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December 11th, 2012
11:11 AM ET

Rep. Levin (D-MI) on Michigan labor unions battle: Governor Rick Snyder does not understand labor management relations

In the union stronghold of Michigan, state Republicans may pass "right to work" measures as early as today. The bills would make it illegal in Michigan to require employees to pay union dues or join a union as a condition of employment. Pro-union protestors and union leaders say thousands of their members will converge on the capitol today to protest the bills, which Republican Governor Rick Snyder says he will sign. This comes on the heels of President Obama’s visit to the state yesterday where he spoke out against the measure. This morning, Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) joins “Starting Point” to discuss why he met with Gov. Snyder Monday morning in Detroit to urge him to reconsider supporting the legislation.

Levin says, an "essentially so-called ‘right to work’ will cripple the efforts of a union to represent people in the workplace.” He adds that it was the representation of unions that “helped to create the middle class.” Levin went on to say, "right to work" will ultimately destroy the relationships between unions and workers and create and immense division.

Levin who is also the former Chair of the Michigan State Senate Labor Committee says part of the issue is, “the governor – he doesn’t understand labor management relations.” Levin adds, “Nobody has to join the union or pay union dues. If a majority vote to be represented, to have a voice in the workplace that representative has to represent everybody – there can be no discrimination. All the benefits have to flow to everybody else and they have to pay everybody a reasonable fee to help the union represent everybody.”


Filed under: Michigan • Unions