OREN GILBREATH: Columnist Crees is wrong about Right to Work


In Jim Crees’ recent opinion column, “A message for politicians,” he pretends that the Republican legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder were trying to convince him that they were correct in passing the Right to Work bill into law.

Along with accusing the Republicans of lying
to him and the voters about their reasoning, he says they were following orders from the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Tea Party and everything else Republican.

He also mentions “Big Business.” And to make sure we know Big Jim is one of the union guys, he also throws in a lot of words like “shinola,” “sucking up” and “bullwash.” I really don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. I guess he thinks he is communicating with “the guys.”

Despite every survey that points to an increase in manufacturing in all states that pass Right to Work laws, Big Jim insists this is not pro-worker and will not benefit workers by any stretch of the imagination.

Of course, we could point out that the first and best way to help Michigan workers is to get them a job, which was the point of passing this bill into law in the first place! He seems to be more concerned that the big unions are going to suffer somehow by a drop in their dues money, than he is about the thousands of unemployed people across Michigan. He talks about the political culture in Lansing and the midnight meeting and lack of transparency in passing laws.

But he insults his readers when he thinks we don’t remember the early morning meeting at Christmas that President Obama and the Democrats pulled off three years ago in order to get the Obama Health bill passed into law.

From the couple of letters to the editor I have read, it looks like Mr. Crees has some support from his anti-Right to Work position. They talk about workers possible not paying any union dues, but still receiving the benefits of a union contract.

That’s going to be the news to anyone hiring into the GM and Chrysler auto plants under the contracts written lately. New workers under theses new contracts will be paid much less than their fellow union members who may be working right beside them on the same job. Sometimes up to a 50 percent difference.

A job paying $24 an hour to an older employee may, under the UAW contracts, pay the new employee $12 or $13. That doesn’t sound like the benefits to be proud of, now does it?

If Jim and his followers are going to condemn the Republican Legislature and the governor for doing their jobs, they ought to pay attention and check it. But they won’t. It’s more fun to make it come out their way.

After all, they are liberals. Sorry, I mean progressive.


One comment on “OREN GILBREATH: Columnist Crees is wrong about Right to Work

  1. avatarbyrnex3

    I find it hard to take Mr. Gilbreath seriously considering I am having a hard time recalling when he has not taken a staunch conservative; sorry I mean regressive position on anything. It is handy having the top related items provided for us immediately under the response and I thank the Pioneer for that handy reference tool.
    Mr. Crees does tend to lend himself to a great deal of criticism by being one of the token liberal/ progressives in the area. Funny the point made by Oren that the best way to help Michigan workers is to get them a job – but only if that comes on the back of the primary “big business” obstacle to it having its way – labor unions. Oren doesn’t even attempt to claim the manner the RTW legislation (and follow up actions) was passed was honorable, right or even ethical – he can only deflect with the grade school tested defense of if I claim someone else did it first then I can do it as well. Who knew that excuse I used in kindergarten would have real world implications.
    With the objective and even-handed argument Mr. Gilbreath makes it is no surprise that he would need to focus on an auto plant example for a wage retaining a resemblance to an acceptable living standard. If Gilbreath has any followers (and I suspect in this area he does) and they are going to condemn the Dem’s, Liberals or Progressives they ought to pay attention and check it. I suspect they won’t it is more fun pretending any of those terms are dirty and casts dispersions on those who disagree with them.

    Now Jim – be honest with us and admit that the “reproduction” issue you raised is a child’s right to live issue and not the “woman’s issue”. Just say it. Tell us the truth :-)

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