Anti-Union Bill Triggers Protests at Michigan Capitol
Troopers use pepper spray as governor pushes right-to-work legislation
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2012 2:48 PM CST
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(Newser) – Wisconsin all over again? The nation's newest fight over unions is now under way in Michigan, reports Reuters. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder today announced that he hopes to have right-to-work legislation—making the payment of union dues voluntary—in place by the end of the year. The measure passed the GOP-controlled House this afternoon and could clear the GOP-controlled Senate within a week, reports the Detroit News.

Union protesters converged on the Capitol in Lansing earlier today and tried to storm the Senate floor, but troopers rebuffed them with pepper spray and arrested eight. UAW chief Bob King threatened to push for recalls of legislators if the bill goes forward, as happened in Wisconsin. Two competing quotes:

  • UAW's King: "Every right-to-work state in America has lower wages, lower benefits, greater income equality, more discrimination, less equality in the workplace. Right-to-work is wrong for Michigan."
  • Gov. Snyder: "Quite often people call it right-to-work, but I think it is a much better description to say that this is about fairness in the workplace and equality in the workplace."

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Dec 7, 2012 4:02 PM CST
Unions are the result of unsafe working conditions, extreme work hours, Management greed, harassment and other unfair extreme practices by employers. For the goverenor to pass laws in favor of Management is a huge blow to the rights of workers to demand a fair shake. I detest the governors actions and would bet he was paid off by corporate super packs. "WORKERS UNITE"
Dec 7, 2012 9:53 AM CST
THE TRUTH? --- "Most U.S. Union members are working for the government, new data shows." --- LOOK IT UP on your computers. --- Plus the government has "right to work" rules preventing the Unions from forcing non-Union members to pay dues to them, while the non-Union workers enjoy the same pay and benefits. -------- REALLY
Dec 7, 2012 12:03 AM CST
Newsflash...I worked WITHOUT a union for 14 years, then changed jobs in my field and there was a union. I joined. Best day of my life. Working without a union...NO THANKS. Been there, done that and how refreshing it was to have a voice and representation for me and having people behind me and on MY SIDE.