Jimmy Hoffa Warns Of "Civil War" As Michigan Governor Signs "Right-To-Work" Into Law

Tyler Durden's picture

Minutes before Michigan Governor Snyder signed the 'Right-To-Work' bill into law...


... Teamsters head Jimmy Hoffa appeared on CNN, as seen in the clip below, warning that:

"This is just the first round of a battle that's going to divide this state. We're going to have a civil war,"

as the bill to weaken unions' power is passed. If Hoffa is right, look for Michigan GDP to soar: after all it is one of the more Keynesian states in the union.

Via AP: Michigan Gov. Snyder signs right-to-work bills

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed right-to-work legislation, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a state that has been a cradle of the movement for generations.


He put his signatures on the bills Tuesday, hours after the state House passed the measures as the chants of thousands of angry pro-union protesters filled the Capitol.


Snyder says a failed ballot proposal to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the constitution triggered the discussion that led to the passage and signing of right-to-work.


During a news conference, he called the protests "an exercise in democracy."

Jim Hoffa, of the International brotherhood of Teamsters explains his perspective:


Via CNN:

Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Tuesday he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into "civil war" after the state legislature passed right-to-work bills that would weaken unions' power.


"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 said on CNN's "Newsroom."


The Republican-controlled state House passed two bills that had already been approved by the GOP-dominated state Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is poised to sign the bill, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues.


As thousands of protestors gathered at the state capitol on Tuesday, Hoffa called the legislation a "tremendous mistake" and "a monumental decision to make" by outgoing lawmakers in a lame duck session.


"What they're doing is basically betraying democracy," he told CNN's Brooke Baldwin. "If there's any question here, let's put it on the ballot and let the people of Michigan decide what's good for Michigan."


Proponents of the legislation say it gives workers more freedom, while opponents say a less robust union presence will negatively affect workers’ rights. Hoffa also argued that those who don't pay union dues will be considered "free riders,” as they’re getting the same benefits from union representation without the cost.


Hoffa pointed to Michigan's recovering auto industry, saying the Wolverine State has bounced back from the recession without being a "right to work" state.


"This is basically a step backward," he argued.

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westboundnup's picture

It's over, Jimmy. IT'S OVER!

nc551's picture

He should make like his ancestor and disappear forever.

boogerbently's picture

The police, depended on for safety and security from this decision, belong to a union!

Firemen, teachers, some nurses, grocery workers....

It's definitely NOT over (see Wisconsin).

nope-1004's picture

Union fighting a civil war?  LOL.  Can just see it now, "OK guys, we're going to fight a war.  Now don't fight too hard, or get up too early.  And also, staging a protest in January or Feb is just too cold, so go watch NFL at home....."


NotApplicable's picture

Let's see... a civil war is two or more gangs fighting for control of an area.

Yep, sounds about right.

greensnacks's picture

If the union is strong enough, they should have no problem soliciting voluntary union dues. If they are weak, no civil war. Either way, no civil war.

Just Ice's picture

For the most part unions don't want merit based membership any more than they want merit based employment and salaries.  Thuggery, intimidation and loud mouthed drown outs have become the union way.   Pendulum has swung from one end of the spectrum--that of needing to protect workers from insane conditions--to the other, namely, the need to protect employers (and especially taxpayers!!) from insane demands and payouts.

Ignatius's picture

Can't believe so many here are falling for this shit.

Union or banker, they are both subject to the same immutable law of human nature:

If we can get away with one, we will.

If reform is required (it is), then reform.

Oh, and lest we forget: The Weekend, brought to you by unions.


margaris's picture

Not true, weekend brought to you by abrahamic religions!

Flakmeister's picture

Whooo! The one-day weekend!  Be still my beating heart...

Ignatius's picture

And don't we all miss the 14 hour workday in the mines?

Flakmeister's picture

Yep... and getting locked into your sweatshop is so much fun, esp. when the cigarette girl is working the floor...

Central Bankster's picture

Wow, you two should get a room!

James-Morrison's picture

They're lucky they have Bronco on their side.

If it was any other group, like Texans declaring civil war, they would end up in a FEMA camp.

Imminent Crucible's picture

"We're gonna have a civil war! ......No, wait. It's raining. We'll start the war tomorrow."

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

Stupid union fucks. The worst part is, the general membership has no idea how badly they're getting played. Suckers. The politician in the video had it right -  if these thug  unions have a value proposition, they'll have no problem getting dues. If not, they'll have to evolve. That's what they're so afraid of. Free markets and free association are kryptonite to unions.

fourchan's picture

hoffa should have learned from his mob bosses.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

The Union won the last Civil War.

The union won't win this 'civil war'.

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

p.s. thanks for throwing us some red meat, Tyler(s). 400+ comments - weez obviously hungray! :)

Spastica Rex's picture

The peasants are being told to get back to work.

I hope our new feudal lords are aware that the peasantry traditionally doesn't do jack from December through February, and that Christmas is a weeks-long drunken celebration were the peasants get to demand liquor and other treats from the rich people.


The new social contract is going to be a hoot.

Flakmeister's picture

Yep... then again a lot of those seeming to support that new contract never knew any better from personal experience. And that is abundantly clear...

Anusocracy's picture

Screw the unions. They should be subject to market forces just like businesses and workers should be.


Unions are the Mini-Me to government.

Flakmeister's picture

Boss Tweed got to you already I see...

Jreb's picture

I own a medium size business. I am working tonight after putting 10 hours in already (took a Zero Hedge break). A one day weekend is the norm. 52 to 60 hours a week is the norm. Some ass hat moron holding a wrench in one hand and his dick in the other who puts in 40 hours a week less breaks, lunches etc earns more than I do in salary. The unions can go fuck themselves - they may have served a purpose 100 years ago but their time has passed. If they want to exist they should have to compete for peoples business just like anyone else. If my staff tried to unionize I'd pull the plug on their asses so fast it would make their head spin. I'd liquidate my inventory and retire to some quiet South American kleptocracy. At least the theives there are honest about it.... Jimmy Hoffa and his friends can blow me.


There - that feels better....

jballz's picture


yeah we don't need unions because companies today would never put the labor force back to making what they pay all their empoloyees in China.

Because they are Americans, they will get a decent wage just because.

What a bunch of brainwashed dipshits. 

You mad because they make more than your worthless ass go get a fucking union job and earn what they do. 

Divide and conquer bitches, your ass will always belong to the bank.

Jreb's picture

Mr. Jballz,.

Don't get me started on the banks tonight. I have enough stress.

The issue isn't about fair wages or even the unions existance. I have no issues with the existance of unions. What I have issues with is the idea that people have no CHOICE as to whether or not they want to belong to them. We are supposed to have a little something called "Freedom of Association". Unions are legitimate only in so far as they do not force others to join them simply because they are associated by employment.

My experience (having been both and employee and an employer) is that unions do not necessarily garauntee better working conditions (depends of course on how you define "conditions" - read on). Many - the Teamsters esspecially - are self serving parasites - whom - if given a choice - would beat anyone who disagrees with them on any issue into a bloody pulp. They are self serving political entities. They are no better than the banking parasites that are sucking our country dry. Some one made a very intellgient post elsewhere here about "value added". I couldn't agree more. There are businesses that are parasitic too. Most of them are chrony businesses - most of the military industrial complex, banks etc fit into this class. So do the big automakers.

They suck money from the public trough like dirty whores and create nothing but msiery and suffering on a gargantuan scale. In the mean time the productive people in the world are stuck trying to pick up the pieces - we struggle to create value - to use capital to make people's lives better.

I employ about 10 people. The average wage in my facility is almost twice the minimum wage - I offer a health insurance/benefits program and vacation time for anyone who sticks around longer than two months. Most of my staff are long term and have been with me since the beginning. I think of them as family - I bonus them when there are profits and give them more flexibility in scheduling than they require. They know that no matter what happens to them in terms of their health and personal lives that I have their back. I car about them. Oddly enough - they seem to care about me too. They see when I am stressed - they insist I take breaks and do things like eat my lunch. They create value for me and I create value for them. The relationship is symbiotic. 

As for getting a union job - my problem - is a conscience. I tried it once (twice actually) and it didn't sit well with me. I cannot take orders from anyone I perceive as being dumber than me (a problem in most unions) and I cannot tolerate sloth, corruption or other general types of craziness (also a problem in both union jobs). Both times I worked in a union environment (when I was much younger) I noticed that most people did not get ahead on merrit but rather on backstabbing and politiking. I have a productive and creative brain. It couldn't handle the diseased environment so I quit and went into business.

And while I have been on this path for some time and still am earning less than most union employees I wouldn't go back for all the rice in China. Life is to short to be miserable. And until unions learn what the concept of freedom of association is all about I will continue to call them what they are "Corrupt Self Serving Parasitic Entities."

I may be poorer but at least I have a clear conscience.

And you can't put a price on that.


Rogue Trooper's picture

Super post Jreb.  I could not agree with you more.  I have dealt with 'Unions' for 20 years and the so called leadership are the abosolute worse lying scum I have ever dealt with.  Ironically, getting resolution with the actual workforce is achievable when all the facts are on the table.  The 'so called' professional unionist will sell their membership down the river for politcal reasons, idology, politics, self promotion and most importantly to keep coverage (membership) and therefore their income.  All the union leaders up the food chain where concerned about was to position themselves for political office and access to the government (salaries, expenses, housing, contacts and mega-pension).  The ultimate prize though is an appointment to the UN International Labour Organisation with a tax free salary, plus expenses and hookers in Switzeland (HQ) or some other location like NY.  The irony of this astounds me from such dedicated 'socialist'.  At home they lobby and promote legislation to extract taxes, impose useless rules and regulations and then take a 'gig' for a well paid, tax free job at the UN.  The ILO is the ultimate, worthless gravy train I have ever seen even more so than the Climate Change crew.

Another interesting tale is that over a beer the rank and file union organisers will confess that they are treated internally like shit.  However, they pay their dues, take the shit dished out to them and, if they survive, hope to make it up the food chain and an apoortunity to get some of the real gravy. Few make it, and those that stay, are really fucking dumb and lazy. Still it pays better than flipping fries at McD's which would be beyond their capability.

Fuck em and let the 'math' do it's work.....

jballz's picture


If that were the case, I would be entirely in agreement with you. It's a valid point on the voluntary status. But this is not the debate. There is a full court press on to eviscerate the unions. If you don't believe me watch Fox news coverage of this issue ot bounce around the dumber corners of the web. Hard core assault and I believe it is pure class warfare to get the working class to eat each other. Nobody gives a fuck about Detroit who doesn;'t live in Detroit. You have all the attention turned there and everyonetaking sides, like it is going to affect their lives in the slightest inn California if Detroit gets nuked tomorrow. It's all a distraction so the sheep will keep paying their mortgages to the asshole bankers and scream and yell that the guy turning a wrench should only be making 8 bucks an hour because they are.

You describe union work well. I have worked non-union and had the same experience. It's called a shitty job. 


"I tried it once (twice actually) and it didn't sit well with me. I cannot take orders from anyone I perceive as being dumber than me (a problem in most unions) and I cannot tolerate sloth, corruption or other general types of craziness (also a problem in both union jobs). Both times I worked in a union environment (when I was much younger) I noticed that most people did not get ahead on merrit but rather on backstabbing and politiking. I have a productive and creative brain. It couldn't handle the diseased environment so I quit and went into business."


No difference really at a non-union job, sorry. Different assholes, different neoptism, different corruption, different backstabbing. Less pay and fewer benefits. Some of us just have to be our own boss, and that is the point. You wouldn't do these people's job for the money they make. They ARE doing these jobs for the money they make. They suck at life, most of them. So what. You can't kill them, and they can produce something. What they also suck at is negotiating their worth. Most people do. They need someone to do that, or else the worst negotiators end up with the jobs (working the cheapest for their output). It's judgmental, petty jealous class envy bullshit that says average people shouldn't be able to have agents. Yeah it has problems, no shit. You ignore a huge piece of American history to give credence to the notion we don't need them though. Look at the world outside our borders.... the idea that yankees are just virtuous lucky super-skilled or whatever total fucking delusions held that make one think the middle class just spawned from nowhere and these other shithole countries we share borders with weren't so licky, it's wrong. Kill labor and we will be back in the 19th century fast as JP Morgan can get the 12 year olds back on the chain gang. 




Jreb's picture

Mr. Jballz,

The downsizing of unions you are currently seeing (and by the way- I agree they are being dismantled) is a symptom of a greater disease. It is a symptom of our societies inability tol ive within it's means. The unions are being busted because the money they were promised never really existed. The good times are over. Giovernments and big corporations are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy - most are technically insolvent.

Over the past 30 or 40 years we in the workforce and in management have all been guilty of turning a blind eye to and believing in the big lie. We will all suffer the consequences in our own way. For workers -they will see reduced benefits, wages and job loss. For owners - we will experience a lack of profit and bankruptcy.

I have structured my company as best I can to weather the storm - to provide employment without layoffs and keep benefits in tact. I have begged my staff to live within their means and stay out of debt. I can only hope that whatever comes next does not sink me. I've done what I can.

The sooner we all realize a few things the better:

  • Keeping up with the Jones is not important - live within your means
  • Honor your contracts and don't offer more than can actually be provided - be honest
  • Capital and labor are both owners - of their time. They should respect each other
  • Getting out of this mess is not going to be easy

Good luck Mr. Jballz.

Crash N. Burn's picture

What I have issues with is the idea that people have no CHOICE as to whether or not they want to belong to them. We are supposed to have a little something called "Freedom of Association". Unions are legitimate only in so far as they do not force others to join them simply because they are associated by employment


 When a "workforce" becomes "unionized" it is because the majority of that workforce VOTED to unionize (at that time). If you don't want to join  a unionized workforce you are quite free to work a plethora of non-union (low paying/no benefits/dangerous - unhealthy working conditions, etc) jobs (ie. THE FUTURE). To expect the PROTECTION FROM YOUR EMPLOYERS BULLSHIT the union provides without the responsibilities (membership, voting/attendance at union meetings) is childish/selffish.

 Are (some) unions corrupt? Of course, power corrupts (see the part above about union meeting attendance - most employees don't, makes it easier for corruption to "set in")! However, to destroy the workers ability to unionize, is to help the very oligarchs that are destroying EVERYONES standard of living.

Ookspay's picture

Ah how cute... Who's a good little union lackey?

No one is destroying the workers right to unionize you jackass! The fact that you and your union masters keep repeating this lie just goes to show how bankrupt and antiquated your ideas truly are. Lemme guess, your pro choice for abortion, pro choice for gay marriage but anti choice when it comes to joining a union? Right? It pisses you clowns off that many people just don't believe what you do. You union fucks would make great taliban mohammadans. Forcing people to join a club that is completely out of sync with ones beliefs and forcing them to pay dues is just wrong.

Crash N. Burn's picture

Ah how cute... Who's a good little union lackey?

Sorry, not a union member (self-employed), though I've worked in both enviroments (preferred the unionized (IT) shop but it was the minority of my work experience). As the union existed prior to my employment in that one instance, I had "no choice".

McWorkers MUST wear a uniform - no choice. So you'd be ok with employers FORCING RULES right?

No one is destroying the workers right to unionize you jackass!

Really? Which employer, pray tell, will hire unionized labour over non(ie cheap/unprotected)-unionized workers given the choice? Your local oligarch won't - race to the bottom of working conditions has commenced.

sun tzu's picture

The owners make the rules you idiot. Unions don't own the business, they have no right telling the employees what to wear.

Jreb's picture

Democracy is nothing more than a tool for decision making within a given politcal framework. When democracy destroys or trumps the right of individual men and women to choose their own path it is nothing more than tyranny. Hitler had a majority too. Everything he did was "legal" and approved "democratically". If this the logic by which you live you are no better. 50 +1 does not = right.

If you reread my post my post you will see I do not have a problem with the existance of unions.... only with the manner in which they operate.


Crash N. Burn's picture

only with the manner in which they operate.

In that, we are agreed.

Hobbleknee's picture

I've never been in a union and always made a decent wage, so there goes your whole theory.

jballz's picture


yeah you don't need a union to give bloejobs down at the dock do you. What are you making 20 a shot?

akak's picture

You seem familiar with the market.  Interesting.

sun tzu's picture

pissed that your ballz got blasted out the water? you union chimps are pathetic

Obaminator's picture

Jreb - Im with you 100%.

I see we have some Union Sympathizers on this site - claiming that (om my god) we would have no weekends without them, and the workers would all just be slaves locked in sweatshop rooms...HAHA - LABOR Laws have TAKEN CARE OF THAT you friggin fools!

I own a biz too and if they had to unionize and pay the Union wages and fees and pensions and pay for their tampons and fucking whatever else let me tell you what would happen - I wouldnt even need to pull the plug, MY CUSTOMERS would tell ME to go Fuck myself and would BUY FROM Someone else....Oh wait -

Thats whats already happened to HALF of my existing vendors out in California!!!

Unions had their day...For the MINES and the Steel Refineries and the Heavt Rail and Waterway Construction Back in the Day WHEN NO LABOR LAWS EXISTED and companies EXPLOITED people like slaves.

Cant do it anymore, which is good.

Now You Union Fuck-Thugs, claiming Blood...Bring that shit. Really..I have a LOT of Non-Union Folk more than willing to throw down if it comes to that...Yeah some of you Teamsters are some Big Mfokers, but I can assure you, there are a LOT MORE Big MFokin Non-Union Beasts willing to rise to the challenge...your teachers and restaraunt workers wont stand a chance, punk ass sissies!

The worst trader's picture

Most of us small business owners have been working seven days a week just to survive. So fuck you

ZeroAvatar's picture

Which Weekend?  The one starting next Friday, 12/21/12?

John Wilmot's picture

"The Weekend, brought to you by unions."

- Some Dumb Cunt

Bullshit. All improvements in working conditions and wages, brought to you by higher marginal productivity due to capital investment. Mob violence and higher unemployment, brought to you by unions.

Nikao7's picture

"For the most part unions don't want merit based membership any more than they want merit based employment and salaries."

I've mentioned this  before and will again.  I'm a Union Industrial Painter.  I typically work on hard and dangerous projects.  Bridges,  Overpasses,  Water Towers,  storage tanks,  locks & damns,  refineries,  power plants/stacks   etc.

I work primarily for a company based out of St.Louis,  MO.  I and the majority of the men I work with are go getters.  If not they quickly make their way to top of the lay off / don't call back  list.  We work hard and often in dangerous situations.  I've skipped many breaks and will skip many more.  In comparison with Unions in general Craft Unions there are striking differences.  No doubt places like NYC,  CHI  Detroit,  Boston,  etc. do a fine job of making Craft Unionism look bad.

No doubt my union culture is quite different from that which prevails in most areas.  Sadly within the scope of IUPAT(painters union) the type of culture I'm a part of falls in the minority.  It pretty much comes down what part of the Country.  Modest Midwest here ;) 

I'm currently in New Orleans finishing The Huey P. Long bridge.

buckethead's picture

I won't junk a man for talking sense. I was a teamster for about a year. Not by any choice other than accepting employment at a particular company. I had a less than wonderful experience with the union, which I detailed in another thread (thuggish behavior). It seemingly got deleted, but I did drop an F-bomb. Something I see here regularly. Perhaps that has become taboo.


Unions have simply consumed too much from the host. The host is not capital. The host is the economy. (even a micro-economy within a sector) Capital is just as parasitic as labor when it can pull it off. Adding value is what creates wealth. Capital adds value, labor adds value... just don't extract more value than you add... everything works better.

If you speak truthfully, and I believe you do, your union (or at least that portion which you participate) is adding value. Well done.


Teamsters are a 'whole nuther' story.


gtb's picture

I sure as fuck hope Tyler isn't censoring the fucking posts.  That would really fucking blow.