WarrenJanuary 9, 2013
Fouts targets right-to-work with free bumper stickers
By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer
WARREN — Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has jumped right into the right-to-work fray, wearing his heart on his bumper.
Heading into 2013, Fouts said he’d offer free bumper stickers to anyone wishing to protest Michigan’s new right-to-work legislation, approved by state lawmakers in December and signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder soon after.
The law means workers can now decide whether or not to join a union, if one exists at their place of employment.
Supporters argued that the law ensures fairness for workers by giving them a choice, and that it makes the state more attractive to businesses looking to invest here.
But Fouts, a retired high school teacher, offered his opinion of the new law with a few choice words on his “anti-right-to-work sticker,” which bears the slogan, “Right-To-Work Means Lower Wages & Benefits.”
“The governor and the state Legislature have divided our state and every workplace in our state by this right-to-work law. It (the sticker) may be the only way to register protest to this unfair legislation,” Fouts said. “And the worst part is that the new law is immune from a referendum because it is attached to an appropriation. So, Michiganders had no input in the legislation and have no voice in overturning this legislation. This is undemocratic and un-American because it violated our constitutional right to reverse a legislative decision.”
Fouts said the new law would create “representation without participation” by allowing non-union employees who don’t pay dues to reap the rewards of union-negotiated workplace rules, conditions and benefits.
Amid a flurry of protests, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed the controversial right-to-work bill into law in December.
The governor’s decision to put right-to-work in place during the state Legislature’s lame-duck session came quickly on the heels of the resounding defeat of Proposal 2 in November. The proposed amendment to the Michigan Constitution would have further guaranteed collective bargaining rights for union members.
“We respect the fact that the freedom-to-work issue evokes strong emotions among supporters and opponents,” Snyder said in prepared remarks Dec. 6. “That’s why we’ve focused on other reforms that are so critical to Michigan’s turnaround. But with this issue now on the table, it’s time to embrace the benefits that come with giving working men and women the freedom they deserve. The values of freedom, fairness and equality in the workplace should unite us all. And as states fiercely compete for jobs, this legislation will ensure that investors know Michigan is the place to do business.”
This isn’t the first time Fouts has offered free stickers to champion a cause. In 2008, he encouraged people to buy American goods and offered free bumper stickers emblazoned with the words, “Buy American Products: They Are Better and Safer.”
Anyone wishing to receive a bumper sticker from Fouts can contact his office at (586) 574-4520.