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A 'Michigan Cliff'? Democrats say Snyder is misinformed about 'right-to-work'

Senator Carl Levin favors President Obama's plan to provide better oversight of energy markets
Jeffrey Simms Photography
Senator Carl Levin favors President Obama's plan to provide better oversight of energy markets

Calling the fast-moving 'right-to-work' legislation moving through the Michigan Legislature a "Michigan cliff," the Democratic members of Congress said they urged Gov. Snyder to put a stop to it.

The Democratic Michigan delegation, including Sen. Carl Levin, and Reps. John Dingell, John Conyers, and Sander Levin, and other members of the delegation attended the meeting with Snyder.

They held an hour-long private meeting with him about the 'right-to-work' legislation this morning.

The Legislature is expected to vote tomorrow on the legislation.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin said the delegation was blunt with the Governor in their urging to veto the bill.

"We're not sure he understood how these unions worked," said Levin during a press call with reporters after the meeting.

Gov. Snyder has said the 'right-to-work' issue is about workers freedom to choose.

"I believe most Michiganders and most Americans believe [that workers should] have the ability to choose whether they want to belong to an organization or not." Snyder said during an interview with Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press last week.

"That is absolutely false," said Rep. Sander Levin (D) on the call with reporters. "There is no requirement that people join a union."

Union membership is not a requirement in a 'union shop.' But all workers do have to support the union financially.

Sen. Levin said he pointed out to Gov. Snyder that unions are required to provide equal benefits to everyone in the workplace, even though not all employees are required to join the union.

"The governor said it incorrectly. And today, I don't think he understands what it is really about," said Rep. Levin.

Members of the Democratic Michigan delegation described their meeting with Gov. Snyder as 'intense.'

Rep. Dingell said this issue won't go away for Gov. Snyder.

"The simple fact of the matter is a sneaky parliamentary process has foisted upon the people that this proposal will become law. And the right to collective bargaining in this state will be severely impaired or denied," Dingell said.

"This is going to create a bad relationship within our state. The state of Michigan and the U.S. will be setback because of the adverse relationships it will create," said Dingell. "He does not want this to be a part of his legacy, when he could have prevented it."

The Democratic leaders said this issue would be a contentious one for years to come.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow said it was going to be "incredibly divisive."

"The Governor said he didn't want to be Wisconsin. This is Wisconsin," said Stabenow.

Sen. Carl Levin chimed in "Worse!"

The delegation said that Gov. Snyder told them that he was going to "seriously consider" their arguments.

"I'm hoping with the Christmas season, that he might just defer any action and ask the legislature to do the same thing," said Sen. Levin.

Once the Legislation passes the 'right-to-work' bills, possibly tomorrow, Gov. Snyder has said he will sign them into law.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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