Mitchell Reports | December 11, 2012
>> joining me now from inside the statehouse, of course, the michigan governor rick snyder. governor snyder, thank you very much for joining us. tell me why now and why this issue, why take this on? this is not what you campaigned on.
>> no. i appreciate that, andrea. it really goes back to last summertime. the labor movement , labor leaders were pushing forward something called proposal 2 . they were doing signatures to put on it the ballot, which would have been a massive overreach into michigan 's constitution regarding collective bargaining . i believe in collective bargaining , but this was way over the top , and i asked him not to go forward, and the reasons i said is you are going to start a very divisive discussion regarding collective bargaining first, but it also will get into right to work. it will create a big stir about right to work in addition to collective bargaining . the voters spoke in november and dramatically voted down proposal two, but then this right to work discussion just continued to escalate and was becoming very divisive. the way i viewed it, it's on the table. it's a hot issue. let's show some leadership, so i stepped up to say when i review it, i think it's a good thing. it's about being pro-worker and giving freedom of choice to workers and then secondly, it was mentioned in the earlier report, it's about economic development . we will get more and better jobs coming to michigan because we're going to be more competitive.
>> all the data show that they are going to be lower wage jobs, that there's a real distinction between right to work states and other states, and these are the private sector jobs. not just the public sector jobs. there was an argument that was made fairly effectively in wisconsin and other places about teachers and other public sector employees, but here you have the autoworkers who gave back a lot of their benefits in order to help rescue the auto industry . why punish autoworkers who have already shown they're willing to cooperate with management?
>> well, i think it's important to make a distinction with wisconsin and ohio. that was about collective bargaining . that was about the relationship between employers and unions. this is nothing to do with that. right to work is about the relationship between the union and workers. this is about being pro-workers. giving workers the choice. if anything, this should encourage unions to be more responsive to workers in terms of saying they need to show a valued proposition of why they're a great place to join, and i have met a number of people that say they would like to choose to join the union or have the flexibility not to, and they believe they'll get better accountable from unions. in many residents it could be a longer -- this is something that, again, it's stepping up for workers. this is not to interfere in employer relationships at all.
>> the workers, of course, feel that it's union busting and it is interfering with their relationships. you had said that you think it is divisive, that it's not something you sought. you had higher priorities. you said this just on friday. why sign it? it's apparently going to hit your desk tomorrow. are you still determined to sign it?
>> yes, i am, because, again, it had reached critical mass in terms of being a dif icive issue in our state. again, if you look bab to where michigan was, we were at the bottom for the last decade. we've lost over 760,000 jobs. since i came to office, we've gained 141,000 back. we've done tax reform , budgets have been balanced, we're paying down debt. a lot of good things. we've become very competitive, and this is another step in that process to say let's give our workers the choice, and when you look at indiana and see what they've achieved since february when they did similar legislation, they've gotten thousands of jobs coming to indiana because of this issue.
>> governor, one of the issues is it's a lame-duck session. you have more republicans supporting this measure. why push this through in a lame-duck session? why not let it be aired after the next legislature comes in and there will be more democrats? isn't that fair?
>> i didn't view any of us to get into the politics of it. this is a policy issue that came about because, again, the proposal 2 went down, and we had a large scale discussion going on, a very divisive issue that in my view to say it's on the table and make decisions and move forward. there's been a lot of discussions on the right to work in michigan for many years. over the last month or so people in michigan know about this issue, and there's been lots of ways to contact legislators, so i think there's been a lot of dialogue on this, and let's just get this done. this is to move michigan forward. about more and better jobs and worker choice.
>> thank you very much, governor. thanks for joining us on a busy day. obviously there on the capitol. we really appreciate it.