Battle Creek Enquirer interviews Joe Schwarz on right to work
The Battle Creek Enquirer interviewed Joe Schwarz about the possibility of new right-to-work legislation after a week of events indicating that the Michigan legislature could soon take up the issue. After the Michigan Chamber of Commerce voiced support for right to work and Governor Rick Snyder stated it was on his agenda, Schwarz commented on the potential dangers of taking up the issue now.
"We've had the right-to-work debate before, we will have it again," Schwarz told the Battle Creek Enquirer. "But now is not the time, and this is an example of a term-limited legislature with no institutional memory wanting to take up an issue which will be deeply and catastrophically divisive at exactly the wrong time. It's wrong for the legislature, it's wrong for the governor, and it's wrong for the state."
Generally, right-to-work legislation prevents unions from receiving fees from nonunion employees. Schwarz said that taking up the issue now—which is politically divisive—could make it difficult for the legislature to work together on other problems. He also pointed out that the Detroit automakers and other firms, who might typically support right to work, have yet to chime in.
"That tells me something," he said, "that they think as I think, that this is not the time. We're crawling hand over hand in this economy to bring it back to an appropriate and sustainable level. What purpose is possibly served in having this fight now?"