Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Conyers: Governor Snyder’s “Right-to-Work” Policy an Affront to Michigan’s Proud Labor History

(WASHINGTON) – Yesterday afternoon, the Republican Majority in the Michigan House of Representatives approved two pieces of legislation drastically limiting collective bargaining rights in the state. House Bill 4003, which was approved 58-51, instituted “right-to-work” for public sector unions. A companion bill, Senate Bill 116, applied the same “right-to-work” limitations to private sector unions. This legislation was approved 58-52.  These bills also included an appropriation, which has the effect of immunizing these bills from being repealed via referendum at a later date.  Late yesterday evening, Governor Rick Snyder signed both of these bills into law. Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement in response:

“This past February, I witnessed Governor Snyder testify on Capitol Hill that so-called ‘right-to-work’ legislation was not the best course for Michigan, and that the proposal was far too divisive. In less than a year, Governor Snyder has pulled a complete about-face,” said Conyers.

“I am appalled by the actions of Governor Snyder and the Republicans in the State Legislature, forcing through inflammatory legislation during the lame duck session.  It is clear that they have ignored the lessons of Michigan’s history. Our state’s economy was built on a foundation of mutual respect between labor and business, not misguided Tea Party ideology that Governor Snyder has recently signed on to.

“The ‘right-to-work’ bills signed into law are an attack on the civil and human rights of the people of this great state and serve as an inspiration to we who believe in creating an economy that works for all.  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us, as far back as 1961, the ‘right-to-work’ law, ‘is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.’”

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