A Michigan state representative called the “right to work” legislation being trumpteted by state Republicans as a “freedom to freeload” bill Monday while slamming Gov. Rick Snyder (R) for supporting it.
“It’s a remarkable thing when we have a governor who campaigned as a moderate who has said for two years that this issue is too divisive for Michigan, and now he’s it’s biggest fan,” said state Rep. Tim Greimel (D). “So either he was lying when he called it too divisive or he is, by his own admission, an extremist who’s pushing an agenda that’s too divisive and too extreme for our state.”
Snyder said he would pass the bill if it reached his desk, a likely possibility given that GOP lawmakers are in control of both the state Senate and state House of Representatives.
State Republicans’ push for the “right to work” bill attracted attention last week, after state police used pepper spray Dec. 6 on demonstrators opposing it after GOP lawmakers ordered the senate building to be closed. The bill was also condemned that same day as “petty and vindictive” on the Senate floor by state Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer (D).
Sunday, a labor activist filed a lawsuit accusing Republican State Speaker Jase Bolger and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville of violating Michigan’s Open Meetings Act by having the building cleared.
While supporters of the bill say it will make for a fairer workplace by making union fees voluntary for non-union workers, Greimel told MSNBC host Chris Jansing that such dues are already voluntary, alluding to provisions in the National Labor Relations Act saying that non-union members who are covered by a collective barganing agreement either join a union or pay what’s called an “agency fee.”
“What this law would do is, it would allow those who benefit from a collective bargaining agreement to avoid paying their fair share,” Greimel said. “That’s why I don’t call it this ‘right-to-work,’ I call it a freedom to freeload law.”
Watch Greimel’s interview with Jansing, aired Monday on MSNBC, below.