News Release March 23, 2006

For Immediate Release

Albert S. Abbasse, Campaign to Victory
72nd Michigan House District Candidate     March 23, 2006
Jeffery Winston, Campaign Manager
664 Braeside Dr. SE
Byron Center, MI 49315
616-485-7478

In March of 2006, Representative Glen Stiel Jr. introduced a two bill legislative package that would make Michigan a “right to work” state and repeal Michigan’s Wage and Hour Laws. He knowingly submitted a packaged legislation that would severely influence public employees, hamper, have a severe and harmful economic impact to local economies throughout Michigan. The impact to the local economies could have sent Michigan into a deeper economic recession than we currently are experiencing.
The weakly executed excuse for the supposed economic principle behind a ‘right to work’ state is as follows: employers may pay any wage amount to any worker, not provide any benefits that the employer does not want to supply, not pay fair overtime wages, nor have work hour limitations, not have safety workplace laws in place to assure an employee’s safe protection practices and even forego protections from environmental protections, we have serious problem facing us.

The Right to Work legislation that was offered and is still being pressed by the Michigan and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Realtors, other business associations and even Mr. Stiels Jr’s chosen successor, his wife, and almost ALL Republican members of the Michigan House and Senate has their full undying (yours of course not theirs) support.

I would like to propose a compromise to the Chambers, Republican leadership and anyone that supports ‘right to work’ to the following.
I believe as an economist that ‘right to work’ is Wrong for Michigan.

  1. It weakens local economies
  2. It weakens the states Gross Domestic State Product (fewer buyers)
  3. It Eliminates Michigan Wage and Hour Laws that protect workers rights
  4. It Eliminates Michigan Workers right to bargain
  5. It Eliminates and/or delimits Michigan’s Worker Safety Programs
  6. It Eliminates Worker rights to extended hour overtime pay.
  7. It Eliminates Employer obligations to Health and Safety protections.

These are just a few and I do not wish to bore the populist. So I will proceed with my compromise proposal.

I feel a program of this magnitude should be a top-down product. If it is good for the masses then it should be good for Everyone. Let’s start the Michigan “Right to Work” Beta program with the Michigan Legislature. I propose:
•    Michigan Senate Pay at $16.00 per salaried work week
•    Michigan House Pay at $14.00 per salaried work week
•    Outside of a 50 mile radius of Lansing, $50.00 per week fuel expense
•    No meal per diem
•    No gym privileges
•    One Office Assistant
•    One Legislative Assistant
•    $100.00 per week lodging expense if outside of 50 mile radius
•    No Health Care
•    401k with no state contribution
•    No opportunity for workman’s compensation if they trip and fall

That pretty well sums my position. Nevertheless, the reality of life is this, these are not forward thinking policy initiatives; these are regressive legislative initiatives that penalize Michigan families and workers. We need initiatives such as a fair and just business tax formula that will support Michigan’s infrastructure, bring jobs to Michigan, allow Michigan commerce to be competitive, and allow Michigan’s economy to grow. We need leaders with forethought of progressive, innovative ideas that are willing to protect Michigan’s economy, protect Michigan Citizens, and simply work to make Michigan Better.”

Al Abbasse is the legislative candidate for the 72nd Michigan House District. Mr. Abbasse is an Economist and Political Scientist in West Michigan.

The Republican dominated Michigan House has gone too far. This week Representative’s Gosselin (R-Troy), Drolet (R-Clinton Twp) along with Stiel Jr. (R-Kent) introduced a two bill legislative package that would make Michigan a right-to-work state. HB 5771 will severely impact public employees, HB 5772, would severely impair private sector workers in Michigan.

Democratic Candidate for the 28th District Senate seat (Kent County), Albert S. Abbasse is infuriated by the audacity of these legislators to remove basic Michigan work standards from our hard working citizens. Abbasse on Tuesday afternoon stated, “This Republican dominated legislature has been meticulous in their efforts to subvert Michigan’s working families.

Representative Stiel brings to the table laws, which will degrade Michigan’s worker and subvert Michigan’s middle-class. Mr. Stiel has brought forth legislation to reduce Michigan citizen’s representation in our state. Mr. Stiel is no friend to Michigan workers, families nor the district to which he took oath to serve. He should be ashamed of himself for even the mere suggestion.

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