Michigan Politician Speaks Out on “Right-To-Work”

A state representative makes the kind of loud, honest, proclamatory statement politicians are supposed to tiptoe around. Good for him.

On December, 6, 2012 Representative Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) stood before the State of Michigan House of Representatives to admonish the Republican members of the House for their sneaky and underhanded behavior surrounding the “Right-to-work” vote. He said,

It is particularly unfortunate that the bill that probably has the highest public policy impact of any we have debated here, and in the last 50 years, the other side didn’t have the common courtesy or the guts to allow the public to hear what they were doing. No committee hearings. No opportunity to debate amendments. No public input. Republican staffers in the gallery taking up seats so that taxpayers who traveled across the state to get here are locked out.

The policy was voted on and passed later that day, and signed into law on December, 11, 2012 amid protests by groups across the state. Michigan became the 23rd state in the US to adopt the anti-union “right-to-work” laws.

Although Rep. Dillon’s speech did not change the outcome of the vote, it is refreshing to see a politician openly speaking out about the underhanded and secretive manipulations that so often seem to go hand in hand with the legislative process.

Watch the video:

Thank you to our friends at UpLink for sharing this video

Picture: Sasha Y. Kimel/Flickr

About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She has 2 beautiful children, and is very happily un-married to her life partner DJ.


  1. Honest Politician? Isn’t that an Oxymoron?

  2. The first job I ever had was for a supermarket. I learned what “closed shop” meant when it was explained to me that money would be taken out of all my paychecks to pay union dues. I asked if I had to be a member of the union, and they told me that the union had explicitly required that all employees be union members. In other words, they would take my money whether I liked it or not.

    But that was supposed to be okay, because I could vote in the union and try and get them to change their policies, right?


    You see, the older union members didn’t really want to deal with younger union members, so when I first joined the company you had to be a union member for 3 years before you could vote. They took your money every paycheck but you didn’t get a say for 3 years.

    Even that would have been fine, except that in the time I worked there, the union voted twice to increase the time requirement to vote, first to 5 years, then to 7. When contract negotiations came around, they offered to cut the wages and benefits of everyone who hadn’t yet been there 7 years. In other words, anyone who couldn’t vote in the union yet.

    This is why we need right to work laws, and it’s a story that left will never own up to. Across the country we have seen unions create these two-tiered systems where older members get higher wages and greater benefits, and younger workers are charged union dues and see no benefits for them. This model was most recently adopted by the American Auto Workers.

    If unions throw younger workers under the bus, the very least America can do for younger workers is pass right to work bills so that they don’t have union dues extorted from them.

    It would be nice to see this side of the story told every now and then.

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