Unions Vow Revenge in Right-to-Work Fight

Laws headed for court battle, 2014 showdown

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 12, 2012 7:57 AM CST

(Newser) – The battle has just begun over Michigan's newly passed right-to-work laws, labor leaders vowed today. Opponents of the law have already filed two lawsuits against it, the Detroit News reports, and they intend to make it the centerpiece of the 2014 election, which will see all the state's legislative seats up for vote. "If Gov. Snyder thinks that Michigan citizens will go home and forget about what happened in Lansing today, he is sorely mistaken," the state's Democratic Party chairman said.

The lawsuits claim that lawmakers violated the Open Meetings Act by continuing proceedings after police put the Capitol on lockdown on Thursday. But Snyder isn't worried. "I would expect litigation, but I would say there are strong legal arguments that this law should stand," he said last night. The issue has raised some passionate responses. For example:

  • Somewhere between 13,000 and 18,000 protesters came out yesterday, far more than the 10,000 projected to be there, the Daily Beast reports.
  • A former US congressman was among several protesters hit with pepper spray during the demonstrations, the Huffington Post reports. "People were exercising their first amendment rights," Democrat Mark Schauer said. "Unfortunately, some of us are paying a price for it."
  • State Rep. Douglas Geiss turned a number of heads by saying that if the law passed, "there will be blood. There will be repercussions. We will relive the battle of the overpass," the Washington Examiner reports. He even tweeted the remark, though he has since deleted it.
  • The fight extends beyond Michigan. Politico reports that labor unions around the country are prepping a major campaign on the issue for the 2013 and 2014 gubernatorial elections. "These are politicians who aren't even listening to the results of the election," says the AFL-CIO's political director.

Protesters gather for a rally outside the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Dec. 11, 2012.
Protesters gather for a rally outside the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Dec. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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