 a.m.

maallen, It still comes down to the fact that Unions are legally obligated to support all employees of a business equally whether they are members or not. If you do not want to financially support the Union, the Union should not be obligated to support you. Under the cureent law, nonmembers will get the same wage/benefits/support that dues paying members receive. Nonmembers should have to do their own negotiation with management and accept any financial liabilities if they should require legal backing. Unfortunately, this is not how the law reads.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

Robert, If I accepted a job at a union shop, but did not join the union, I was still forced to pay fees to the union. Why should one have to pay fees to the union if they are not a member of the union? Now the law says a worker doesn't have to pay those fees if I don't want to. Workers now have a choice where their hard earned money is spent. Where before, they didn't have a choice.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

Steve, For years, people who were not in the unions were told to thank the unions for the wages and benefits they have. They never paid one cent of union dues. It wasn't a problem then and it shouldn't be a problem now. Nothing has changed, the unions are still going to be negotiating benefits for its union members like they always have. Those that are not in the union, will negotiate themselves with management. Like they always have. The difference now is, when people get a job at a union shop, they have a choice as to whether to join a union or not and pay or not the membership dues. No longer are they forced to join a union. I support those who want to pay the union dues and be a member of the union. I support those who don't want to be in a union and who don't want to pay union dues. We are Michigan.

Robert Granville

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

No one was being forced to join a union. That is and has been illegal for decades.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:45 a.m.

So would you agree that if you choose not to be a part of the union you would forgo the union negotiated wage and benefits? Shouldn't that person go and negotiate their own wage and benefit package? Would you agree that the union should be under no obligation to support or represent someone who chooses not to join the union? Based on your comment that no one should be "FORCED" to join a union, I would assume your answer to my questions is yes. This law says otherwise. It says that if you choose not to join the union you still get the same wage, benefits, and right of representation.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

I think I've seen this type of political behavior before........oh yea, Obamacare. The only difference was that around 70% of Americans were against it while most state residents supported this bill. Based on the commentary in this not to conservative electronic news media I would say many have had it with the union antics and how it scares away business from the state. The union did do a nice thing by re-instating the lunch time pot smoking and drinking assembly line workers though..............that is one of their funtions isn't it?

Agradable Amigo

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:28 a.m.

I love the beautiful state of Michigan, however, I'm sooo glad I left it because of numbskulls like the ones at the protesting. I wonder if they took a break at noon and their regularly scheduled smoke breaks? They should all be fired! Welcome to Obama's ideal world! Good luck my fair State!


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

The "numbskulls" who make it worth leaving this state are the slimy republicons in the state legislature who passed this criminal bill. The protestors make me proud.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

First of all, right to work means just that, right to work without having to work in a socialist environment (being forced to join an union or not work). Freedom is what our country is suppose to be about. Second, our public schools are failing. According to international test scores we rank about 27th. Even poverty stricken third world countries do better then us. The unions prevent bad teachers from being replaced by good ones. When was the last time you saw a "open" spelling or math bee won by anyone from a public school. Everyone I have seen it is someone from a private, charter school or home schooled. Third, our greed is what has destroyed our country. I heard a good question the other day, Why was it that when Minimum wage was $2.75 a one person income could support a family of five in a house they owned. Today at $7.25 an hour you can't afford to live single in a small shed. Stupid people do not realize the hire the wages the hire the price of goods and the lower the value of the dollar. They should realize that if wages keep going up, they will end up paying $15 for a loaf of bread, $20 for a gallon of milk.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

So, it is okay to not earn enough to live on while the CEO makes millions? Please define socialism. Giving companies tax breaks, abatements, and subsidies makes those companies richer at the cost of decreased tax revenue that funds schools, public works, etc. take the case of Pfizer. They spent millions upgrading their facilities in Ann Arbor and other cities, and got tax breaks. Then, they pulled up stakes and left town, causing real hardship for many. Ann Arbor was just a dot on a map to a large, multi national company. The greed is in the hands of the CEOs, stockholders, and the politicians enriched by the lobbyists for those corporations. Someone making barely above minimum wage and denied benefits by only being allowed to work a 30 hour week, has to work 2 jobs to survive. RTW is an Orwellian double-speak for Right To Welfare... Which is what we taxpayers end up paying when workers don't make enough to live on.

Tim Hornton

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:14 a.m.

Dingell should look in the mirror with shame since his State was the only state to lose population from 2000 to 2010 and what did he do about it. Dingell is a clown.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

The unions and their Democrat allies are up to their old tricks: thuggery and bullying. Attack people, tear down and cut up property of people who don't agree with you, threaten people, attack the state police trying to do their jobs protecting everyone. All the display of union self-righteousness, anger, shouting, and more is exactly why people don't want anything to do with unions. I have to laugh when I hear people like the Levin brothers and Dingell arguing that a union shop is elected democratically by employees, so it is on;y right that new employees be forced to support the union. Union certification elections are held ONCE and the results are perpetual. I doubt any of the employees who decided to certify the UAW in auto companies are still alive, much less working. The decision those workers made 70 years ago continue to be binding on workers today. How is that democratic? I believe we need another change in labor law: require union recertification votes every five years. That gives workers the chance to throw out the union and either be non-union or select a different union.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 8:39 a.m.

That makes more sense than the RTW law they just passed.

Nick Danger

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:57 a.m.

Rick Snyder acted cowardly bending to the will of right wing republicans and money from Coke brothers. He has posioned the political climate and devided the state as never before. He will be a one term govenor as a result of his indifference to working people and moderates

harry b

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

Rick Snyder is a hero to all republicans. And to the 70% of Michigan citizens who voted down prop 2. Its like icing on the cake.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:23 a.m.

It's time to start another recall and spend millions of hard earned dues to recall elected officials, it's all about politics.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

I'm forced to contribute to the salaries, pensions, and health plans of our legislature and governor as well as national representatives. Can we say that they are doing better work than union members? Sure, we elect our representatives. But don't union members vote for their leaders? Are we making bad choices? Even so, I think we need a "Right To Pay" law for our representatives - If I don't think my representatives are doing a good job, I can withdraw my tax contribution to their incomes and benefits. A pittance for the millionaires in the US Senate but still symbolic.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

I don't get it. 1) This does not ban union existence 2) This only says unions cannot force workers in represented jobs to pay dues 3) If the union is so great, people will pay to ensure the union exists and has power to bargain 4) If union employees don't pay their dues and the union dissolves because of this, it is their own damn fault Call me stupid, but I really don't get what the big deal is. Seems to me like a lot of the protesters realize that a majority of the folks in the union do not like it and will stop paying dues. Without dues the union will eventually fall apart. If the union falls apart because its members fail to pay, that is the fault of the union and not the governor. Unions, the blame here lies totally on you for being such whiny people. Put your head down and work hard like the rest of us who are successful and you won't need the union to protect you from being accountable for your actions. Moving onward to more important news now; how about another article about Blimpy Burger closing?


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Steve, Again, you need to read the law. There is NO requirement in the law that states the union must represent non-union employees. There is NO federal law that states this. There is NO state law that states this. Now where you are getting confused is that the union CONTRACT with a company often stated that they will negotiate on behalf of ALL employees, whether union or not. The union contract is different than law. By including ALL employees, the union were able to extract money from those who weren't part of the union. Now, this law stops that. And now it is up to the union whether they want to change their contracts with the company and say they will only negotiate on behalf of union paying members.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 3:31 a.m.

maallen, People paid a fee to the union to cover the expenses of representing them in negotiations since they benefited from union activities. You are mistaken about the required support for nonmember employees. This is one of the big issues with this law in that a person who chooses not to join the union gets the same wage/benefit/support as a dues paying member. This is wrong!! If a person chooses not to be in the union they should not expect any union negotiated benefit or support. Go and negotiate your own salary and benefit package and accept the financial liability if you should need to file a grievance or have legal issues while at work.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

Steve, The law doesn't require Unions to support nonmembers in grievances. Before the RTW law took place even if a person wasn't a full member of the union, he/she still had to pay a fee to the union. Now the RTW law states that the person no longer has to pay that fee.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

If you choose not to join a Union why should the Union be required to support you if you should have a disagreement with management? This law requires Unions to support nonmembers in grievances with management and allows that person to sue the Union if they feel the Union did not do enough to help them in their grievance.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

Why does concentrate on what Dingell says/does. Many readers are in Rep. Walberg's district and Rep. Rogers district. What do they think about this? Follow them too.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

Alas, Bubba, I know that, just hoping for some fair and balanced, professional journalism, not Pravda style stories. There are two sides of this story.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

AA concentrates on HIM because he's a DEMOCRAT, just like a lot of AA residents.(Poor fools)


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

Governor Synder did not tell the truth. He said he would not support right to work legislation. How can he be trusted? It is time to start gearing up for the next election, and defeat this liar.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

YpsiGirl, In 2009, everyone was paying attention to Snyder. Why do you think he was interviewed? If no one wasn't paying attention then he wouldn't have been interviewed. No magazine wants to interview a person that no one is paying attention to. How exactly will that attract readership? Now that we have that out of the way. What Snyder said and you accurately quoted him was that it was not on his agenda. He never said he was for it or against it. It was not on his agenda. He had an agenda for the first two years of office and it wasn't on his list.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 7:40 a.m.

Corrections --- Ryan Stanton (apologize for the mistype) and the business review quote was in May 2009. Still no one was paying any attention to Snyder then, and he half-truth/lied for One year, 11 months and 4 days, afterwards.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 7:38 a.m.

"Right to work is not on my agenda as it would be a controversial issue." Also, Ryan Stantop, he Snyder did LIE. "While Snyder has been criticized for supporting right-to-work after saying for the last couple of years that it wasn't on his agenda, he did tell Michigan Business Review in May 2009 when he was exploring a run for governor that he would support a movement to make Michigan a right-to-work state." Who the heck was paying attention to what Snyder said in a business review paper in May of 2008? He "the Liar: officially started his campaign for governor on January 1, 2010 with the SUPER BOWL AD.. Snyder never said after that, up to December 5th, 2012, he would SIGN a RTW bill. A lie or Half-Truth, still equals the same darn thing.

Jay Thomas

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:14 a.m.

Revisionist history. Snyder said he would SIGN IT if it passed. Just stop.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:56 a.m.

You seem to have a very selective memory, BioWheels. That is not what candidate Snyder said - period.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

Has Gov. Snyder committed to running again or is his "agenda" now complete?

Ypsi Eastsider

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:24 p.m.

What about all those Dems in Ann Arbor that supported Snyder for Governor by raising money and campaigning for him? They all seem to be eerily quiet these days.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:03 a.m.

You are right that too many Ann Arborites who lean progressive were duped into believing Snyder was different. I tried to warn some of them.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

Dingle has made a career out of kicking the can down the road. He won't change his tune, now.

Kai Petainen

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

Question -- did the unions favor Maroun and oppose the new international bridge in Detroit?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Correct me if I am wrong Kai but I believe the point is that Slick is the one behind the bridge that the republicons in the state legistlature opposed. Does anyone see those same republicons initiating new laws to stop the bridge? This propaganda about the unions starting a war is just absurd.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

The unions I know either offered no opinion on prop 6 or recommended a no vote (as did Gov. Snyder)

John of Saline

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

Read the linked article about the violence, and the protestors blocking first responders from helping trapped people, including wheelchair-bound people. Funny how rare it is to have a union protest that doesn't have violence or the threat thereof. Always talk of "fighting."


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

bobslowson, How low can you go bob? You cited an individual who acted out on his own, but you failed to provide any evidence that Tea Party protesters resorted to violence. It seems at these union rallies, violence erupts. Look at what happened to poor Clinton Tarver at the union rally. All he was doing was serving hotdogs, but the union thugs came over started saying racial things to him, and then smashed his hot dogs, turned over his table, and poured out his chili. There are plenty of union violence at rallies. But please show violence at a Tea Party rally.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

@f4phantomII Here's an example...Rory Casteel, the I-96 shooter had a history of posting anti government rants on tea party websites. You just can't fake that tea party hate!


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

Ray, can you provide ONE example?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:25 a.m.

They where probably teabagger pretending to be union members so that the union people would get the blame.

John of Saline

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

So, something from 70 years ago justifies violence now?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

Oh Please. Do you know ANY history. Next you are going to claim Henry Ford never hired thugs to beat up protesters. I hope your not a Saline grad.I thought our schools were better than that.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

Lowering the minimum wage is next people Mexician style of employment here we come! Pretty soon WE will be sneaking over the boarder looking for better paying jobs.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:29 a.m.

People have been crossing state borders looking for better jobs before the legislation. Michigan was the only state to lose population over the last ten years. According to the dept of labor ave wages in RTW states is 49,000 in union states it 42,000


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.

Anything the AFP-Koch bros are for, means bad news to the working man. I can only believe this is going to result in more destruction of our public schools. Why else would they be for it ?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

They funneled $900,000 dollars into Snyder's campaign fund in an attempt to further their plutocratic theocracy. They said jump, Snyder said how high?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Dingell is why we need term limits. Just imagine HIS pension. It's politicians like this who do nothing and never walked the talk. It's on both sides. Dingell is an insult to our state that was once so prosperous and inviting. Let's hope that businesses will come into Michigan and many more will stay.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:01 a.m.

Do you realize how pensions work. The amount of his pension may have been growing larger for so many years, but a pension is paid for life. He is the type of person who wants to work regardless of foregoing many years of pension. Someday he will retire and likely live for a few more years. He will have received a lot fewer pension dollars than if he had retired at 65. I assume he will select a reduced pension to allow for partial pension payments to his wife who is likely to outlive him (she is younger) and that will be a reduced pension amount for her. As a Government employee he pays a percent of his before tax dollars out of every paycheck toward his pension. The politicians who do the best financially are those who leave Congress after a a few terms and earn millions of dollars as lobbyists.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

He isn't collecting a pension. Term limits create more pensions. All those people up there in the legislature who term limited out left with lifetime benefits for a few pittance years of service. Pull the sheet back over your head now.

Dog Guy

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

Is Dingell threatening to cut our tent guy lines?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.

No, they did that with tent city.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

It's a great day for a race to the bottom. Those working people shouting with joy will the this day as their wages start to fall and benefits disappear in front of your face. Long live the minimum wage because that's where your heading. Emperor Snyder has no clothes only the trappings provided by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Koch brothers. We now know that the rouse perpetuated on the people of Michigan. He was elected by the people supposed to act for the people but was bought and paid to act by the Chamber and its ilk of special interest business who prefer paying minimum wage without benefits. The governor's relentless positive action has stalled as is in a nose dive. He double crossed tax payers with the theft of the education funds, shifting business burdens to property owners on the ppt, and applauding Chinese ownership of Michigan Companies bought in bankruptcy, and foisting more government overreach on the people'.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

Yeah well us unemployed people are going to be able to get a job now. Like the VW plant Michigan lost to Tennessee where after three years you make over $40k per year: If you don't like Gov Snyder, please tell us about Gov Granholm's successes. If she had done in her eight years just half of what Gov Snyder has done in two, we might still have a democrat governor. The voters made that decision.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

they will lower that soon enough so don't put your hope in minimum wage ether.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

From The Freep: State Rep. David Rutledge, D-Ypsilanti, provideda personal reason for opposing the legislation after telling of being shoved off a diner stool as a young black man by a man who said he couldn't sit there. "I can't begin to tell you what a humiliating experience that was. That changed the trajectory of my life," he said. "At the moment I hit the floor, that man seemed to have all the rules on his side. At that moment, I decided I wanted to be where the rules are made." He and many other House Dems decried the manner in which the bills were introduced and passed with no committee hearings or public debate.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 9 a.m.

These people bad mouthing Rep Rutledge have never listened to him talk or seen his credentials. If he were to run for Governor of Michigan he would have my vote and I used to vote republican.Although I didn't vote for Synder.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

Apparently, Mr. Rutledge doesn't know (or maybe doesn't care) which party is responsible for freeing the slaves and supporting the Voting Rights Act. If it had been left to Democrats he still wouldn't be eligible to vote, much less hold office.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Of course, he has no recollection of Obamacare's passage either. Per Pelosi, pass it so we can know what is in it. Pass it now. We must pass this NOW. Yea, no ramrods by the lefties. Never a Stimulus or more that we have to pass TODAY. And Mr. Rutledge, kindly escort yourself from your "past."

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.

Sounds like Mr. Rutledge does not possess the ability to process logic.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

I don't believe a word of it, they love to play the victim even when they aren't.

L. C. Burgundy

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

All this hoopla over the very simple idea that you shouldn't have to pay an involuntary fee to a third party in order to hold a job.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

Steve, Before RTW law, it was required by everyone in a union shop to pay dues whether a member of the union or not. if you were not a member, you paid a fee because the union contract stated they represented all the employees at that union shop. Now, the law states that you no longer have to pay that fee if you are not a member or don't want to be a member. Giving the workers a choice instead of the union forcing everyone.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:57 p.m.

If you don't want to join the union, why should you be entitled to union protections? This law requires Unions to support nonmembers in grievances with management and also allows them to sue the union if they feel the union did not do enough to help them. If you don't want to be a member of the union, negotiate your own salary and benefits and do not look to the union for assistance if you feel you have been wronged.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

ffej - you say Koch, I say Soros. So what, really. Koch bros have no record of tearing down a country's economy. Soros does (multiple).


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

Sounds simple. Then the Koch bros will show you what is really going to happen. You need to look REAL close to anything the AFP is for.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

This ridiculous claim that "right to work" allows workers some kind of freedom to choose is an absurd piece of propaganda. The same insane logic behind this legislation should allow me not to pay my taxes. I don't believe in the legitimacy of any republicon lawmaker, therefore I should not have to pay my taxes. You all go ahead and pay yours. That anyone falls for this insanity other than the corporate ownership that is behind it is absolutely crazy.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:36 a.m.

I wish I was cool enough to use change the spelling of words to make them look and sound evil.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:37 p.m.

Gotta love the fact that Republicans actually believe that the ignorant and lazy are democrats....there's a reason that morally corrupt white males are all republicans and it's because they prey on stupid religious (not implying religious = stupid for the record) nut cases....


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

This is just being a poor loser. You will feel differently when jobs come back to this state. ..Hell, you might even get a job. Tell me what Granholm did to improve things around here.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

If they would take money out of politics, then I would be fine with "right to work" laws. What do you in favor of this bill say to that?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

Money out of politics? For years, Unions have pumped millions of money into politics and they have considered themselves as a business. But actual businesses weren't allowed to do that. Now that businesses are allowed, the unions are crying foul. If the unions are truly concerned with fairness (and not just for them) then they would demand all money, union and buisness not be allowed in the political process. What say you, Dirtgrain?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

DeVos and Koch funneled almost a billion dollars to get Snyder elected. So yeah, dirtgrain I agree...if you take the money out of the equation and this is what the people want I'd be for it. Unfortunately plutocratic billionaires can by government to further their forced religious ideas on everyone


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

I think you are referring to the money from the Koch brothers and the DeVos family.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:51 p.m.

Buckybeaver, that you can't figure it out does not make it universally senseless.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:04 p.m.

This comment makes no sense


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Now all you Unions, Democrats, Socialist, etc. know what it's like to have Obamacare rammed down your collective throats!


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

The Senate Dems had to pull out and dust off a backhanded trick to get it through Congress - remember the House and Senate bills were different so Harry Reid pulled that stunt so they could get it through before Scott Brown was sworn in?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

You mean the healthcare act that was debated for months and months and not rammed through in a week like RTW for less?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Obama won because he was able to completely destroy the character of Romney. He could not have possibly won on his record. It was a case of "You think I was bad, check out how bad he is!". And they were able to mobilize a great many ignorant people to vote the way they were told to vote. We now live in a time where being successful is a bad thing. When hard working successful people get used, the money will start leaving the good ole' USA.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

Why was Obama re-elected? And, if I recall, "Obamacare" was part of his campaign, it didn't come out of left field, he didn't say one thing and practice another. Good try though. Go again.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

Wrong, Dingell. The hornet's nest was kicked when you and your friends decided to try and alter our constitution with a bill that forces employers to deal with greedy unions. Only we don't throw tantrums and harass legislators when we're angry. We simply vote out the rascals and put people in office who agree with us.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10 p.m.

One would easily say it's unions that are destroying the middle class by pricing labor too high and forcing businesses out of the state. And I'm not a Republican - never voted for one for president. They might be right on this issue, but they are wrong on many others.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

So its legitimate to destroy the last vestige of middle class power for pure retribution? Republicons defy logic.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

"There is no need or reason for this legislation," Dingell said shortly after the 58-51 vote on House Bill 4003. "By forcing this issue through the Legislature, Republicans in the state House and Senate have kicked open a hornet's nest that could have been avoided altogether." GEE, this sounds a lot like the Republicans last year when Obama, Pelosi and Reed forced heath care down our throats. I think they call this Karma!:)


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

Single payer does not control cost. Look at Canada, Britain, France etc for examples. Their costs have exploded and the only way they can control it is by denying services and cutting benefits. Those that need the services have to pay out of pocket. They have no choice. Whereas in a free market, where there is competition, although not perfect people have a choice. Instead of reinventing the wheel like ObamaCare does and adding governmental departments upon departments, we should have tweaked what we already had. Unfortunately, ObamaCare does nothing to lower our premiums, but only increases it. Does nothing to lower cost of healthcare, but only increases it. Now we have democrats trying to take the tax out of ObamaCare, the durable medical equipment tax, that was supposed to help pay for ObamaCare. Why didn't they do it BEFORE they passed the bill? Why now? Oh that's right, they didn't read it. So what are they going to replace those lost tax dollars with?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Oh you mean the Affordable Healthcare Act...the one that was debated for months and months? The one Obama ran his re-election campaign on? Yeah he sure forced it down our throats so much that I never saw it coming!


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:49 a.m.

Are you saying that people with health problems should be at the mercy of insurance company executives who decide who to insure and who to cancel? The only problem with the Affordable Care Act is that insurance companies are still getting too many of our health care dollars and single payer would be the way to go to control costs. Women are especially vulnerable to being charged extra for pre-existing conditions, including C-Section deliveries. People diagnosed with many things, even if they never need treatment, are denied insurance unless they are part of a large enough work force or association that has community rating instead of individual underwriting.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

Mr. Irwin, now you know how the rest of us felt when Obama rammed through his healthcare debacle.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:37 a.m.

How is something "rammed through" that Obama supported, that was revised to mirror a Republican plan (Romneycare plus Dole's proposal in 1994), that was debated for a year an effort to get Republican support and which got 60 votes in the Senate? By the way, the Democratic party first advocated national healthcare in 1948.

harry b

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

I wonder if DIngell remembers the line from Pelosi, "We have to pass this thing to find out whats in it". He stood in front of America and agreed and voted yes before he or anyone else read it. Moronic.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Poll after poll across the board showed the majority of Americans were NOT in favor of Obamacare. And the Senate Dems had to pull out and dust off a backhanded trick to get it through Congress - remember the House and Senate bills were different so Harry Reid pulled that stunt so they could get it through before Scott Brown was sworn in? Here in MI the majority were in favor of Right to Work. Nationally the majority are not in favor of Obamacare.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

Oh you mean Obamacare that the majority of the US wants...that was debated for months and months..and more months? Is that the one they RAMMED through?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

So, you're saying that the RTW bill is a Snyder debacle?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:11 p.m.

One of the more graphic videos from today:


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

Funny how you read all the comments about how companies will relocate to Michigan becasue it's now a RTW state. Back in my home state of NY, the state with the larget percent of unionized workers, Apple is putting in a bid for a 3.2 million square foot computer chip factory. Maybe if Snyder spent less time worrying about unions and more time trying to attract business we could have been in play something similar. But we all know where his priorities lie.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

Snyder had a LOT to clean up & now the STATE is in the black. The unions have ruined a lot in this state & protected lazy workers to keep their jobs. Don't like it here, go back to NY.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

Maybe that is why he passed the law. Most companies do not want to deal with unions. I know of four big manufacturing companies that refuse to look at Michigan because it is a union state.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

New York, what a fantastic example of economic success:


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

Is it possible that Apple is "grandstanding" in the de facto "media center" of the United States to garner some good spin from a token made in america strategy?

G. Orwell

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

I really do not think Mr. Dingell has the grounds to criticize the vote on right-to-work legislation. It was under the Democratic administration that rammed through NAFTA, CAFTA, and other "free trade" agreements that forced US workers to compete against child and slave labor in China and other third world nations. Also, China, India, Mexico have minimal environmental regulations while US companies have to jump through hoops. And the unions didn't stand up for themselves. Right-to-work is a symptom of the "free trade" agreements. If Mr. Dingell wants to help the unions and the middle class, he should, like Obama promised, repeal NAFTA. Let's see if Mr. Dingell is really serious about helping the unions and save high paying manufacturing jobs in Michigan and US. Mr. Dingell, repeal NAFTA, CAFTA and other fake "free trade" agreements.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Very well written. Thank you and yes lets bring back our jobs back to the USA.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

NAFTA isn't the job killer, free trade with China is. That was Clintons baby, but democrats and repubilicans alike supported it. Millions of walmart $$ poured into congress and they sucked it up and killed the middle class. I always wondered why the UAW supported Al gore, the man who wanted to do away with automobiles. That was the ultimate absurdity.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:44 p.m.

You forgot Reagan started NAFTA- even ran for office with the promise. It was signed by George HW Bush in 1992 with Canada's Mulroney and the Mexican President . Ratified by all three countries in 1993. Sorry to burst your bubble but World Trade belongs to the Republicans. Check your history and dates.

Bill Wilson

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

OUCH.... Don't remind em of that. And... you left out that Clinton & Gore had a hand too.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

I know a number of teachers in Michigan who are very upset at how their money is spent. Endless poitical campaigns and donations. They will withhold the dues unless it's spent on what its meant for, to improve teaching conditions and salaries for teachers. If the money goes for that, they will all continue to be members. The fat cats are going to spin this hard, but this is good for rank and file and bad for union leadership. It's about time.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:40 a.m.

At Hostess, the officers who mismanaged the company, are walking away with generous money awards. The workers will get some pension (likely not all) through the Pension Benefit Guarantee (I may not have the exact words for that agency). Those officers who ran the company into the ground have passed off obligations.

Bill Wilson

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

Treetown, It's my understanding that Hostess is saying that they no longer have the funds to pay retiree benefits anymore, and have ceased paying them. Hostess was a union shop. My .02: if you can get a buyout, that's the only safe path, union or no union.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10 p.m.

If they don't like it they can vote out the Union reps, just like we will vote out a bunch of Republikans in 2014.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

I'm in a union and feel the same way. And to top it off I'm a Republican and I can't tell you how mad I get when a union flyer comes in the mail telling me how evil I am, paid for by my union dues to boot.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

I believe if they withold their dues they can be fired at will. My understanding is that while you get the same pay and benefits as your union co-hort you do not get the the grievance procedure under the CBA. If your retirement benefits haven't vested it would not be very wise to opt out.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

Mr. Dingell A labor union has its place, however the rights of an American Citizen should be greater.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

This is how the democrats get their funding. From big unions like the ones in Detroit called the big 3. Not so big anymore eh?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

This is great news for Michigan. Unions scare away many out-of-state employers from opening facilities in Michigan. The times have changed and unions don't offer their members the value for the dues $$ they used to. But aside from that, people shouldn't have to pay union dues by law or otherwise if they don't want to.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

I have to agree with wolverine on this one. In the 80's a lot of small businesses could have opened up but did not for fear of the unions. When I joined a company I was told I had to join. I told them I did not want to and did not get the job. This was in the 80's. Guess what? No more harassing choices. Time to give the unions a run for the money.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

Here you go Leaguebus, again.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:59 p.m.

Hey Wolverine, show the evidence for your statement. By the way, you cant use Oklahoma, because RTW did nothing for them.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Freedom of choice! What goes around comes around, same same as Obama Care! When prop 2 failed by the Majority the people have spoken.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

How bout them term limits? Doing a whole lot of good now. These representatives are stealing the cupboard bare before leaving town for the last time. I voted against prop 2 because I thought things were finer the way they were and was told by those who were not in favor of it things would stay that way.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

During the gubernatorial campaign, I warned some people who'd posted on that Snyder wouldn't change such things. I disagreed(in writing) with a woman who claimed she was pro-choice and believed that Snyder would never tamper with that. I pointed out many good points about Bernero (Snyder's opposing candidate) that weren't highlighted in the media. To top it off, the Detroit Free Press, the same paper who claims Snyder misled them, has now verbally attacked Snyder and his administration. Part of this fiasco is due to the lack of vision by the Detroit Free Press in 2010. Other informative sources likely share blame, though many of us didn't "buy" the neutral "nerd" label. Snyder is a clever politician.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.

That's right, Z-man, the Devil made them do it. No choice? Sorry they are so vindictively weak-willed.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

I was told the status qou would remain in October, I heard it from the horses mouth on the radio on my way into work one day. And you are either in or out, none of this klinging on for pay and benefits. Talk about entitlement legislation.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

But Snyder did all he could do to create jobs in Mi, Z, he cut business taxes which laid off thousands of well paid teachers and public safety people, he is pushing RTW a move that has no evidence that it will create jobs. He raised your and my taxes by cutting deductions to the state income tax. I will pay $1200 more, which being retired means I will spend less, which means less demand, which means less jobs. The Rickster is a true Republikan, ignorant to the finish. 2014


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

I was frankly disappointed that Snyder originally wasn't willing to do everything in his power to improve the economy and jobs situation in Michigan, including a right to work law. Of course, the unions with strong Democratic support forced his hand by introducing Prop 2, which not only circumvented the state legislature but was promoted using ads laden with lies and deception. Prop 2 clearly broke the truce and left Snyder and the GOP with no other choice.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

We were flat out LIED to by the governor....

Top Cat

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

"Dingell, D-Dearborn, said Michigan's industrial heritage is defined by the labor movement." By industrial heritage, does he mean the Packard plant in Detroit or the GM plant in Willow Run? Where are Nissan, Toyota, BMW, Kia, etc. building their assembly plants and why ?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:45 a.m.

Me-Thinks Mohawk be trying to correlate the union activities with a rising wage tide for all. thus "benefitting" the Kia ee's These grandiose sanctimonious commentators sometimes assume too much with their sarcasm swipes. Me-also-thinks that ee's are paid based on on the skills and value they deliver and the relative value of their skills in the market-place. But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

Not sure what you mean Mohawk, but the reason I don't wonder why KIA workers don't make $8/hour is that they make a lot more: (See first paragraph on page 2 for pay rates). Leaguebus, even then Gov Granholm admitted Michigan had little chance to get the VW plant because of the UAW. It was obvious and widely reported:


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

The Volkswagon plant built in Nashville a couple of years ago was put there because the state and locals gave them $5B to build the plant, which cost $5B. RTW has nothing to do with where companies build plants. If a company wants to get cheaper labor, it just as cheaper to build it overseas where the workers are paid $1 an hour. Oklahoma became RTW in 2001 after NAFTA and lost 50K jobs in the next 10 years. The RTW did nothing for them as far as jobs go. The RTW states that have been RTW longest are not the most prosperous in the country so the Republikans have no evidence in saying that we will get more jobs. This is all about more profit for the already hugely profitable companies.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Ever ask yourself why KIA workers don't make $8/hour?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

Hmmm. . .Yes. Heritage. . . as in a historical sense with no relevance in today's economy, or better yet Johnny D's "heritage". . .


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Guess what else our ideological lawmakers passed: Right-to-work may have been the star of the legislative circus that took place at the Capitol yesterday, but it was just one of many passed by the House and Senate. Here is a recap of some other bills that you might have missed: The Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act The bill, passed by the state Senate yesterday, would allow health care providers, facilities, or insurers to deny care base on religious, moral, or ethical objections. Senator Roger Kahn, a cardiologist from Saginaw, was the only Republican to vote against the bill, the Detroit Free Press reports: "I don't know how this doesn't violate the oath I took when I promised to resuscitate someone with TB or treat someone with AIDS," he said. Proponents of the bill, including Dr. Joseph DeCook, director of the national American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, say that patients denied care can seek out other doctors and that the bill would require care in the case of an emergency. From the Freep: DeCook said a doctor's oath does not run afoul of the legislation because all doctors fundamentally agree that their responsibility is to treat disease. But when it comes to abortion, "pregnancy is not a disease," he said. The bill now moves to the State House. Abortion related bills The state Senate also passed a package of abortion-related bills. One bill would ban insurance companies in Michigan from providing coverage for elective abortions. Women who wanted the coverage would have to buy extra insurance, Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports. Meghan Groen, director of government relations for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, says the ability to buy extra insurance is "a false promise," the Huffington Post reports: Another bill would require clinics to be licensed as outpatient surgical centers before performing an abortion.

harry b

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

This is a good thing. I am not sure if you are for it or against it.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

Why would 13 people vote down the truth? You elected Snyder and his religious they will make the entire state pay for their theocracy...


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

"Another bill would require clinics to be licensed as outpatient surgical centers before performing an abortion." I don't know the content of this bill; however, an upgrade of abortion clinic standards is clearly needed, there are almost none to speak of at this time. The opportunistic are taking advantage of desperate women who assume that "someone" is overseeing these clinics and making sure that their health isn't at risk. Having helped two young women in the last two years, I can tell you that there is not enough oversight right now.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

The current medical licensing structure would inspect these facilities, just like they do other outpatient surgical facilities. Licensing abortion clinics will save lives and prevent medical tragedies. No other surgical procedure is exempted and there is no reason to exempt abortion.

Ricardo Queso

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:55 a.m.

Let's see, an intrusive procedure. And you don't want this licensed?


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

Setting vague standards would give the enforcers the ability to outlaw abortions at centers that would be approved for another form of medical care. It's an excuse to ban abortions in enough places so that abortion would become practically unavailable to girls (including when they've been raped) and women in many parts of the state. The difficulty of obtaining birth control is already spreading throughout the state. In Washtenaw County, St. Joe's plainly state they neither prescribe nor dispense contraception. Since they have expanded through the acquisitions of community hospitals in places including Chelsea and Saline, there are fewer places that provide full health care to women. This means that there are fewer places that provide emergency contraception to women and girls, including 12 year old girls who were subjected to incest or to other types of rape. Remember that intercourse with a girl under the age of 18 is statutory rape.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

What wrong with licensing abortion center as surgical outpatient centers? That's exactly what they are. Requiring them to be sanitary and follow safe procedures is bad for women how? Name me any other surgical procedure that get's an exemption? That one is a good law, unless you don't care about women.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Thank you for pointing these out. I've been more upset about these issues than RTW, although that in and of itself is also very troubling.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

WOOT WOOT! A good day for MI workers! They now have a CHOICE to join or not join a union. This will make unions run a tighter ship, and actually provide VALUE to the membership. I for one wouldnt want my dues going to support vegas trips for union leaders, for union reps to fight for two years to re-hire people who were drinking on the job etc... Shape up UAW or your days are numbered...


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

RayA2, To say that unions don't exist in RTW states is an absolute lie. Unions do exist in the RTW states. Now the Unions have to be a leaner machine and prove to its members that the dues are worth paying for. They no longer can afford to be fat cats like the $1 billion in assets that the UAW has. Yet, they only employ 800 people. And yet people are all upset because certain companies have$1 billion in assets but yet they employ tens of thousands of workers. Where is the outrage?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

This idea that "workers will benefit from union-negotiated pay and job conditions" is a red herring. When I negotiate my pay, the pay doesn't go up for everybody around me. Unions should negotiate on behalf of their members, and that's it. If they want to do people a favor and negotiate on behalf of everybody, then that's what it is - a favor. Nobody owes you -


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

This bill kills unions so how does it provide choice? Why would people volunteer to pay dues to support an organization that must occasionally demand they be willing to go without pay to get a fair wage? THe reason so many corporations sunk so much money into this campaign, and the reason unions don't exist in RTW states is that this pure and simple union busting.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

there was a time that unions served a purpose but we used to ride horses into battle ion the past as well. forced labor unions are wrong. this used to be the land of the free, now it's the land of the overtaxed working man that also has to pay union dues so the fat cat union bosses get rich. there is still hope for Michigan after all the years of democratic disgrace if only a republican could get elected Mayor of Detroit maybe that city could be saved as well.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Doug: Do believe the rights of a union supercede the rights of an American Citizen?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

Michigan workers ALREADY had a choice to join or not to join a union. This bill gives workers the right to benefit from union-negotiated pay and job conditions without being required to support that negotiation effort. i.e., The right to get something for nothing on the backs of others. Do you think that's a good thing?