Fox News "The O'Reilly Factor" - Transcript


Date: Dec. 11, 2012
Issues: Labor Unions


O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight big trouble in Michigan. Today the House of Representative there approve a right to work law that would give employees in Michigan the option not to join the union. President Obama doesn't like that at all.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we shouldn't be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages at work. We shouldn't be doing that.

These so-called right-to-work laws they don't have anything to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they are really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.


O'REILLY: But Governor Rick Snyder says he will sign the right-to- work measure tomorrow. He joins us now from Lansing, the state capitol. So what do you say to the President, Governor, who says that you're basically trying to bring down wages for working people in Michigan?

GOV. RICK SYNDER (R), MICHIGAN: That's not true at all. If you look at he made the comment about bargaining for wages, about bringing down wages. This legislation is about freedom to choose for workers, Bill. This isn't about the relationship between employers and unions at all. This is not about collective bargaining at all. This is not about other basics, about organizing at all. This is about the relationship between unions and workers.

O'REILLY: Ok but the unions -- wait, wait Governor if enough workers opt out of the unions the union's bargaining power goes down. It's weaker. That's I think what Mr. Obama is trying to it say.

But why is to the state's advantage very specifically? Why is it to the state's advantage to have a right-to-work law to give workers the option of going into a union or not?

SNYDER: Well, they both go together. If you step back at your comment it is important to recognize that unions could be weaker but why would they be weaker? It's because they are not showing value to the workers.

This is very much about two -- there are two reasons to do this. The first one is to be pro-worker. This is about freedom to choose. Workers should have the option if they are seeing value, they should be excited to join a union and they should join. If they see no value why should they put financial resources to do something that has no value to them. So that's a big part of it. Standing up for workers.

The second piece and to your point specifically, it's about more and better jobs for Michigan. Just look say at Indiana that did this in February that they have literally gotten companies coming to their state that wouldn't come before, that are bringing thousands of jobs. We have had that same phenomenon in Michigan where companies would not come to Michigan because we are not a right-to-work state.

This will resolve that and we'll see more and better jobs in Michigan which will help all workers.

Bill: All right. But the initial stats in Indiana say that the salaries for the workers there have come down, I think an average of a couple thousands of dollars. Does that bother you. Do you see that happening in Michigan because it's going to be the law no matter what the President says. You guys are going to have the law, you are the 24th state to have it. Do you believe that salaries are going to come down in Michigan?

SNYDER: Well, let me put it in perspective for you. We didn't have right to work in Michigan and in the last decade from 2000 to 2010 wages in Michigan went down substantially. We went from being in the teens of the 50 states to being 40th. So we saw a significant drop not being a right- to-work state. The last couple years we started coming back up, I view this as an opportunity for more people to have work and to have better jobs. Just this last week we are ranked number three for high tech job growth in the entire country. And if you look at most of those jobs aren't going to be unionized and they are going to be good paying jobs. So this is all about more and better jobs and good paying jobs. It's going to work in Michigan.

O'REILLY: I have got to ask you about Detroit which is a city on the verge of collapse. We think Mayor Dave Bing is a good guy. Maybe I'm wrong. I mean I don't follow it that closely. But Detroit has no money. Can't pay its bills. Who is going to bail out Detroit or is the whole structure there going to collapse.

SNYDER: There is not going to be a bailout of Detroit in terms of state resources if you look at it. As a practical matter what the real issue is the mayor and the city council need to get on the same page. The mayor has been working hard. But they haven't been on the same page about resolving issues. They have had months to do it. Things need to get done.

So just this week, we've called for a 30-day review of the finances of the city of Detroit that could lead to other actions taking place after the first of the year.
O'REILLY: You're going to have to -- you're going to have to take them over. You're going to have to take them -- look, this has been going on forever. That city is corrupt. It's out of control. Can't pay its debts. I don't think the feds are going to come in and rescue it. I mean, maybe they will like New Orleans. Maybe they will move in federal auditors and run the city. I mean but you can't keep going on and they can't pay their bills anymore. Garbage collection isn't going to happen. Nothing is going to happen there.

SNYDER: Well, we're running out of time and things will get resolved one way or another in the sense that we need to get better services to citizens. Financial stability in the city and grow the city of Detroit. There are so many good things going on in the city, outside of the city government. Let's get the financial stability and we are trying to be a good partner.

My goal is not to run the city. But we're going to keep moving forward to push this question to get results in Detroit.

O'REILLY: All right Governor. Thanks very much. We appreciate it.