President Barack Obama - AP file photo.
WASHINGTON (Detroit Free Press/WZZM) -- President Obama - who has spent a couple of Labor Days in Detroit and is headed back to southeast Michigan on Monday - is not a fan of so-called right-to-work rules like the one Gov. Rick Snyder has abruptly decided he would sign.
The President is scheduled to visit the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Michigan, on Monday. His trip comes as Michigan lawmakers, labor groups and business leaders are taking sides in a heated fight over right-to-work legislation.
"President Obama has long opposed so-called 'right-to-work' laws, and he continues to oppose them now," a White House spokesman, Keith Maley, said on Thursday. "The President believes our economy is stronger when workers get good wages and good benefits, and he opposes attempts to roll back their rights."
Maley also pointed out that Michigan and its workers helped revive the domestic auto industry - with some $80-billion in government aid, it should be added - which he said is "a prime example of how unions have helped build a strong middle class and a strong American economy."
Labor unions, the UAW included, were key to Obama's victory in 2008 and helped him win re-election last month, organizing volunteers and getting out the vote. The UAW also played a key role in hitting back at Republican nominee Mitt Romney's suggestion that the auto rescue would result in auto jobs being created overseas - a battle that played out in the key state of Ohio, which has more auto jobs than any other state but Michigan.
During the 2011 battles over a legislative push to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers in Wisconsin, Obama had harsh words for the effort, saying it seemed like an assault on unions. But he didn't get intimately involved in a recall of Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican governor, which he handily survived earlier this year.
Whether right-to-work comes up during Obama's visit Monday - which was expected to be about the economy, middle class families and his push to craft a deal to forestall tax increases and deep spending cuts at year's end - remains to be seen.
By Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press Washington Bureau