“Flip-Flop-For-Less”: Chamber of Commerce Switches RTW Position, Anonymous Sources Say GOP is Vote-Trading to Protect EFM Laws
Yesterday, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce (CoC) reversed its previously suggested position on “Right-to-Work” (RTW) legislation and threw its political weight behind House Republican desires to use the “lame duck” session to attempt to pass the controversial law.
Republican politicians have said that RTW could be introduced as early as today in hopes of passing it before the session ends on December 20th. Gov. Rick Snyder, who in the past has said that RTW is not part of his agenda, has refused to state if he would veto such legislation. The upcoming month is likely to be one of strife as workers will undoubtedly organize to try to stop the anti-worker law.
Jim Holcomb, senior vice president and general counsel of the Michigan Chamber, stated:
“We would suggest that now is the right time to take this up and see where the votes are,”
Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said that while support was being measured for “Right-to-Work,” the Chamber’s support would not change the pace at which it is introduced.
“We do not answer to any special interest,” Adler said. “We welcome input, but we do not jump through hoops because a special interest says so.”
A possible scenario is that Michigan Republicans are threatening “Right-to-Work” in order to get cooperation from Unions and Democrats on other divisive issues, such as the state’s Emergency Manager Law. This tactic has been used by Congressional Republicans in the past, their detractors say. The Lansing State Journal said two anonymous sources have said this is what is happening:
Two union sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said there are talks about a brokered deal under which right-to-work would not proceed, but GOP leaders would get something in return.
The Governor’s office is not signaling any urgency on the matter:
He (Gov. Snyder) wants the Legislature to send him bills dealing with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s governance, establishing a regional transit authority for Metro Detroit and allowing Detroit to create a lighting authority before lawmakers head home for the holidays.
Incoming House Minority Leader State Rep. Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) told The Lansing State Journal that to his knowledge, “there’s been no explicit discussions about trading votes for some particular pieces of legislation in lieu of right-to-work.” He did say that Democrats are interested in cooperating on the Regional Transit Authority and Blue Cross Blue Shield issues.
One thing is for certain: the gravity of the matter. The damage it would do to unionism and workers rights would be immediate. The effects it would have on the political careers of those responsible for its passage would last a lifetime. For Michigan, “Right-to-Work” is a which side of history are you on? type moment.
A telling admission.