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Michigan's Right to Work Fight

Posted by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM
  • 19 Replies

LANSING, MI — Thousands of protesters convened on the Capitol this morning, waving signs, banging on buckets, singing and chanting against right-to-work legislation that's expected to be passed today.

By 10:30 a.m., the agency which manages the Capitol estimated more than 10,000 demonstrators had gathered outside. Michigan State Police limited access to the building around 10 a.m. because it had reached its capacity of roughly 2,000 people.

Demonstrators braved freezing temperatures to show their anger with legislation that did not exist a week ago. The effort would make it optional for workers in union shops to pay dues and fees. (see videos below)

“Our family wouldn’t be where it is today without the UAW,” said Susan Abraham of Delta Township, who donned a Mrs. Claus outfit to make a statement.

Several large inflatable animals stood out among the crowd, including four menacing-looking rats with red signs that read, “The Rat Pack!!” Each of the four rats also had a name: Gov. Rick Snyder, House Speaker Jase Bolger, Senate Majority Leader RandyRichardville and Dick DeVos.

Michigan Right to Work Protest
EnlargeA sign at the Michigan Right to Work protest outside the State Capitol in Lansing on Tuesday morning. (J. Scott Park | Mlive.com)Michigan right-to-work protest signs gallery (6 photos)

Bolger and Richardville joined the Republican governor in supporting the right-to-work legislation. Amway heir Dick DeVos also is supporting the movement.

Thousands of protesters filled the Capitol rotunda and chanted things like “Hey hey, ho, ho, right to work has got to go.”

Meanwhile, thousands more marched down Michigan Avenue toward the Capitol, including many from outside of Michigan.

There has been a report of one injury: A man was inadvertently knocked off his Segway by a police horse. His injury was not serious.

See all of MLive's breaking coverage of right to work in one digest

Union member Glenn Wooden said he was among about 75 people who took a bus from Baltimore to show their support for Michigan protesters.

National union leaders also came out for the event.

Jim Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said right to work would divide the state.

Hundreds of right-to-work protesters descend on Michigan CapitolHundreds of right-to-work protesters descend on Michigan CapitolThe steps and east lawn of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing are packed full of right-to-work protesters Tuesday morning.Watch video

Right-to-work protesters march through downtown Lansing near Michigan CapitolRight-to-work protesters march through downtown Lansing near Michigan CapitolDemonstrators march around downtown Lansing Tuesday morning, protesting controversial right-to-work legislation.Watch video

“If you had any guts you’d put it on the ballot, let the people decide,” he said.

Though they were far out-numbered by right-to-work opponents, there were supporters on hand as well. They had two large tents set up on the Capitol lawn.

“The country is watching Michigan,” said Scott Hagerstrom, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Michigan, in a statement. “This time we’re making headlines for the right reason - a pro-growth policy that can and will help to turn Michigan’s economy around.”

Reporter Jonathan Oosting contributed to this report.

Email Melissa Anders atmanders@mlive.com


What is everyone's thought on this?

by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM
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Replies (1-10):
hockytwndhampyr
by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I must admit that personally I am torn. While I do not agree with unions that protect lazy workers (and yes it does happen...I have only listened all my life to my grandpa, uncle and others in the auto industry complain about it). But I do not what wages, etc to be cut for workers. Just my thoughts.

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM
1 mom liked this

There was a time and a need for unions many years ago, however IMO that time has passed

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM
1 mom liked this

I have to ask your reasoning.

Because across the board if workers wages go up it seems to be marginal. Well the people at the Top get HUGE increases in pays and million dollar bonuses.

Heck there are times where the people at the top get huge increases in pay and million dollar bonuses while at the same time they are requesting the workers to take a pay cut.

It seems like the people at the top are seeing how desperate people are for jobs and taking full advantage of that.

Quoting pamelax3:

There was a time and a need for unions many years ago, however IMO that time has passed


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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM
1 mom liked this

Because the unions protect all workers and the ones that are not satisfactory continue on with the high pay rates, and life time benefits. IMO it is a scam and the skilled workers can achieve those pay rates with out the union. I also feel that many jobs would stay with in this country if it were not for the unions cramming down these ridiculous demands to corporation

Quoting brookiecookie87:

I have to ask your reasoning.

Because across the board if workers wages go up it seems to be marginal. Well the people at the Top get HUGE increases in pays and million dollar bonuses.

Heck there are times where the people at the top get huge increases in pay and million dollar bonuses while at the same time they are requesting the workers to take a pay cut.

It seems like the people at the top are seeing how desperate people are for jobs and taking full advantage of that.

Quoting pamelax3:

There was a time and a need for unions many years ago, however IMO that time has passed

 


meriana
by Ruby Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

From what others have said, this legislation does not currently ban collective bargaining but if passed, it wouldn't be long before collective bargaining would be on the chopping block. Things like this, rather than being a step forward, are actually a step backwards.

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM
1 mom liked this

The problem is a lot of the skilled workers cannot achieve those pay rates with out the union. Especially when you start throwing in life time benefits.

Right now a lot of companies find it easier/cheaper to make the job a revolving door because there is no shortage of people needing a job. And it's not the Unions sending jobs overseas. That's companies that see they can pay people dollars on the hour and have them working 12 hour shifts (or more)-Without benefits and lower safety/environmental regulations.  Even if everyone agree to minimum wage there would still be corporations going overseas.



Quoting pamelax3:

Because the unions protect all workers and the ones that are not satisfactory continue on with the high pay rates, and life time benefits. IMO it is a scam and the skilled workers can achieve those pay rates with out the union. I also feel that many jobs would stay with in this country if it were not for the unions cramming down these ridiculous demands to corporation

Quoting brookiecookie87:

I have to ask your reasoning.

Because across the board if workers wages go up it seems to be marginal. Well the people at the Top get HUGE increases in pays and million dollar bonuses.

Heck there are times where the people at the top get huge increases in pay and million dollar bonuses while at the same time they are requesting the workers to take a pay cut.

It seems like the people at the top are seeing how desperate people are for jobs and taking full advantage of that.

Quoting pamelax3:

There was a time and a need for unions many years ago, however IMO that time has passed




Join us on the 99% Moms group!
The Ninety-Nine Percent Moms   

If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

MsDenuninani
by A.Ham on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM
1 mom liked this

I believe in the right to collectively bargain, and I believe that unions more than any other oganization, represent middle-class interests. 

So this just saddens me.

meriana
by Ruby Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM


Quoting pamelax3:

Because the unions protect all workers and the ones that are not satisfactory continue on with the high pay rates, and life time benefits. IMO it is a scam and the skilled workers can achieve those pay rates with out the union. I also feel that many jobs would stay with in this country if it were not for the unions cramming down these ridiculous demands to corporation

Quoting brookiecookie87:

I have to ask your reasoning.

Because across the board if workers wages go up it seems to be marginal. Well the people at the Top get HUGE increases in pays and million dollar bonuses.

Heck there are times where the people at the top get huge increases in pay and million dollar bonuses while at the same time they are requesting the workers to take a pay cut.

It seems like the people at the top are seeing how desperate people are for jobs and taking full advantage of that.

Quoting pamelax3:

There was a time and a need for unions many years ago, however IMO that time has passed

 The reason an unsatisfactory worker is even noticed is that he's the minority by far. If  there were more people were doing an unsatisfactory job than doing a satisfactory or even great job in any given work site, it wouldn't really be noticeable. Regardless of what many think, an unsatifactory union worker can be fired. Is it the unions fault his/her boss doesn't bother to take said worker to task?

Here's a situation to consider:  Skilled workers are well paid, with good benefits. They are sometimes required to work 7/12's in order to meet deadlines. They are willing to do that because they are paid well and therefore are able to provide for  their families comfortably. The overtime means extra funds for bills, family outings, whatever.

Now turn that around a bit. Skilled workers are not well paid, do not have good benefits. They are required at times to work 7/12's but they aren't as willing to do it because even with the extra hours, they cannot comfortably provide for their families since doing so eliminates their ability to take on a second job that would provide the extra weekly income needed.

Think about those two senarios and decide which group you'd prefer to have build and wire airplanes. The group confident that they can provide for their families or the group that is worried about providing for their families


pamelax3
by Gold Member on Dec. 11, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Yes they can achieve those pay rates, the oil field workers here in Texas are not union and they make just as much if not more than most union workers, plus we have excellent benefits and retirement. I agree on the corporation still going over seas. I am not sure how it is in other states, but I know here in Texas it is a curse to be union, it is very hard to find a job if you are union and most employers want to keep workers that are skilled without the threat of the union butting in to all aspects of the job

Quoting brookiecookie87:

The problem is a lot of the skilled workers cannot achieve those pay rates with out the union. Especially when you start throwing in life time benefits.

Right now a lot of companies find it easier/cheaper to make the job a revolving door because there is no shortage of people needing a job. And it's not the Unions sending jobs overseas. That's companies that see they can pay people dollars on the hour and have them working 12 hour shifts (or more)-Without benefits and lower safety/environmental regulations.  Even if everyone agree to minimum wage there would still be corporations going overseas.



Quoting pamelax3:

Because the unions protect all workers and the ones that are not satisfactory continue on with the high pay rates, and life time benefits. IMO it is a scam and the skilled workers can achieve those pay rates with out the union. I also feel that many jobs would stay with in this country if it were not for the unions cramming down these ridiculous demands to corporation

Quoting brookiecookie87:

I have to ask your reasoning.

Because across the board if workers wages go up it seems to be marginal. Well the people at the Top get HUGE increases in pays and million dollar bonuses.

Heck there are times where the people at the top get huge increases in pay and million dollar bonuses while at the same time they are requesting the workers to take a pay cut.

It seems like the people at the top are seeing how desperate people are for jobs and taking full advantage of that.

Quoting pamelax3:

There was a time and a need for unions many years ago, however IMO that time has passed

 

 

 


yourspecialkid
by on Dec. 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM
1 mom liked this

 All this hoopla and they weren't asked to give up anything...  Why should the desire to force everyone to be union trump the desire of those that wish to be free of the union?

I think people need to have a good long look at how right to work can really benefit the state's economy.

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