Jun 8, 2007
You are probably not aware of this, but Republicans, at least some Republicans, are calling for the Governor to fire Andy Levin from his position as Deputy Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Growth for allegedly, at least according to the Republicans, calling companies and employers terrorists.
The reason you have not heard about this is because it’s not true, so no reputable mainstream media outlet is dumb among to reach the same ridiculous conclusion and pick up this non-story and you don’t read rightwing blogs. Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis put a press release last month calling for Levin to be fired, posted it on his “blog” – if something that refuses to allow comments and feedback can be called a blog - and on a blog called right Michigan that’s a cheap rip-off of the Michigan Liberal. In fact, this guy apparently has nothing else to write about because he posts the came crap about Levin everyday. This guy is so petty he recently called the governor out for taking a lunch break and spending it with her teen-age daughter on her birthday. Can you get any more petty?
The offending passage came from the May 26 edition of the “People’s Weekly World,” which is the official newspaper of the U.S. Communist Party. I don’t read it, but apparently Anuzis does. I wonder why that is? The reporter was covering Biennial AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention, and this is the offending passage, in fact the only reference to Levin in the entire story.
“Levin, who worked in the national AFL-CIO’s organizing department for 10 years, said the only way to stop the “terror campaign” that companies initiate after workers vote to form a union is to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which contains stiff penalties for such abuses.”
Can anyone please explain to me how they can reach that ridiculous conclusion from that? The dictionary defies terror as “violence or threats of violence used for intimidation or coercion.” That is exactly what companies do to keep unions out. If you don’t believe me I suggest Anuzis and the “right” Michigan kid visit the Michigan Historical Museum right there in downtown Lansing or get put of Lansing and visit the Monroe County Labor History Museum so they can read up on the Battle of the Overpass in Dearborn in May of l937, the Flint Sit-Down Strike in 1936 and the bloody battle to organize the Republic Steel plant in Monroe in 1935.
The Employee Free Choice Act tries to level the playing field that’s tilted so far in favor of the company. It would allow workers to organize a union free of an employer’s intimidation, free from fear of being fired and free from retaliation. The bill would allow employees at a worksite who want a union to simply sign a card clearly indicating support for a union. Companies pull out the stops when a union tries to organize to protect the employees. The employer is free to call mandatory meetings on company time to lie about the union, spread misinformation and makes threat when the union can only ask workers to attend organizing meetings as they speed out of the parking lot to get home, and the company also routinely fires organizers and those sympatric to unions.
What really bugs me is the people on “right” Michigan enjoyed the middle class upbringing their parents provided because of the surface and hard work of union members that created the middle class, and now they smear unions.
Anuzis apparently has a thing for Levin, the son of U.S. Rep. Sander Levin and the nephew of U.S. Sen.. Carl Levin. You may recall that Anuzis broke into and trespassed into Levin’s home last fall and with a welcome basket of Michigan products in a lame attempt to label Levin as a carpetbagger.
Levin grew up in Michigan and graduated from high school here. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts; a Masters degree from the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School and a Law degree from Harvard University. He then organized union workers in Michigan before being transferred—first to Boston, then to Washington, D.C. Like many young people, he recently chose to return home to raise a family, doing exactly what the governor is trying to do: get the best and the brightest to stay in Michigan and have them come home. How does that make him a carpetbagger? While the governor is trying to stop the brain drain, we have people like Anuzis undermining the progress of the state with those kinds of stupid stunts and dirty tricks he has become known for.
Levin ran for state Senate in the 13th District in November where he narrowly lost. In January, the Governor appointed Levin as Deputy Director of the DLEG where he oversees workforce development, career education and other key programs.
Instead of firing him, I hope the governor promotes him, and he runs again for the senate in three more years.