Teamsters President James Phillip Hoffa proved himself to be as big a punk as his father, the late James Riddle Hoffa, at Tuesday’s demonstration-turned-riot in Lansing, Mich., over that state’s passage of a right-to-work law.
President Obama set the stage and gave the nod to labor thugs like Hoffa with his “class warfare” speech the day before. His appearance at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant was meant to garner support for his “tax the rich,” take-it-or-leave-it “fiscal cliff” proposal.
He felt compelled to use his time to also comment on the upcoming Michigan legislative right-to-work vote, which would allow workers the choice of whether or not to join a labor union and pay dues as a condition of employment.
“What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions,” Obama told the union employees. “These so-called right-to-work laws, they don’t have 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,” he continued. “We don’t want a race to the bottom. We want a race to the top.
“America’s not gonna compete based on low-skill, low-wage, no workers’ rights — that’s not our competitive advantage. … It’s also what allows our workers to then by the products that we make, ’cause they’ve got enough money in their pockets.”
Democratic state Rep. Douglas Geiss continued this theme on the floor of the Michigan House on Tuesday, when he announced, “We’re going to pass something that will undo 100 years of labor relations, and there will be blood. There will be repercussions!”
The blood and repercussions weren’t long in coming. Fights broke out and property destroyed, particularly around the information tent erected by Americans For Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group headquartered in Arlington, Va.
After the Michigan House voted to become the 24th right-to-work state, Hoffa was contacted by CNN’s “Newsroom.”
“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “What they’re doing is basically betraying democracy.”
Vladimir Lenin had it right when he once said, “Trade unions are a school for communism,” and Jimmy Hoffa the younger is living proof.