Right-to-work was 'put on my agenda', Snyder says - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Right-to-work was 'put on my agenda', Snyder says

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By Maurielle Lue
Fox 2 News


It's legislation that has unions fighting mad and vowing political payback for Michigan Republicans.  For years, Governor Rick Snyder said right-to-work legislation was nowhere on his agenda, but it seems he's had a very sudden change of heart.

"It was put on my agenda.  I didn't want it here, and I don't think it's a great thing to be happening now in some regard," Snyder told me.

Yet the governor is vowing to pass right-to-work legislation the second it slides across his desk.

"I said I would sign this legislation when it got to my desk, which hopefully will be in the next two, three days," he said.

Critics say the new law will bleed the unions of money and bargaining power, but Snyder said this is not anti-union.

"This is about giving workers the freedom to choose, should they pay dues or not," he told me.  "Over 80 percent of Michiganders aren't involved with the union, so most people, this is not an issue that really makes any difference."

Not true say congressional Democrats, who are urging the governor to veto the bill or at least delay the vote.

Snyder says making Michigan the 24th right-to-work state will bring jobs to the region, but opponents say it threatens fair pay and collective bargaining.

"The right-to-work is essentially the right to work for less.  We've examined the states that have right-to-work laws and without exception the wages are lower, the economy is not as vigorous," said Congressman John Conyers.

"This is going to create an intolerably bad relationship inside our state between labor and management, between citizen and citizen and between citizens and their government," said Congressman John Dingell.

As protesters gear up for a long day in Lansing on Tuesday, many wonder if it's the governor who is settling a score.

"I actually asked the labor community not to move forward with Proposal 2 in terms of the petition drive," said Snyder.

So, I asked him whether this is payback for Proposal 2.

"Not at all.  Nothing to do with that.  It was more a fact that the whole Proposal 2 created an environment where it was bringing all these labor issues to the forefront and they weren't going away, he answered.

At least two lawsuits have been filed to stop right-to-work legislation from becoming law amid other challenges that the fast tracked vote violated the state's Open Meetings Act.  Still, the governor says full steam ahead.

"In these cases, I believe we'd be successful with any legal challenges," he told me.

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