MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) – In the only speech from a labor leader scheduled for the 2011 Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference, UAW president Bob King urged business owners and executives to reject political extremism.
He said the extreme right “pretends to be pro-business but I believe their proposals are very harmful in the long run to industry. I believe we must reject extremism in all forms.”
King, who did not mention Governor Rick Snyder by name, called on those at the conference to reject what he called an “extreme right-wing agenda.” “The mantra to reduce taxes is a religion to some. But this ideology gets in the way of practicality and hard facts,” he said.
King said, instead of cutting taxes, more money should be spent on education and infrastructure.
A positive example, he said, was the virtually unanimous Republican opposition to bailing out General Motors and Chrysler in 2009, a bailout credited for saving hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs by economists at the nonpartisan Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.
King called the bailout “moderate, pragmatic” public policy.
King said making sure U.S. automakers stay competitive is the best way to serve the UAW’s members.
Earlier, Gov. Snyder opened the conference, speaking about plans for a new bridge to Windsor, and touting his own accomplishments thus far. (More on this).