Bill Rumors Spark Hundreds Protesting 'Right To Work'

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

Hundreds of union employees lined the halls of the capital building Thursday, during a day of session. The workers were anxious because word is spreading that a 'Right to Work' bill might be coming.

"We need to be able to have a say in what goes on in our work place," said Jeff Breslin, a registered nurse. "The people that run the businesses, and in my case in the hospitals, they are business people. And they know business and they have to run the hospital like a business to a certain point. There has to be a balance in there because we take care of patients."

Breslin and his colleagues are against any 'Right to Work' legislation.

"At the end of the day, we want the hospital, the business to be successful and we want the patients to be taken care of and that is best done through collective bargaining," said Breslin.

But Representative Mike Shirkey doesn't see it that way.

"This is all about workers freedom and workers choice. You know I believe it's a fundamental right to be free to associate and free to not associate, to me those are synonymous and equal," said Representative Shirkey, a Republican who serves in House District 65, representing Eaton Rapids, as well as parts of Jackson and Lenawee counties.

Shirkey says besides defeating proposal two, 'Right to Work' legislation is his number one priority. He says a bill is prepared and it will eventually hit the floor.

"The legislation, the language is prepared, but I have made a commitment to my caucus, that we wouldn't start that process, until we have all the 'i's dotted and 't's crossed. And all the interests aligned -- that we knew that it would be worth the effort," said Shirkey.

Ashley Forsberg, a registered nurse and member of the Michigan Nurse Association says 'Right to Work' has meant a $1,500 pay cut for workers and it would hurt the economy. She said 'Right to Work' would affect more than just nurses.

"There's 33 unions that are all respectively involved that would be hindered by this," said Forsberg.

Governor Rick Snyder says he's made it clear, 'Right to Work' is not on his agenda.

"It's always been a concern to me," said Snyder. "It's a divisive issue, and you just look at all the activity, there are a lot of important things that we are talking about otherwise, and now it sort of takes the oxygen out of the room."

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  • by Josh on Dec 6, 2012 at 01:07 PM
    Ricardo, how about we increase the top tax bracket to 60% as part of your 3 sixty plan? That would fix the money problems real quick.
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Dec 2, 2012 at 02:40 AM
    This is sure interesting. These people just don't seem to realize that the well has run dry and no more money can be squeezed from the taxpayers. Here is my sugguestion. A 3 sixty approach. 1), Reduce the number of employees 60 percent. 2),Reduce the employees wages by 60 percent. 3), Reduce pension and health care coverage by 60 percent. These changes will bring the cost of government close to it's real value, and help balance the budget. (Let the flamers begin now) Thank You. Ricardo
  • by Name Location: Location on Nov 30, 2012 at 07:59 AM
    Indiana is a Right To Work state and look at the people flocking to move there. If you do not like unions then leave the state
  • by Name Location: Location on Nov 30, 2012 at 04:39 AM
    I thought the election was over? Can't these Leftwing Nuts just move FORWARD?!?!?!
  • by Austin Location: Jackson on Nov 29, 2012 at 08:53 PM
    What do we need unions for anyways? The government is going to take care of the bottom feeders by increasing minimum wage to $10/hr in a few years. And everybody will have government health care also. No more need for the unions.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 29, 2012 at 07:41 PM
    Unions have had way too much to say in the workplace for way too long. They lost their little gamble of trying to slide their agenda into the constitution and now they're crying like a bunch of babies. Apparently a few more owners need to just get fed up with union demands and shut down their businesses. Maybe then, when enough people have lost their jobs because of the greed of the unions, the sheep of this country will get the message.
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