State leaders react to Right to Work bill - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

State leaders react to Right to Work bill

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LANSING (WJRT) -

(12/07/12)- Lawmakers are speaking out one day after the Right to Work bills were passed in the House and Senate.

ABC12 spoke with two Mid-Michigan Republicans who have different opinions and votes on the legislation.

Some lawmakers say that bill will boost the economy. Others argue that it would weaken organized labor's ability to bargain for better wages.

State Representative Ken Horn of Frankenmuth is one out of six republicans who voted against Right to Work legislation that passed Thursday.

"The I-75 corridor is different than the Westside of Michigan. I voted no because I voted by district. The work that we've done together with the trades people, when I needed to build a power plant up in Essexville, the trades people were the first people to come to my aid when we had protestors out there and we want to make sure. We want to solve the right problem for Michigan," he said.

Democrats were clearly opposed to the legislation.

Horn said he voted against the bill because of the strong partnerships that the unions have had in Saginaw and the Great Lakes Bay Region.

"We've saved auto plants. Great investments and next year $125 million investment. Last summer, the governor was in town, GM on the same day totaled a $25 million investment. These investments could have gone anywhere in the world and they were made in part here because of the relationship that we have," Horn said.

Senator John Moolenaar of Midland voted for right to work, saying it's an important step for Michigan.

"It's important that our hardworking employees have choices. I think in this case, unions will still be a part of this economy. Collective bargaining will still be a part of this economy, but what it does is it says workers will have the ability to choose whether or not to participate," he said.

Some lawmakers believe the bill will put more people to work.

"There have been many different studies, probably the economic impact of this. The best example we're seeing from Indiana where they have serious job growth and a more favorable economic climate because of their legislature taking action. We do compete with Indiana for jobs and it's important that we make Michigan as attractive as possible for job creation," Moolenaar said.

Both lawmakers will return to Lansing next week to vote on final versions of the bills.

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