Governor Rick Snyder says he wants employees to have a choice in the work place concerning union membership, but he does not want voters to have a choice on whether they want this new Right to Work law.
UAW President Bob King and his labor partners can count and they knew the governor had enough votes to pass right to work. But as 12,000 demonstrators showed up to protest the bill, behind the scenes the governor was being asked to put this issue on the ballot to let the people decide. The governor said no then, and when asked again in a WKAR Public TV interview, he said no again, basically saying enough already with this fight.
"How long would this divisive issue and discussion gone on? How much division would have gone on and taken away from a lot of other projects that we could work on in the meantime?" Snyder said.
Meanwhile, there is all sorts of speculation in the legislature on the way the governor did it. Did he fold to conservative pressure? Snyder says "absolutely not." But did he get political threats?
"I had people on both sides of this thing saying if you don't veto this, this could happen, if you don't sign this, this could happen and I've stayed true to my own philosophy of saying let's look at what's best for the customers," Snyder said.
There's also speculation that someone from the Tea Party Movement might challenge the governor in a primary election. So was that a motive for him signing the bill to cement his conservative base?
"No. I signed it because it was helping workers to choose and bring jobs to Michigan," Snyder said.
The governor contends it is working as companies are ramping up their interest now that Michigan is a right to work state. Labor is also working to un-do what the governor has done and that includes a possible statewide ballot plan.