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Archive for November, 2012

UAW chief: War on workers not the answer


The article below was written my Mr. Bob King  president of the United Auto Workers and appeared in the Tuesday, November 20, 2012 issue of The Bay City Times opinion page D 1 as a guest columnist.

” I want to thank the Times for publishing the guest editorial ” Don’t even think about right-to-work law” (Nov. 15).

The editorial calls on Gov. Rick Snyder to stand firm against fellow Republicans who want to divide Michigan voters with a push for right-to-work legislation.

I agree. What our state needs right now is a climate of cooperation. It’s time to get back to work in creating economic success.

The UAW is committed to working with all sectors to create jobs and prosperity for all Michiganders,  just as we have done in the auto industry with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and many suppliers.

In 2008, the auto crisis threatened thousands of much-needed jobs and critical revenue for our state.

We did it together

Today the domestic industry is roaring back. There is new investment in factories, more jobs created in our state and work coming to Michigan from overseas.

This is a testament to the sacrifice made by UAW members and government, labor and the community, working together to find sensible economic solutions.

We are proud to have shown the world that it can be done, and that collective bargaining is part of that formula for success.

A recent poll by Progress Michigan and the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center showed strong support for collective bargaining in Michigan. A strong majority of voters ( 70 percent) continue to support the right of workers to organize and bargain over wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The poll also showed that with the election behind us, voters overwhelmingly (83 percent agree, 64 percent strongly agree) are ready for politicians in Lansing to get to work creating jobs and improving education, not changing rules about unions.

It is time to halt the bickering. A war against workers is not the answer.

It is time to move forward. It’s time to get to work in creating a better Michigan.

Let’s draw those lines.

The editorial stated that Gov. Snyder has repeatedly said right-to-work legislation is not part of his agenda and that he should go further. It called on the governor to boldly pronounce that he doesn’t want to see a bill on his desk. It goes even further to encourage the governor to say that if a bill does appear, he will veto it.

We agree. What’s good for working families is good for business and good for  Michigan.

Together let’s devote our energies and resources to fostering mature relationships to save jobs, create more jobs and make this state attractive to those who share those mutual goals.”

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Another stab at right-to-work ?


The below listed article was written by Mr. Rick Haglund of Michigan Business and appeared in the Sunday, November 18,2012 issue of “The Bay City Times” Michigan Business page D 1.

I agree with what Mr. Haglund says in the article and suggest that it should be taken as a warning to all who oppose right-to-work laws in Michigan.

” There’s much speculation that lawmakers soon will take upright-to-work legislation after voters rejected a ballot proposal that would have locked collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.

Former Kalamazoo-area State Rep. Jack Hoogendyke, who is pushing to make Michigan a right-to-work state, says now is the time.

Right-to-work laws prohibit companies from negotiation contracts with unions that require the payment of union dues.

” If conditions were ever perfect for this to happen, they are right now.” Hoogendyk, who represents an organization called Michigan Freedom to Work, said in a news release last week.

Or are they?

Yes, voters rejected guaranteeing collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.

And there is support for right-to-work among Republican lawmakers who control the Legislature.

But not all legislative leaders are on board. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has said he is opposed to right-to-work.

Gov. Rick Snyder continues to dance around the issue. Snyder told reporters the day after the Nov. 6 election that right-to-work still is not on his agenda because it is too divisive.

But Hoogendyke points out there’s a YouTube video of Snyder ( see it at bit.ly/snyderyoutube ) in which he said in 2010 he would sign a right-to-work bill should one reach his desk.

Rep. Mike Shirkey, a Grass Lake Republican who has been itching to introduce right-to-work legislation for months, isn’t convinced Snyder is supportive.

And Shirkey told me for a post-election story I wrote for Bridge magazine he will not introduce a bill until he knows Snyder will sigh it.

” I’m not going to give up, but having the governor’s support is absolutely key to this.” he said.

Shirkey says he supports collective bargaining rights but says workers should have the right to decide whether they want to be part of a labor union.

Unions say right-to-work laws create ” free riders, ” workers in union shops who don’t pay union dues but who are represented by unions in contract negotiations and grievance proceedings.

And that’s the point.  Right -to-work advocates are counting on lots of workers covered by union contracts to opt out of paying dues, shrinking the financial muscle of labor unions.

Some lawmakers and business lobbyists say the unions brought on this fight by putting collective bargaining on the ballot.

But union leaders say it was the right-to-work saber-rattling that pushed them to try to protect collective bargaining, especially for public workers.

Hoogendyke is stretching it when he says this is the ” perfect ” time to enact right-to-work. But bad blood between labor and right-to-work supporters ensures the issue won’t soon go away.”

Email: haglund.rick@gmail.com

Making Michigan a Right To Work State


The post copied below was taken from a Republican blog dated 12 November 2012. I think that it is a very good example of what I have said before (see earlier post about proposal 2) that if proposal 2 did not pass what would happen.

In the past Governor Snyder has said that ” making Michigan a right to work state was not on his agenda.” Now that doesn’t mean that it is not on the Legislators agenda and he has refused to say if he will sign it into law is it comes across his desk from the State Legislators.

The Michigan House and Senate have 80 some bills right now ready to go to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law such as the Right to Work for Less bill, a bill to abolish the Michigan Health and Safety Act, and a bill making it illegal in the State of Michigan for workers to picket. just to name a few.

    In the next few articles that I post I will try to show why I think that making Michigan a Right To Work State would be a very grave mistake and would severely hurt Michigan Workers while making Michigan Corporations and the upper 1 to 2 % richer and the middle class and the poor even poorer than they all ready are.
     I should also note that the facts and figures listed below by Mr. Hogendyde come directly from the Mackinaw Center which is directly associated with and receives a large part of its financing from the American Legislative Exchange Committee (A.L.E.C.) which I will also try to explain more about in the following posts.

By J. Gillman
Jack Hoogendyk offers a timely opinion on a very important matter.

It is time for Michigan to become a right-to-work state. If ever the conditions were perfect for this to happen, they are right now. Consider:

•We have a Speaker of the House who has publicly expressed support for RTW.
•A solid majority of House members and, I believe, Senate members have expressed a willingness to vote for a RTW law, if it comes to a vote on the floor.
•We have a Governor who has pledged to sign a RTW bill if it gets to his desk.
•We have a veto-proof majority in the Senate.
•Three unabashedly pro-union ballot proposals were soundly defeated at the polls last week.
•Indiana became the 23rd RTW state this year.
•Wisconsin, the birthplace of public-sector unions has beaten back multi-million-dollar efforts by the union bosses to recall the governor and many legislators. In spite of their efforts, the governor remains and the Assembly and Senate have retained or won back Republican majorities.
•Polling data has shown that a solid majority of Michigan residents support RTW for Michigan.
•We are entering the “lame-duck” session, a time when anything can happen, and usually does.
•There is a wealth of data to give evidence that right-to-work states create more jobs, more wealth, fewer residents on welfare, higher per-capita disposable income, and much more. Find the data here and here.
With all this compelling data, and circumstances being as ideal as they have ever been, what is holding up the legislation that has already been written, from being introduced in the House and the Senate?

The answer lies with one person, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Randy Richardville. He has gone on record opposing RTW in Michigan. In spite of the fact that a majority in the House and the Senate, and the people of Michigan support RTW, and the governor has agreed to sign the bill, Mr. Richardville has flatly refused to support this bill.

It is time to encourage the Majority Leader to support RTW or to respectfully ask him to step out of the way and allow this bill to be heard and voted on. He can vote against it if he wishes, but I believe the Senate will pass it if given the opportunity, the House will follow suit, and the Governor will quickly sign it.

Please contact Randy Richardville here and respectfully ask him to give Right-to-work for Michigan an up or down vote. Let’s put job creation in the Great Lakes State on the fast track.

Regards,

Jack Hoogendyk

 

Happy 237 Belated Birthday


United States Marine Corps War Memorial by Fel...

United States Marine Corps War Memorial by Felix de Weldon at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thar’s no excuse for it except to say I must begetting forgetful in my old age after all. Saturday was the 237th. birthday of the founding of the United States Marine Corps at Tungs Taveran and I wish to send a belated birthday greeting to all my fellow jar heads out their in cyber land. I was a Navy Corpsman but spent most of my enlisted life, except for boot camp at Orlando and Hospital Corps School at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, with the U.S. Marine Corps. I was at Camp Pendleton most of the time when I was back in the world but I spent time in Viet Nam, Okinawa, Korea, the Philippines and Australia as well so I think that I qualified calling myself a fellow jar hed  as well. Hears to the past 237 years and to the next 237 years to come. Semper Fi.

Veterans Day


English: Veterans Day poster for 1982.

English: Veterans Day poster for 1982. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the 11 day, of the 11 month, on the 11 hour world war I ended. This day was originally was set aside to honor the veterans from that conflict but was later turned into Veterans Day to honor the veterans of all conflicts and to remember those who did not return.

To all my fellow veterans, those who made it and in memory of those who didn’t, and their families I would like to wish them all a happy, peaceful and reverent Veterans Day.

Be on the Lookout today


Be shure to be on the lookout today at the voting poles for any irregularities or even suspected irregularities. If you should spot anything you think is suspicious from either party please call the toll-free number 1-866-Our Vote ( 1-866-687-8683 ) and report it and it will be investigated by-election officials and the police if they feel it is founded. Not to say that any thing will happen but it will keep both sides honest. This message was passed on to me from a friend who spotted the notice on the internet. Good luck and don’t forget to vote. The poles are open from 7:00 a.m. till 8:p.m. local time.

Proposal 6 To Amend the State Consititution Regarding Construction of International Bridges and Tunnels


Strangely there’s  no recommendation for or against this proposal in any of the voters information guides that I have been able to find just this synopsis printed below which I obtained through The Leage of Woman and Men Voters.

This proposal would:
• Require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election and in each
municipality where “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles”
are to be located before the State of Michigan may expend state funds or resources
for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or
promoting new international bridges or tunnels.
• Create a definition of “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles”
that means, “any bridge or tunnel which is not open to the public and serving
traffic as of January 1, 2012.”
Should this proposal be approved? YES NO

YES
People Should Decide asserts that Michigan taxpayers could end up footing the bill
for a multi-billion dollar new bridge to Canada, at a time when we need to be investing
in jobs and schools. Proposal 6 will give the people a voice in how public money is
spent on international crossings by requiring a vote at a statewide election and in each
municipality in which there would be a new international bridge before state funds or
resources could be used.
The Detroit International Bridge Company (DIBC) has offered to build a privatelyfundedsecond span next to the Ambassador Bridge which it owns. The New International Trade Crossing (NITC) bridge in another location will draw substantial traffic from the Blue Water Bridge, Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, and Ambassador Bridge. Trucktraffic volumes in 2010 for all Michigan to Canada links were down since their peak in 2011 not up as projected.
People Should Decide posits that the NITC project is economically unviable and risky for Michigan taxpayers as cost and volume forecasts are uncertain. A joint authority will oversee design, construction, and operation and so use of American materials and labor is not guaranteed.
For more information go to www.thepeopleshoulddecide.com.

NO
Taxpayers Against Monopolies which opposes Proposal 6 notes that this amendment
is funded by Ambassador Bridge’s owner. The amendment would impact future crossings. Michigan and Canadian officials signed an agreement in June to build the New International Trade Crossing (NITC). One-quarter of all U.S.-Canada trade (world’s largest two-way relationship) crosses the Ambassador Bridge each year. NITC supporters point to a projected doubling of truck traffic between Detroit and Windsor by 2035. The second bridge two miles downriver will provide a direct highway-to-highway connection between the U.S. and Canada and provide much-needed redundancy critical to national and economic security. U.S. and Canadian environmental clearances have been received. Estimates are 10,000 Michigan construction workers would be hired for Michigan side and completed bridge would support 25,000 more Michigan jobs. The agreement states: “The Michigan Parties are NOT obligated to pay any of the costs of the new International Crossing.” Private investors will fund the bridge. Canada will pay $550 million for Michigan’s share of custom’s plaza, I-75 connection, and toll plaza. U.S. will pay balance of custom’s plaza cost. Canada and private investors will be repaid by tolls collected. Canada has responsibility for any shortfall.

EDITORS NOTE:

I am still rather hesitant to give any recommendation for or against this proposal. According to what I have read the tolls to cross the bridge from the U.S. side to Canada would go to Canada for the first 25 years. After that half of the tolls  payed by vehicles crossing from the U.S. to Canada would go to Canada for the next 25 years and after that ( 50 years later) the tolls from crossing the bridge to Canada would be considered profit for the owner of the bridge.  All I can say is that it possibly is a ploy to stop the bridge from ever getting built seeing as all the negative ads are being payed for primary one person, Mr. Matty Moroun owner of the Ambassador Bridge and I have not seen any ads in print or on the radio contesting them.

Proposal 5 Supermajority Vote


BACKGROUND:

Would amend the Michigan constitution to require a 2/3 majority vote of the legislature, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers, expand the base of taxation or increase tax rates.

WHAT IT DOES:

Gives a small minority of just 13 state senators the power to stop the closure of tax loopholes or increase taxes in an emergency, even if it was supported by the other 135 members of the legislature. Would lead to a larger class size, closure of hospitals and decreased police and fire protection, while property taxes increase. Would cost jobs by lowering the state’s bond rating, driving up borrowing costs and increasing debt.

The Michigan League of Responsible  Voters Recommends Voting NO on proposal 5.

PROPOSAL 5 IS OPPOSED BY:

Michigan Association for Justice         Michigan League for Human Services

Michigan League of Conservation Voters     One Michigan      Progress Michigan

Equality Michigan        A. Philip Randolph Institute      AFT Michigan

Alliance for Imigrants Rights / Michigan Organizing Project        America Votes

Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice        Michigan AFL-CIO

Michigan Environmental Council        Michigan Education Association        UAW

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter       SEIU Michigan State Council      ROC-Michigan

Michigan AFSCME Council     Xicano Development Center    Clean Water Action

Michigan Laborers Union

PROPOSAL 5 IS SUPPORTED BY:

Washington Lobbyist Grover Norquist        ReTakeOurGov Tea Party

Ambassador Bridge Owner Matty Moroun     Rattle With Us Tea Party

Tea Party Americans For Prosperity       Independent Tea Party Patriots

Lepeer County Tea Party Patriots

EDITORS NOTE:

On the surface it sounds good but after check it closer I think that it’s not what it’s cracked up to be. Why is a Washington Lobbyist supporting this bill to say nothing about the owner of the Ambassador Bridge unless they were getting more out of it that just supporting a worthy cause? The restrictions that this bill places on the state far out weigh the benefits to the tax payer in my opinion. To use an old saying ” Something Stinks ” and it’s not in Denmark.

Proposal 4 Keep Home Care A Safe Choice


BACKGROUND:

Establishes the Michigan Quality Home Care Council to register, background check and provide standards for home care providers.

WHAT IT DOES:

Ensures seniors and people with disabilities have an affordable, safe choice of living at home, rather than a more expensive nursing homes. Links providers with patients, provides for extensive background checks and saves taxpayers  dollars since home care is significantly less expensive to taxpayers than nursing homes.

PROPOSAL 4 IS SUPPORTED BY:

Michigan League for Human Services        A. Philip Randolph Institute

Equality Michigan         ACCESS       Michigan Association for Justice

Michigan Disability Rights Coalition         Michigan AFL-CIO         America Votes

Alliance for Imigrants Rights/Michigan Organizing Project        ROC-Michigan

Progress Michigan        One Michigan         SEIU Michigan State Council

Michigan AFSCME Council 25        Michigan Education Association         UAW

Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice         Clean Water Action

Michigan Laborers Union.

PROPOSAL 4 IS OPPOSED BY:

Independent Tea Party Patriots     Rattle With Us Tea Party       Sheldon Adelson

ReTakeOurGov Tea Party   Lapeer County Tea Party Patriots 

Amersure Insurance  Waste Management        Fifth Third Bank         Amway

Huntington Bank

EDITORS NOTE:

Currently there is a hog pog or regulations and certification governing home care providers with little oversight from the State. The Private company’s insulate themselves by claiming the home care workers are actually State Employees because the State covers they’re pay while the State insulates itself by claiming that the home care workers are the   company’s employees because the state pays the company’s for the service. The background checks are required by the state but left up to the companies as to the degree of touralness  in which it is conducted. For years there have been little standardise training for home care workers with the degree training being left up to each companies that hire the workers. Because there is no standardised  regulations stating that the money payed to the company’s by the state for the services provided by the home care workers most of them work for minim wage and sometimes less. With the creation of the Michigan Quality Home Care Council all the above would come under one standardised body supervising standards for the workers and insuring that state regulations are standardised and inforced.  The training provided to the home care workers would also be standardised throughout the state and would require annual rectification / continuing educational training thus increasing the level and quality of patient care.

Proposal 3 Michigan Energy, Michigan jobs.


BACKGROUND:

Requires utilities to obtain at least 25% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Limits consumer rate increases from renewables-related cost to no more than 1% per year; Creates incentives to employ Michigan workers and equipment.

WHAT IT DOES:

Reduces our state’s dependence on foreign oil and out-of-state energy. Ensures Michigan energy is clean, creating a healthier, safer environment for children. Encourages the production of energy, like wind and solar, here in Michigan, made by Michigan workers.

Michigan League of Responsible Voters recommends a Yes vote on Proposal 3

PROPOSAL 3 IS SUPPORTED BY:

President Bill Clinton         A. Philip Randolph Institute        Equality Michigan

One Michigan     ROC-Michigan  Michigan AFSCME council 25      America Votes

Alliance for Immigrants Rights / Michigan Organizing Project      UAW

Michigan Education Association      SEIU Michigan State Council  

Progress Michigan         Clean Water Action       Michigan Environmental Council

Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice     Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light         Xicano Development Center

PROPOSAL 3 IS OPPOSED BY:

American Petroleum Institute      Waste Management        Huntington Bank

Consumers Energy    DTE Energy    American Colition For Clean Coal Electricity

Amerisure Insurance        Michigan Oil and Gas Association        Amway

Rattle With Us Tea Party       ReTakeGov Tea Party        Sheldon Adelson

EDITORS NOTE:

It’s true that in the short run emergency costs will increase but at a fraction that the opposition has been advertising. Proposal 3 insures that parts for renewable energy devices will be made in Michigan by Michigan workers not in China as the opposition states. Insted of the humans rate increases the power company’s now charge us the rate increases would be limited to no more than 1% a year. The environment in Michigan would be greatly increased creating a healthier, safer environment for not only our children but for the children of future generations and would greatly reduce the green house gases that contribute to Climate Change helping the earth become healthier and a better place to live.

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