Thursday, December 13, 2012

Unions Vow to Fight Back Over Michigan Right-to-Work Law


source: tumblr

Governor Snyder showed his true colors today: He’s a puppet of extreme donors, and he is willing to ignore and lie to his constituents. His action will undoubtedly please the Koch Brothers and corporate CEOs, but it will diminish the voice of every working man and woman in Michigan.
~ AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka

For millions of Michigan workers, this is no ordinary debate. It’s an assault on their right to have their elected bargaining agent negotiate their pay, benefits, and working conditions, and to have all who benefit from such negotiations share in some way in the cost of obtaining them.
~ Senator Carl Levin, D-MI

I’ve never said unions are bad for business and I don’t think this is anti-union, I think it’s pro-worker.
~ Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Morning Joe

Are you serious? Are you serious? This is not anti-union? . . . This at its core undermines the ability of unions to collectively bargain.
~ MSNBC's Richard Wolffe on Morning Joe, in response to Gov. Snyder

These so called right-to-work laws, they don’t have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.
~ President Obama while touring a car factory in Michigan

The fact (is) that these Republicans did this when a number of them were defeated last month, and they know that the new Legislature is coming in on January 1st, they're coming in with enough Democrats and enough moderate "sane" Republicans who have a majority and who would defeat this - would never even propose it. And they think they can get away with this. They think they can go against the will of the people. People spoke five weeks ago and now they think they can just say 'to hell with you, we're going to do this.' We're going to undo 70 years of labor history.
~ Michael Moore to Ex-Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm on Current TV

I mean, the phrase "right-to-work" is such a positive and uplifting message. What could it possibly do to organizations like unions that also support workers' rights? I mean, the law probably strengthens unions.... Or destroys the only leverage unions have to stay afloat. One or the other. So it's really a right-to-work-around-the-union for the corporation. It's one of those things that are actually named for the opposite of the thing they do.
Like strip bars call themselves gentlemen's clubs. They're not. Or the TV network dedicated to making us stupider is called The Learning Channel. Or a TV show that only airs 4 days a week calls itself a Daily Show. (audience cheering)
What's the deal, Governor Snyder?
~ Jon Stewart on The Daily Show

Snyder's logic is embarrassingly simplistic
. . . it seems that Rick Snyder has decided to ignore his business roots, which require a thorough analysis of data, and insist on masquerading this legislation as a “choice” for Michigan workers. This means the governor must acknowledge that allowing 85 politicians in a lame duck session to decide this issue for an entire state is not an example of giving people a choice. If Rick Snyder and Republicans truly care about choice, then they should use the democratic process and put “right to work” on the ballot, letting the people choose at the polls.
~ Dale Hanson on The Detroit News

After spending years telling us that ‘right to work for less’ legislation was off the table, Gov. Snyder has created an embarrassing national spectacle by doing a full flip-flop on this issue. Perhaps most disturbing of all, Gov. Snyder and his right-wing allies used every trick in the book to prevent the people from being able to hold a referendum vote on this issue.
~ Representative Gary Peters, D-MI

As Michigan’s economy is recovering, we need to work together to build a stronger economy, not tear our state apart with divisive political issues. By passing this so-called ‘right to work’ bill, Michigan is taking a major step backward. It will mean lower wages and fewer benefits for every worker, and a poisoned political environment.
~ Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI

A handful of billionaire oligarchs are pouring money into states. Adelson has just said that he intends to fund anti-union initiatives at the state and local levels. And that's what we're facing. It's an attack upon the middle class. But we're going to be ready for it in Ohio and I believe a sleeping giant has been awakened. And I think the people of Michigan will bring back the union ability. But temporarily, a setback. But our eyes are open, we know the threat. And we're going to be ready for it.
. . . This Michigan Governor is intellectually dishonest. He's not speaking the truth. This is an attack upon Organized Labor. It's an attack on the Middle Class. And he's doing this at the behest of the Tea Party elements within his party. He absolutely was dishonest with the people of Michigan. He said this was not a part of his political priority.
~ Ted Strickland, ex-governor of Ohio, on MSNBC's The Ed Show

It's interesting, this freedom, and this "choice." You know, if the Governor and others who are for this believe really in this kind of freedom and choice in a democracy, then why don't they make taxes voluntary? Because the reality is, that's what union dues are. The majority has voted for a Union, and the majority rules in a democracy. Just like the majority voted for Rick Snyder. I might not agree with his policies as Governor, but I don't have a choice to hold back on my taxes.
. . . The idea that you get all the benefits of the union membership, and you don't have to pay your dues, and the union has to "earn" the support is a bunch of nonsense. The majority in those shops have spoken. 51% have wanted a union and if you don't like it you can take your business elsewhere. We're only 17% union (in Michigan).
. . . It's both a shot in the gut and a call to action, and I believe sometimes it takes both. It takes a slap in the face, a shot in the gut, and kick in the shins to get people motivated. And we ARE motivated and fired up.
. . . It's definitely a motivation for 2014.
~ Virg Bergero, Mayor of Lansing, Michigan, on MSNBC's The Ed Show

The big picture is that they're after the Rust Belt. If they can break the backs of the unions and their infrastructure over funding, and if they can pass laws so that people don't have to pay dues, this of course is going to break the backs of the Democrats in those states.
~ Ed Schultz on MSNBC's The Ed Show

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