Michigan House Passes Right-to-Work Law

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Union members from around the country rally at the Michigan State Capitol to protest a vote on Right-to-Work legislation December 11, 2012 in Lansing, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty)

Bob King, President of the United Auto Workers union, joined The Takeaway yesterday in the midst of the fight to prevent Michigan from becoming the 24th right-to-work state.

But the situation has since worsened for the UAW and union members. Despite the shouts of angry protesters at rallies in Lansing yesterday, the Michigan Legislature approved the right-to-work legislation with a 58-to-52 vote by the House.

Legislation has moved swiftly, and all that remains is for Governor Rick Snyder to sign the bill into law.

Representative Rick Olson is Michigan House Republican and Joseph Slater is a professor of law and values at the University of Toledo.


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Representative Rick Olson and Joseph Slater

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman

Comments [2]

Eric Bryant from New York, NY

I agree with unkerjay. We really need to move away from this sort of spin. The politicians, ideologues, and media professionals comes up with these heavily value-laden phrases like "fiscal cliff" and "right to work" that really have no meaning outside of proper context. As a public relations professional, I am really becoming painfully aware of how this sort of use of spin is detrimental to a democratic society. We don't even know what we're talking about anymore! I've been following the Michigan story for 3 days now. I've spoken to my human resources people at my job. I've sifted through some of Fox News and MSNBC on this issue. And, of course, I've listened to 2 or 3 shows on WNYC 820 AM about this subject. And you know what? I feel that I'm not much closer to really having any idea what the arguments are, what the positions are, what the significance of this legislation is. Let's start unpacking these heavy-loaded terms like "right to work", shall we? So, we all can really understand what's at stake.

Dec. 13 2012 12:40 PM
unkerjay from Puget Sound, WA

"Right to Work" sounds like "Thousand points of light", "Fiscal Cliff", Pro-Choice", "Right to Life", "Global Warming", "Climate Change". Asking what they mean is likely to yield a variety of answers depending on who you ask.

Those who favor "Right to Work" claim it's about "Workers rights". Funny. Those in the Union camp claim the same thing - that Unions are about "Workers rights".

So, nevermind what workers are no longer required to do. When they now have a complaint, a grievance, what's their recourse? What has happened in this regard in the other 23 "Right to Work" states? Has a better case been made for "Right to Work" over Union in terms of the end result for workers as well as businesses or is it overwhelmingly favoring business over workers or is it a wash?

I guess this might've been a reason why no public discussion was allowed prior to this change. We might've been afforded the opportunity to be better informed on this. Nevermind that where politics is concerned, as appears to be the case here, the likelihood of being better informed might've been overshadowed by the desire to misinform.

One can still hope.

And it doesn't mean attempting to find unbiased, objective answers after the fact is any less a good idea.

Dec. 12 2012 11:16 AM

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