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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Passage of Michigan ‘Right-to-Work’ Law

“This divisive law will destroy opportunity – this isn’t the end”

Gov. Snyder showed his true colors today: He’s a puppet of extreme donors, and he is willing to ignore and lie to his constituents. His action will undoubtedly please the Koch Brothers and corporate CEOs, but it will diminish the voice of every working man and woman in Michigan.

To make ‘right-to-work’ a reality, Governor Rick Snyder ignored working Michiganders, the faith and civil rights community, President Obama, people in his own party, autoworkers, nurses, teachers, firefighters, the Detroit Free Press editorial board and voters. He listened to Grover Norquist, Dick DeVos, the Koch brothers and the extremes of his party. In Gov. Snyder’s office, they might call that political reality. On Main Street, we call it a sham of democracy.

The so-called ‘right to work’ laws have never fostered employment, but they do bring out the worst kind of divisiveness. Gov. Snyder knows this is true. He publicly acknowledged this reality for years, and yet ultimately he chose to ignore it and embrace extreme politics under the guise of a job creation agenda.

But working people are resilient – and just like we’ve patiently worked together to rebuild after the Great Recession, we will continue to come together to say ‘no’ to overreach and to oppose this radical governor and state legislature. And we will continue to work for policies to put America back on track with good jobs and shared prosperity, because working people have always been the solution, not the problem.
                                                                               

 What ‘Right to Work’ Really Means for Real People:

  • Average worker makes $1,540 less per year
  • Median household income $6,437 less
  • 28%more people lack health insurance
  • Average poverty rate is 18% higher
  • Rate of workplace death is 36% higher

Contact: Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018

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