REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - President Barack Obama says Michigan autoworkers would take a big hit if an automatic tax increase takes effect next month.
Obama spoke Monday afternoon after touring the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Wayne County's Redford Township.
Before getting down to the business of promoting his drive for congressional Republicans' acceptance of his tax overhaul plan, Obama joked about the woes his hometown Chicago Bears share with their NFL rivals, the Detroit Lions.
Both teams lost Sunday.
Obama criticizes Michigan right-to-work bills
Obama says right-to-work legislation in Michigan is more about politics than economics. He is criticizing a measure that would prevent requiring non-union employees to financially support unions at their workplace.
Obama received loud applause at the plant when he said we shouldn't be "taking away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions."
The president says that the right-to-work bills are more about "giving you the right to work for less money."
The Michigan House and Senate approved the legislation last week. Democrats have urged Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to veto the measure that he has pledged to sign.
The Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to take final action on the bills as early as Tuesday.
Obama praises million-dollar investment
Detroit Diesel announced it would invest approximately $128 million to bring the two new products to its existing heavy-duty engine and axle production portfolio. Detroit Diesel will be the industry's first commercial vehicle components facility that produces the complete integrated powertrain family. Michigan was chosen for the powertrain production over an existing Daimler facility in Germany and a site in Mexico. The turbocharger production will be moved from China to Michigan.
The investment will create or retain 197 jobs, bringing the overall employment at the Detroit Diesel facility to more than 2,500.
Detroit Diesel has been in business since 1938. The Redford plant now employs about 2,300 people, according to the company's website.
Meet and greet
When he arrived, Obama was greeted on the tarmac by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Sen. Carl Levin, Rep. John Dingell and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was with him.
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