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.
“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.
- Rob Montilla Sign the bill in its entirety
- 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.