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December 7th, 2012
10:44 AM ET

Michigan lawmakers pass right-to-work legislation amid labor protests

Rust belt Michigan, with a long and storied Union history, could become the next "right-to-work" state. Republicans pushed legislation through the Michigan House and Senate, drawing angry protests from Union supporters and Democrats. The state's Republican Governor says he'll sign the right-to-work measure when it hits his desk, which could happen next week.

-CNN's Poppy Harlow reports the latest.

Filed under: Protests • Uncategorized • Unions
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Lori Potter

    I am a republican who believes in the core base values of unions. My whole family comes from middle class labor. I believe we all should have our voices be heard regarding right-to-work, but everyone has to be educated with the truth to make a sound decision. I want you to think about why there is such a big movement for right-to-work... Why would Dick Devos (a big contributor to Snyder's campaign) spend 25 MILLION dollars for ads, advertisements, airtime, etc, to support right-to-work? Does Dick Devos really care about work place freedom for his employees at Amway? NO, he outsourced a bunch of jobs so he did not have to pay our wages and benefits. By allowing people to make the choice of belonging to a union it will decrease the number of members. With fewer funds, lobbying decreases and so does the fight for fair wages, benefits, safe working conditions, etc. Unions set the bar for fair wages and benefits that in turn sets the standard or pulls the rest of labor force wages up to living standards. Large corporations want unions to fade out so they do not have to pay as much to their employees. I feel Gov. Snyder, everyone he appoints and elects should be a role model for the rest of the state to show hard work, integrity, and be a positive moral compass, etc. In the past couple years I have seen disheartening circumstances from appointees from Snyder and Snyder himself. There have been many cases or grievances against the state for NOT doing the "right thing." Some of the actions of his colleagues are on public record and some are not. If the union looses members and its funds, and then becomes non-existent, who will represent the working class? Who will stand up to the BULLY? The employees will be scared to stand up for themselves because the "fear" of being fired. I have one question..... Will right-to-work create jobs? Any company can come into Michigan with the "freedom" of knowing there is only 20% of the workforce that are unionized. How is right-to-work a threat to keep companies out of Michigan? The statement from Gov. Snyder regarding right-to-work will create jobs is so misleading. Right-to-work saves monies for corporations because of decreased wages and benefits. Let us remove the veil to see the truth. With Snyder pushing this through it helps all the corporations who backed his campaign. These corporations will be the backers who will help Snyder become reelected for second term. It is all a political game!

    December 8, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 111Dave111

    Last Right to Work Fight: Wisconsin & Scott Walker.
    Next: Michigan & Rick Snyder.

    MILWAUKEE (Reuters) Fri Dec 7, 2012
    1) A former aide to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday for embezzling tens of thousands of dollar from a fund for families of U.S. soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. The aide, Kevin Kavanaugh, was also sentenced to two years of extended supervision and ordered to pay back the $51,200 he embezzled from Operation Freedom, a military appreciation event held each year at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Kavanaugh, who was convicted by a jury in October, worked for Walker when the first-term Republican governor served as Milwaukee County executive. Kavanaugh, 62, was the treasurer of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a charity involved in Operation Freedom, from 2006 to 2009. Walker appointed him to serve on the Milwaukee County Veteran Service Commission during Walker's term as county executive. Former Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker (now Wisconsin Governor) originally ran the Operation Freedom event through his county office. It was later turned over to the Purple Heart organization after Walker received legal advice the event should be handled by a charitable organization.

    2) Tim Russell, another Walker aide, was implicated in the same investigation and pleaded guilty in November to diverting more than $21,000 to his personal bank account.
    The investigation is part of a wider probe into Walker's county executive office.

    3) Kelly Rindfleisch, who was Walker's deputy chief of staff, pleaded guilty to felony misconduct in public office in October and was sentenced to six months in jail after admitting to campaigning for Republicans while working in Walker's office for Milwaukee County.

    4) Darlene Wink, a former executive assistant in the county executive's office, pleaded guilty to charges of political solicitation by public officials this year. She is expected to be sentenced in January.

    Walker, who was county executive from 2002 to 2010, has not yet been charged in the investigation.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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