Mitchell Reports | December 11, 2012
>>> michigan has long been the heart of the american labor movement . for more on this latest battleground now to keep their union rights, bob king , president of the united autoworkers joins me from lansing along with, of course, the reverend jesse jackson , founder and president of the rainbow push coalition and a long-time advocate for labor rights . thanks to both of you. very much good to see you again. i just talked to michigan 's governor rick snyder, and this is what he had to say about the rationale for this legislation, which he says he is going to sign.
>> we have had a number of people that said they would like to choose to join the union or have the flexibility not to, and they believe they'll get better account at for unions. could be a positive for unions over the longer term.
>> could i ask you to respond on what of the uaw to what the governor just told me?
>> yeah, a bunch of mularkey really. the governor knows that people in the uaw under our constitution have a right to be in the union or not. under federal law people have a right to be in the union or not. the question is do people in the community -- if you are in a city and they pick up the trash, they have police or fire, everybody pays taxes. when are you in a union or workplace, you get representation and procedure, bargaining, and you pay your fair share of the costs of that representation.
>> what will be the effect of this? is it going to bust the union and change the life of workers in michigan forever?
>> it is going to bust the unions. these workers have been pushed over the cliff. it's not for michigan only. we see plants closing and jobs leaving and workers busted. the kind of deterioration coming in. workers must strike back in measure. a major one-day workers strike and marshall washington for jobs and justice. too much poverty. too many unemployed people. each of us must fight. workers deserve to be at the bargaining table.
>> bob king , what will be the immediate affect on the uaw ?
>> you know, i'm not worried about the immediate effect on the uaw . i'm worried about the impact on society. this has to be seen as part of a right wing agenda. this lame-duck they're not just attacking labor, but limits. they're attacking teachers and schools. they're attacking everything that is good for working families . this right-wing agenda has to be staffed. labor, civil rights , faith community, lgbt, environmentalists, all of us got to come together and stand up for an america that has prosperity for everybody. not just for ceos and the greedy few at the top.
>> this is a states rights struggle fundamentally that they sought to suppress the vote in the fall. they fought to suppress wages now, and so we must -- it's a struggle between the right to organize. more union states rights . i have convinced workers must stand up because unless they fight back in a big way, michigan will metastacize.
>> of course, their argument is this is good for business and good for workers because there will be more jobs than indiana has gained jobs and gained businesses by taking this route. i just want to give you a chance to respond.
>> that's bologne. epi just came out with a study today, and there's been a lot of studies done in oklahoma. right to work does not help new businesses come in. right to work lowers wages both for union , nonunion members. it lowers benefits. it lowers health care . right to work is bad for working families .
>> it's the right to work for less. they are still fighting for the right to corporate greed to take jobs and cheap labor markets so they can get right to work law states in indonesia and china and then made right to work law here. it means it's a gap between the wealth and the workers. workers have a right to expect liberal wages, health care , education care, the right to vote protected, and educate their children. these rights are reasonable and should be enforced.
>> reverend jackson, you and i have known each other a long time. did you ever think you would be in michigan leading a protest against right to work?
>> i really did not. i think that the tea party has 150-year-old roots between what is -- the right it organize, collective bargaining and states rights . i never thought it would go this far north , and, yet, these workers in this state must fight back and draw a line in the sand . that's why i'm going to address a major one-day strike, maybe a one-day march on washington for massive and action to bring about the ship in the flow of the wind.
>> reverend jesse jackson , bob king from the united autoworkers. thank you very much. i know it's a cold day . thanks for joining us from michigan .