Michigan Gov. Snyder, union leaders face off over workers' rights, collective bargaining

Fight to put collective bargaining issue on Michigan November ballot continues


DETROIT – The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered the lower Court of Appeals to rule on whether a proposal on collective bargaining will appear on the November ballot.

The proposal is pitting Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder against union leaders.

Michigan's workforce already has the right to collective bargaining, but the state's unions want to write that into Michigan's constitution.

"I don't describe it as a battle, I don't fight with people I just try to solve problems and get the facts out to people, that's what we are doing here," said Snyder.

Reverend Wendell Anthony is the spokesman for the Protecting Our Jobs campaign which is working to put the issue on the ballot. Anthony told Local 4 he doesn't buy Gov. Snyder's explanation and questions why Snyder is trying to keep the proposal off the ballot.

"It's like he fox saying ‘I'm in the chicken coop' but he's not going to eat the chickens," Snyder said.

The proposal would make it law for public and private employees to collectively bargain and prevent future legislatures from undoing the change to the state constitution.

"Well, that would take us back in time and we don't need to go back in time," said Snyder. "If you remember the last decade or so, those weren't such good times so we need to move forward. We've got a bright future in front of us, so let's go."

Michigan union leaders have made it clear they fear the governor is trying to make Michigan a right-to-work state.

There are federal rights for collective bargaining already in place, but Anthony still wants Michigan residents to have their say.

"Let the people of Michigan really determine the outcome of the fight," Anthony said. "Let us have the right to vote in Michigan on this all issues before the people. Just allow the voters to decide."