Snyder: Relationship with labor 'strained' after right-to-work - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Snyder: Relationship with labor 'strained' after right-to-work

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By Tim Skubick
Fox 2 News


LANSING, MICH. (WJBK) -- "Do you trust the governor today?" I asked UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada.

"No I don't," she answered.

There in a nutshell is the governor's challenge.  The fallout from the right-to-work debate has fractured his relationship with labor and vice versa.

"This obviously has strained relationships, strained it dramatically," said Gov. Rick Snyder.

Labor leaders such as Bob King from the UAW and MEA President Steve Cook were in talks with others for ten days with the governor's staff.  The governor confirmed he was not in the room, but used the phone to try to find a deal -- a deal that might have included letting the governor appoint the state Supreme Court justices and the state school superintendent, as well as abolish the state Board of Education, wipe out teacher tenure and make changes in civil services rules.

In the end, there was no deal.

Estrada argues the governor did not tell them where he was really going.

"I feel that he did not show the leadership.  I think that he led us down a path where he knew what he was going to do," she said.

Cook concludes, "We never really felt as we got into the later stages of the ten days that we had a working partner in all of this."

"I'm not sure that he was being altogether genuine when he said that he really wanted this issue off his desk."

However, Snyder also has got a clear problem -- trying to restore a good working relationship with labor.

"I view this as we had good dialogue.  I did it in good faith.  I have no doubt about that.  I have a clear conscience about it," the governor said.

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