Protesters Rally Against Lawmakers Voting for Right-To-Work Legislation

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Protesters marched on the Capitol in Lansing as final votes on controversial right-to-work legislation were scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Police were expecting up to 10,000 protesters, including both union opponents and right-to-work defenders.

Scuffles broke out when a tent came down.

The Republican-controlled legislature was expected to pass a final version of the bill Tuesday and to send the bill to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, which he is expected to sign.

The legislation would stop unions from collecting dues from all of the employees in the workplace if they decide they don’t want to pay them.  At one time, Snyder had said that the policies adopted by Republicans in other states were too divisive here in Michigan.  However, a legislation began passing in a very short amount of time that the governor then decided to support last week.

House members spoke from the floor of the chamber in support of and against the legislation. Democrats protested that right-to-work was being rammed through a lame-duck legislature and that no public debate was allowed. Republicans said employees should not be forced to join or contribute to unions as a condition of employment.

Republicans attached money onto the legislation so that it cannot be overturned by referendum. Opponents say there are some options and can use a citizens initiative to put the issue to a public vote perhaps as early as 2014.

President Obama spoke against the bill Monday during a trip to the Detroit area. He said the bill would lower wages for workers in the state.

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  • Connie

    Governor Snyder should be commended for being the leader he is. Michigan has been in trouble for years. We elected Governor Snyder to improve it and make a difference and he has. What are protestors whining about? They can still have their union benefits with this law. People voted on Proposals in Michigan and Governor Snyder is simply responding to the majority (57% to 42%) of the citizens who agree with this new bill. There are way too many people who don't have employment in Michigan; we need to do what we can to get people back to work, not listen to people who have jobs whine about how hard they are going to have it!

  • kevin

    governor snyder should have let the public vote on the bills and get there opion before he sign them. the state of michigan will not keep jobs. people are going to leave michigan to fine better paying jobs.

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