Lawmakers Exchange Heated Words on Right-to-Work

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

Along with crowds up to 10,000 strong, Lansing can expect a bitter fight among lawmakers Tuesday.

Democrats and Republicans exchanged heated words about right-to-work Monday. During an afternoon press conference, Democrats admitted they can't stop the legislation but plan to do anything they can to slow the process.

Republican leaders say there will be a vote Tuesday, but couldn't offer much of a timeline.

"The Governor of Michigan is one greedy nerd and he's one weak geek and we're not going to take it anymore," Incoming House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills said.

House Democrats slammed the governor's support of right-to-work and called on Republicans who voted against the plan to break with party leadership.

"From floor introduction to passage the entire process in the House took 90 minutes, there were no committee hearings and no opportunity for debate," current House Minority Leader Richard Hammel, D-Mt. Morris Township said.

Hammel is demanding right-to-work legislation be slowed down and calling for a the issue to be debated in committee.

Republicans say the time for talks has passed. They say right-to-work has been debated for decades and plan to move the Senate's plan forward for a Tuesday vote in the House and then to the governor's desk.

"As far as I'm concerned tomorrow will be business as usual at the Capitol," Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge said. "I don't think we should ever let thugs take over the Capitol and stop the process."

Jones says it's impossible to know how long the vote will take, but says it will happen Tuesday.

"There's all sorts of stalling tactics by the other sides, amendments that have to be voted on and filibustering and all sorts of nonsense," he explained.

The governor could sight right-to-work into law as early as Tuesday. House Republican leaders say logistically that's unlikely, they're not expecting Snyder to act until Wednesday.

Democrats meanwhile, plan to make a stand by continuing to vote no on other measures and pursing legal action.

"Republicans know that if they wait until next year they won't have the votes to pass this thing," Greimel said.

"I don't think they're representing their constituents very well if they simply walk away and don't want to work with us on anything at all," Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger countered.

Despite pleas for cooperation, both sides admit grid-lock could be the future.

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  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM
    If people don't want to be in a union, then they can go work for a corporation or a non-profit. And if they are in a union and don't want to be, then they can have all of their rights, pay, and other union-created benefits stripped away. Unions keeps people from being terminated without cause, and protect them if they are laid off or go on medical leave. Let's see how this improves their lives when they're left out in the cold, but still have that precious 1% that used to be their dues back in their pocket. I'm sure that'll feel good when they get fired and have no recourse.
  • by leroy Location: Okemos on Dec 11, 2012 at 08:37 AM
    All of the union members realize that they are overpaid and underworked and that why they who are opposed to the RTW. In most cases the educated managers who actually have degrees make less than those line workers in the union, but I guess that is what our nation has turned into, a place where the underacheivers are rewarded. They know that if Unions lose their leverage over business owners wages will be realigned with their skill sets, which is in most cases are well below their current wage. They will also lose their ability to sleep off benders in the parking lot, sit and do crossword puzzles, perform subpar work,etc. etc. etc. and not get fired. Sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.
  • by Robin Location: Location on Dec 11, 2012 at 06:26 AM
    Although democrats strongly fight for women's rights to decide on whether they can have abortions or not, they don't want individuals to have the right to decide whether they want to be in the union or not. Let the people decide, and let the unions take responsibility to show or prove that they will protect the people. I don't like the way the union spends my dues and I don't like the way that everything is now about money and politics. They no longer protect the people. I am FOR Right to Work.
  • by Jim Location: Lansing on Dec 10, 2012 at 08:04 PM
    If Rep. Rick Jones wants to call people thugs he should look no further than his cohorts who are hijacking the state of Michigan for the benefit of big business. I know I won't be voting for anyone who supports this bill.
  • by Theresa Location: Lansing on Dec 10, 2012 at 07:55 PM
    How dare Rick Jones call the hard working people of MI thugs because they don't agree with him! I think he has forgotten who pays his wages. He represents some of these "thugs". I think the people of MI should remember what he thinks of people that don't agree with him. It is just so wrong!!
  • by Anonymous on Dec 10, 2012 at 05:16 PM
    Senator Jones needs to remember that he represents some of the "thugs" that will be there. I am disgusted that a person elected to represent the people would talk in such a manner about people of Michigan who are exercising their constitutional right of Freedom to Assemble. Shame on you Senator Jones - what is "all sorts of nonsense" to you is called the democratic process to others.
  • by Mark Location: Lansing on Dec 10, 2012 at 04:27 PM
    Rick Jones talks about "Thugs taking over the Capital." Rick, you finally got it right. The head thug is you and bullying is the GOP's agenda. If somehow you could take a poll of all registered voters in this state and the results of that poll showed 99% of the voters did not want something, the GOP would still vote it into law with the belief that they know best what this state needs. What happened to representing your constituants? Yeah right.
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