The VIEW from here

Right-to-work law an example of a political system out of control


Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

What happened in Lansing last week with the Republican-controlled House and Senate pushing through right-to-work laws was nothing short of a dirty, underhanded sneak attack on the people of this state.

The impact on organized labor aside, this legislation, put forth and rammed down our throats by Gov. Rick Snyder and the GOP, is an attack on our freedom. Snyder and his bunch decided for us this is what was right for Michigan, and the governor went back on his promise he would not bring right-to-work laws to the table here in the birthplace of organized labor.

Apparently he thinks he knows best. But in reality I think the past two years of the governor working hard for big-business instead of for the people of Michigan may have reached a boiling point. It’s not just Democrats and people who belong to labor unions who are angry with Snyder — a lot of people are fed up with the attitude from this administration that we are all too stupid to govern ourselves and need to be told what to do and how to do it.

Snyder and his gang have worked feverishly to force local government under their heels, to mandate how our public schools will teach and to strip organized labor of its power.

Right-to-work laws prohibit requiring employees to join a union or pay fees similar to union dues as a condition of employment.

Supporters argue it’s about freedom of association for workers and a better business climate. Critics contend the real intent is to bleed unions of money and bargaining power.

Regardless of which side is right or wrong, the bottom line is we did not get to vote on this and the governor has made it clear the input of every day citizens is not wanted — hence the use of mace on protesters at the Capitol last week.

Barring the people from their seat of power, filling space in the Capitol Building with GOP aides and employees to prevent the masses outside from having any voice inside the proceedings and then gassing them when they only want to be heard is about as un-democratic as things can get.

Snyder owes the residents of

Michigan an explanation. Why are you afraid to let the people be heard on this matter? Why are you forcing this legislation through without what many would say is due-process?

I don’t consider myself a union person. I think unions, though having protected worker rights for generations, have also contributed to some of the unemployment hardships here. What I am tired of seeing is an administration in this state which flagrantly thumbs its nose in the face of critics and does whatever it pleases. What is also frustrating is instead of addressing it head-on, this administration seems to prefer handling matters but creating laws and carrying out backroom deals to strip power and money from its opponents.

Mr. Snyder — you answer to the people of this state. It is not the other way around.

This time you may have poked a sleeping dog with a stick one too many times. Now that dog may be coming to take a bite out of your reign and the political futures of those who have enjoyed a monopoly on power in Lansing for two years.

ggould@mihomepaper.com


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