New report links big business to Michigan ‘Right to Work’

Report from the Center for Public Integrity shares exactly who and what was donated to Right to Work supporters in Michigan, listing big business as the biggest backers
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(PR NewsChannel) / January 24, 2014 / LANSING, Mich. 

Michigan_state_capitol_LansingThe dislike for big business for union workers across Michigan and other states battling Right to Work is growing as a new report lists donations made by corporations that helped block pro-union legislation in Michigan in 2012.

The report, released on Jan. 16 by the Center for Public Integrity, names several corporations that donated large sums of money to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Alliance for Business, the biggest advocates for blocking a vital union-backed ballot measure aimed at protecting collective bargaining rights in 2012.

The report is raising eyebrows in neighboring Ohio, where unions there are fighting their own Right to Work movement.

“These donations in Michigan are evidence that big business is the driving force behind Right to Work,” said Pat Sink, IUOE Local 18’s business manager in neighboring Ohio. “Big business is rarely on the same side as workers and if big business is supporting Right to Work than logically it can’t be good for workers.”

According to the report, Dow Chemical, one of Michigan’s largest companies, led the list of big businesses who donated to the cause with a $2 million donation to the Michigan Alliance for Business Growth in 2012 and another $611,700 to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Monsanto Co., Aetna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson were also responsible for donating between $10,000 and $1,000 to various pro-Republican non-profit organizations.

With the news of significant corporate backing making the rounds through the labor communities, unions in Ohio are determined to make sure they get backing where it matters most, at the polls. 

“Now that we see what we’re up against it’s more important than ever to get the public on our side,” said Sink. “As long as we educate voters to the true nature and the dangers of Right to Work, and show them that big business is behind the effort, we hope they will see that Right to Work is good for big business, not for them.”

In Ohio, opponents of recent Right to Work bills, sometimes called “Workplace Freedom” in Ohio, contend that the initiative’s true purpose is to kill unions and worker protections, ultimately leading to a weaker middle class.

By stripping workers of their rights and freedoms, business owners would be free to lower worker pay, reduce worker benefits and ignore worker rights.

To keep voters well informed on the dangers of Right-to-Work, the IUOE Local 18 union-backed advocacy group Keep Ohio’s Heritage has been running ads on cable and network television designed to educate voters on the issue.

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SOURCE:  Keep Ohio's Heritage

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