Hoffa To Michigan Teamsters: We Will Defeat Right To Work For Less
General President Jim Hoffa spoke to hundreds of Michigan Teamsters on a conference call Monday night to discuss a right-to-work-for-less bill that anti-worker Republicans are trying to ram through the state Legislature and how Teamsters are on the front lines fighting back.
Hoffa was joined on the call by General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall as Teamsters and other union members geared up for Tuesday’s massive rally in Lansing, Mich.
“We've got a real battle on our hands and we're going to win this battle,” Hoffa said. “The war on workers has come to Michigan. We will fight this in the courts, in the legislature and at the ballot box. This is not the end; it's just the beginning.”
Hoffa urged Teamsters to join him at Tuesday's rally and show Gov. Rick Snyder and the legislature why Michigan is the home of unions like the Teamsters and the United Auto Workers – and that its workers are ready to fight.
“This is shocking,” Hoffa added. “It's incredible that in just five days they can push through a major law that at a minimum should be put to a vote. This is wrong and it shows that these lameduck lawmakers don't care about Michigan workers.”
Ken Hall told Teamsters that what's happening in Michigan is part of a much bigger offensive being waged against the middle class.
“This is part of a well-funded, coordinated attack on workers nationwide,” Hall said. He described the coalition of anti-worker billionaires who are propping up the latest assault in Michigan, including the Koch brothers and groups like ALEC.
“We can't sit back and watch out-of-state corporate hacks attack workers. The forces behind right to work for less in Michigan don't care about your paycheck. They are trying to throw middle class jobs and pensions out like yesterday's trash.”
Others on the call included Greg Nowak, Secretary-Treasurer of Joint Council 43, and David Robinson, President of Joint Council 43, who both thanked Hoffa and Hall for their support in Michigan.
“If this bill get's passed tomorrow, we will hold elected officials responsible,” Nowak said. “There is a mechanism in place to stop this attack – that mechanism is us. Don't let them shove right to work for less down our throats.”
Hoffa took a few questions from Teamsters on the call and said that Tuesday's rally is the starting point for labor's pushback. For those who can't make it to Lansing, Hoffa said there are many other ways to help.
“We also have petitions and we need everyone to get involved in the effort to collect signatures. There's a lot more to be done.”