Obama’s right-to-work wrongs

by Henry Payne

- Up is down. The sky is green. Right-to-work is anti-collective bargaining.

On the eve of a historic Lansing vote making Michigan a right-to-work state, President Obama waded into the controversy Tuesday with a big bag o’ bunkum. But, ironically, the very truck engine plant from which he made his remarks may one day be saved by Michigan’s new right-to-work (RTW) commitment.

The president came to the foreign-owned Daimler  Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Michigan to campaign for higher taxes to avert the fiscal cliff – but what his UAW crowd wanted to hear was anti-RTW red meat about the forced payment of union dues.

“What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions,”  the president fibbed about right-to-work which does nothing of the sort. ” These so-called ‘right to work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. We don’t want a race to the bottom, we want a race to the top.”

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

Governor Snyder is poised to sign RTW legislation because RTW states are growing faster than force union states like Michigan, RTW states’ wages are growing faster, and RTW Indiana is taking jobs from Michigan. The president in entitled to his own opinions- but he isn’t entitled to his own facts.

But even as UAW workers wore stickers reading “The President Saved the Auto Industry. Don’t Let Snyder Destroy It” – and Democratic Congressmen called One Tough Nerd “sneaky” – Obama was notably shy to criticize Michigan’s governor by name. Indeed, Snyder was one of the local officials that met the president at Detroit Metro when Air Force One touched down early Monday afternoon.

Perhaps Obama understands that Snyder himself had a lot to do with the $120 million Daimler investment in Detroit Diesel that the president touted in his remarks Monday. Snyder visited Daimler last March to discuss business opportunities in Michigan. Daimler’s U.S. trucking operations are not without a history of union controversy, and the irony is that Daimler may look more favorably on Michigan (as are other businesses) now that it knows it will be a right-to-work state.

That is, the very plant that Obama used to criticize right-to-work may one day be saved by RTW. Truck plants like Daimler’s have a lot of location options – from Mexico to Canada to southern RTW states. Michigan’s new RTW will help keep such plants here.

“Gov. Snyder’s meeting with Daimler executives in Germany underscored the strong relationship between Michigan and the company and demonstrated that Michigan is more business-friendly than ever,” said Michael A. Finney, Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO.

More business friendly than ever thanks to right-to-work? Don’t think that businesses like Daimler haven’t noticed.

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