News Column

Dems Urge Repubs to Defy Their Leaders, Vote Against Right-to-work

Dec. 10, 2012

Paul Egan

Michigan House Democrats today challenged Republican members to "stand up to their leadership and do what's best for middle-class workers and the democratic process" by voting against right-to-work legislation when the House takes it up again Tuesday.

And they blasted Gov. Rick Snyder for doing an about face Thursday and coming out in favor of the controversial legislation.

"The governor of Michigan is one greedy nerd and he's one weak geek," said incoming House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills.

Right-to-work legislation makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment.

Snyder set off a political firestorm when he came out in support of legislation introduced in the House and partly passed through the Legislature Thursday.

Snyder and GOP legislative leaders say it's a matter of giving Michigan workers a choice whether they want to financially support a union or not.

But current House Minority Leader Richard Hammel, D-Mt. Morris Township, said the process lacked the transparency Snyder has trumpeted as one of his guiding principles.

"From floor introduction to passage the entire process in the House took 90 minutes," Hammel said. "There were no committee hearings; no opportunity for debate."

Six House Republicans voted against right-to-work legislation on Thursday, which passed the House in a 58-52 vote. On Tuesday, the House is expected to vote on similar legislation passed Thursday by the Senate. Ari Adler, a spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, said right-to-work has been debated in Michigan for decades and discussed in the state House for the past two years. "We had robust debate in the House last week and anticipate more on Tuesday," he said. House Speaker Jase Bolger today expressed outrage at Democrat leadership, saying they have misled the public on right-to-work. "The men and women of Michigan are the hardest workers in the country. They get up every day to literally make, build, and grow Michigan," Bolger, R-Marshall, said in a news release.

House Speaker Jase Bolger today expressed outrage at Democrat leadership, saying they have mislead the public on right-to-work.

"The men and women of Michigan are the hardest workers in the country. They get up every day to literally make, build, and grow Michigan," said Bolger, R-Marshall.

"Michigan workers work hard to provide for their families. They deserve our respect, gratitude, and protection. It is offensive that Democrat and union leadership would refer to these hard-working men and women as 'freeloaders' if they don't want to join a union."



Source: (c)2012 the Detroit Free Press Distributed by MCT Information Services


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