Gretchen Whitmer – Furiously Slams Republicans Over Right To Work Legislation
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[Gretchen Whitmer – Furiously Slams Republicans Over Right To Work Legislation]
[Gretchen Whitmer (August 23, 1971)] Source: LYBIO.net
Thank you Mr. President.
[Gretchen Whitmer] Source: LYBIO.net
You must be kind of embarrassed right now. Your floor leader doesn’t know the rules, and your leader doesn’t even want his name on this bill. Well, I got a simple question: Why are we here today? You know, we are here today on an issue that’s not about unions. It’s about people. And you know, what I find striking in the way that everyone talks about this bill? You never talk about people. You don’t talk about the nurses or the teachers. You don’t talk about the first responders, the corrections officers, or the social workers that are keeping people safe. You haven’t once mentioned that, you talk about all the business climate, you never talked about people.
Let me tell you about a person, an important person in my life, my grandmother, Ester Whitmer. I think I mentioned her earlier in this week. She’s turning 99 next week. And she started her career off as a teacher. I am going to tell you something about teachers. No one goes into the profession because they think it’s lucrative. People who go into the profession of teaching and it is a profession, do it because they love kids, do it because they want to help to shape the young minds of tomorrow. When my grandmother was a teacher, she and my grandfather had to keep their engagement quiet for two years because if they had found out she was getting married, she could have been fired because she might get pregnant, and that was okay back then. My 99-year-old grandma tells that story about how it was the teachers and the movement of labor in this country, why we have the rights to be married and have a particular job? Why we are protected when we have a child and have maternity benefits.
This is about people. This isn’t about unions and labor. This is about the people of our state. And are you – do you want to make them second-class citizens?
We made a commitment, when we were sworn into office that we would put the best interests of our working families, our seniors, our children, ahead of those of special-interest billionaires who often want their way and are willing to flex their political and financial muscle to get it. We took an oath that we would do what’s best and what’s right for the future of Michigan and not let politics get in our way. If you honestly believe, you are doing that any of that here today then you are more out of touch with the people of Michigan than they already thought.
Let’s be clear, this legislation is petty and vindictive politics at its most disgusting. You began this two-year session by attacking workers and their families with your emergency manager legislation that raised the ire of people around this state and brought thousands of protestors here to Lansing. And now for one of your final pieces of business in this legislative calendar, you want to pass right-to-work legislation that hurts workers and our economy by lowering employee wages, benefits, and workplace protections, another bow to big business and wealthy special interests at the cost of our people. By passing this, you are actually attacking workers’ rights and further eroding the earning power of our middleclass. This isn’t going to create jobs and help our economy. This legislation would only succeed in taking money out of the pockets of our middleclass.
[Gretchen Whitmer] Source: LYBIO.net
And you know at the press conference, I mentioned, the Governor talked about modeling this after Indiana. But you know what the Governor didn’t say? Indiana is a bad role model, at least, if you’re a worker interested in a decent wage or a business looking for an educated and qualified workforce. All statistics look at the metrics the Governor claims to like so much. Indiana is ranked 33rd among 50 states in per capita income. The latest figures from 2010 rank at 42nd, with no reason to think that things have improved since the right-to-work legislation they passed, their average per capita income ranks 33rd in the nation. In 2005, when Daniel’s took over, they were 34th. There is statistic after statistic after statistic that our tough nerd didn’t bother to check out. And it makes me ask, good God, is this Governor Snyder’s vision for Michigan, more people on welfare, workers making less money, and unemployment higher? There is absolutely no reason we should follow Indiana into their assaults on employment, unless we want to follow them into economic obscurity.
The people of Michigan have already voted “no” on this bill, and I, for one, will be standing with them and voting “no” as well. I encourage you all to do the same. And you know what? I am going to tell the people of Michigan, I am not going to stand here and participate in this attack on Michigan workers, your political retribution, especially if you move to cut off our voices in this process. If you move a call on the question, I am leaving and I am going to join the workers out in the rotunda and you are going to… (loud applause and cheers)
My apologize, Senator Whitmer, please continue.
[Senator Gretchen Whitmer] Source: LYBIO.net
Thank you and I ask my comments be recorded in the journal as my “no” vote explanation.
Gretchen Whitmer – Furiously Slams Republicans Over Right To Work Legislation. Let’s be clear, this legislation is petty and vindictive politics at its most disgusting. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.