Snyder: More Discussions On Right-To-Work

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

A Tuesday evening meeting between Governor Rick Snyder and House and Senate leaders brought no clarity to the ongoing question of whether lawmakers will introduce right-to-work before the session ends.

Flanked by House Speaker Jase Bolger and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, the governor told reporters lawmakers will continue to have thoughtful discussion about right-to-work, but gave no indication of his position. He also gave no timetable for potential legislation.

Earlier in the day, the Capitol was filled with people for and against right-to-work.

"I come from a family of union people and back then they really represented the worker in a reasonable fashion, they could negotiate, not it's gotten to the point where people can't get a job, they're afraid to oppose the union and their position," Rose Bogaert of Wayne County said.

Bogaert made her way to Lansing hoping to pursuade lawmakers to take up the issue. She feels it would help Michgan's economy and give workers freedom of choice.

Bogaert and others on both sides of the issue waited anxiously at the Capitol all day, hoping for word on what lawmakers plan to do with right-to-work.

Committee meetings and House and Senate sessions came and went, but the big question lingered.

"It would be very disappointing for lawmakers to push this through at the end of the session," Jeff Breslin, a nursing union member said. "We do not need lawmakers sitting here in Lansing making decisions that are going to affect each individual workplace."

Union members call the right-to-work push a dangerous power grab that will lower wages for the middle class. Both sides spend the day talking and lining up votes.

Right-to-work plans vary, but in general limit union's ability to collect fees from non-union workers.

"They would still have full collective-bargaining, simply all this does is say to the worker that's earning the money, if you want to belong to this private organization please do," Scott Hagerstrom with Americans for Prosperity, a group in favor of right-to-work, said.

"Unions will still have to represent these workers, so that will be like me going to a health club and deciding I'm going to join, but I'm not going to pay any of the membership fees," Breslin countered.

Right-to-work picked up steam Monday when the Michigan Chamber of Commerce came out in support of legislation. The business group says 85 percent of its members back right-to-work.

With two weeks until the session ends the Capitol remains packed with questions, people and a good share of nerves.


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