Gov. Rick Snyder stopped by Morning Joe on Wednesday following Michigan’s passage of controversial “right to work” legislation and defended the state’s move. It’s not anti-union, he said; it’s “pro-worker.” Not everyone on the panel was convinced, pressing Snyder on his assertion.
Snyder said that such legislation wasn’t always a priority for the state, given other economic problems, but went on to note progress on the fronts of tax reform, a balanced budget, and education reform. Citing labor leaders’ “overreach” with respect to collective bargaining, Snyder said the discussion grew louder and more divisive, so “right to work” became the “right thing to do.”
“I’ve never said unions are bad for business,” the governor replied to a question asking him to explain that assertion. “I don’t believe this is actually anti-union. If you look at it, I believe this is pro-worker.”
“Hang on,” Richard Wolffe responded. “Are you serious? Are you serious?” At its “core,” he said, the legislation “undermines the ability for unions to organize. Snyder argued that it has “nothing to do with the relationship between an employer and union.” It’s about workers’ freedom to choose. If people see value in unions, they can join them. If not, they can choose not to.
Joe Scarborough similarly challenged Snyder, contending that it “undermines unions’ ability to stay vibrant.” Again, Snyder said it’s not anti-union, but rather, pro-worker.
Later, asked about the historical role unions have had in making Michigan “a better place,” Snyder said unions did “a lot of great things” in the last century, but now “unions are a declining percentage of the workforce.” Over the past decade, he said, Michigan has “suffered” from not being a “right to work” state.
Watch below, via MSNBC:
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