In a statement posted on teamsters.org, Teamsters General President James Hoffa posted that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has declared civil war in Michigan with his endorsement of right-to-work legislation. On Tuesday Governor Snyder signed two bills, making Michigan one of 24 states that have reduced and limited the influence of labor unions.
The two bills signed by Snyder were part of an ongoing effort in to reduce the power of unions in Michigan.
Proponents of the legislation attest that it is a positive move that will eliminate union dues and prevent workers from being forced into joining unions. They have also expressed that it will make the atmosphere in Michigan more business friendly, which is likely to create more jobs.
The streets of Lansing, Michigan have filled with thousands of protesters who oppose the legislation. Opponents feel that the legislation will cause reduction of wages and the loss of bargaining rights. On the Teamsters website Hoffa asserts:
“Working families are taking to the streets, the shopping malls and to Lansing to protest the attempt to enact a law that conveys no rights and provides no work. The past few days of action are only the opening salvo in Michigan’s civil war. It is a fight between billionaires who want to turn the Midwest into Canada’s Mexico and working people trying to save Michigan’s middle class.”
NBC News reports that both bills were passed by a majority in the Republican-led house. One of the bills states that government workers will no longer be compelled to join a union as a condition of employment. The other contained similar provisions for workers in the private sector.
In closing his statement Hoffa offers this prediction:
“I predict we will win this war. Voters are waking up to the dangers of this extreme, divisive brand of politics and more and more are rejecting it. The anti-worker wing of the Republican Party is getting weaker, not stronger. That’s why they voted the bill in a lame duck session – because they don’t have the votes next year.”