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Macombers Divided Over Right-to-Work Law; Reps. Goike, Forlini Maintain Opposition

Macomb Township's Republican state representatives voted against right-to-work legislation Tuesday, but both bills ultimately passed the House and were signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Of all the right-to-work rhetoric exchanged in recent days, both sides seem to agree that the issue is, and probably always will be, "divisive."

It was because of this divisiveness that Macomb Township State Rep. Anthony Forlini (R-District 24) said he chose to vote against right-to-work legislation supported by the vast majority of his party.

Looking for more coverage? Check out our Right-to-Work page or sign up for the Macomb Patch e-newsletter.

“It’s a divisive issue,” he said, in an earlier interview with Patch. “I’m not saying right-to-work doesn’t have merit, but I feel it would have been better as a ballot initiative. It shouldn’t be a Republican or Democratic issue just because one party or the other is in leadership."

Macomb Township's other state representative, Ken Goike (R-District 33), shared Forlini's opposition to the measure, but for his own reasons.

“I wasn’t favorable to the idea that some employees will pay for collective bargaining rights while others won’t yet would still get the same benefit,” Goike said, in an earlier interview with Patch.

Voting against House Bill 4003 and Senate Bill 116, Goike and Forlini were among only six Republicans to oppose the legislation passed Tuesday in the House and later signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Meanwhile in their constituency, the right-to-work debate raged on Macomb Patch's website and Facebook Page.

These are just a few of the comments made in reaction to the legislature's passage of the bill and Snyder's final approval:

  • Heidi Szymanski Verellen I pray that Governor Synder does the right thing and vetos this bill today, although I am not holding my breath. This bill is not about giving people the right to work as much as it is about giving the government the right to control the existence of unions. If this deal is so good, why are the police and firefighters excluded? They are pushing this thru lame duck because they know they could not get it to pass after the first of the year. This type of issue should be put on ballot for all Michigan residents to vote. They continue to ruin the lives of so many hard working Americans in the name of politics. So un-American. So sad.
  • Lyle Koch I pray that Governor Snyder will sign this bill and free many people from the undeclared taxes by the Unions
  • Jim Jusko Sign it 100%. Promotes jobs, growth.
  • Greg Schlitt Whether you are for or against RTW, the process in which this has taken place should disgust every Michigan resident.
  • Rachel Bostic Right to work is wrong. If you want to work, get out there and get a job. If you don't like unions, get a job that doesn't have them.
  • Russell D Salyers Right to work is divisive, it is a misnomer. It doesn't give a person the right to work, it gives them the right to derive benefit from those who pay into a union for the union to bargain with an employer. Such a person, would not pay union dues but the union is duty bound to fight on behalf of this freeloader if he/she is disciplined or fired. Tell me this, if right to work were not a divisive tool why aren't those who 'choose' not to be in the union, at-will employees free to make their own deal and be fired, hired and disciplined without union interference. If that were the case I would support what they are doing in Lansing.
  • Mark A. Provo Being forced to join unions? That's about as Un-American as it gets!

Other readers agreed with Forlini's view and argued that right-to-work may have made a better a ballot initiative.

  • Jenni Walsh Filauro Let the people vote, that's who it effects. Or is he (Snyder) afraid? If it's right for michigan and it's what the people want, lets see what happens! I am embarrassed of our system today.
  • Sharon Sheldon Mooney Open it to the people! A government by the people, for the people. Not one that says one thing repeatedly and goes against its word.
  • Stacey Beckman LaPlante Let us vote on it! Or is he (Snyder) afraid of the outcome because 55% of the people who pay his salary are against this? Disgusted & embarrassed for this state today.

Along with prohibiting public and private sector unions from requiring private workers – with the exception of police and firefighters – to pay dues as a term of employment, the law also includes a $1 million appropriation to make it "referendum-proof.”

When asked during a press conference Tuesday why he would not let people have a chance to repeal the law through a referendum, Snyder said he believed the bills were “part of the normal legislative process," and voters could always attempt a ballot drive on the issue in 2014.

Michigan is now the nation’s 24th right-to-work state.

Keith Best December 12, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I bet you never saw "union thugs" in action on mainstream media like this: http://youtu.be/u_F3oev06i0
Romeo Pelle December 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Goike and Forlini wont get my vote ever again!
Dennis December 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
You have the right to "peaceable assembly"... not the right to cause property damage and battery to someone who doesn't agree with you. Unfortunately, this is what I think of when I think about unions. "Give us what we demand, or we will shut you down and beat you up." How can you possibly get behind a movement like that?
Kevin Karwowicz December 12, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Recall Goike! He states he voted NO based on his Blue Collar district?? Same District that voted NO by a 2 to 1 margin in November Election. Wake up, America is sick of politicians that vote based on special interest groups, and not their real employers , us the Voters! Anything you can produce to "support" your decision, please show us. As for Anthony Forlini, people don't even take Democratic Puppets seriously ( oops republican..:) )so why should I.
Ron Ptaszek December 12, 2012 at 04:26 PM
It would be nice if any "reporters" actually linked the bill to their "report" but I suppose that that expectation is too high since 90% of the stories I have read fail to do so.
whatthefrack December 12, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Wow! Incredible! I'd LOVE to see that on the evening news! But it'll never happen in our lifetime. What a bunch of animals. I hope no one was seriously injured.

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