Right-to-Work Town Hall Roundup: Week Three
Welcome to week three of the Right-to-Work Town Hall Tour!
AFP-Michigan stopped in Flint on March 18th and Plymouth on the 21st.
The group was greeted by protesters in Flint, where Brian Pannebecker joined the AFP-MI panel. A lively conversation ensued. The panel addressed Michigan’s economic outlook, an important issue in a city that has been so damaged by a poor economy.
RTW has the potential to bring business, and therefore jobs, back to Michigan. It is RTW, in-conjunction with other key business-friendly factors like lower taxes, that will revitalize Michigan’s economy.
“Right-to-work is just one piece of the puzzle,” said Professor Butler.
In Plymouth, Brian Pannebecker of Michigan Freedom to Work discussed what it’s like to be a conservative in a union, and a supporter of Right-to-Work:
“I do not want to be told that as a condition of employment I have to give money to a third party, especially if the union is not representing my views,” said Pannebecker. “And don’t try to tell me that political activities aren’t funded with my dues money. Civil disobedience training is paid for by members’ dues… And I’ve witnessed union members posting Obama flyers in the plant on company time.”
“Right-to-Work is going to finally give workers a voice. That’s what union bosses are afraid of. Because what the bosses are concerned about is the protection of their wealth, and their power. Wealth and power is a recipe for corruption. Right-to-Work means unions have the potential to start serving their members a little bit better, and to grow. Union members, please keep an open mind. At least consider both sides of the argument.”
During Q&A an AFSCME member expressed his concern over hasty contract negotiations.
“It happened so quickly,” he said. “They just told us they were renegotiation and the vote already happened. To me it seemed like a pretty bad contract. It seemed like they were just trying to push it through before the 28th.”
The well-informed union member’s concern is not unwarranted. Teachers in Taylor are currently working with the Mackinac Center to pursue legal action because a new 10-year contract containing a pay cut was recently pushed through in their district. As a result, Teachers in Taylor will have to wait a full 10 years before exercising individual liberty.