Unions vow political payback for Michigan's right-to-work law
LANSING, Mich. — With defeat in the Michigan Legislature virtually certain, Democrats and organized labor intend to make enactment of right-to-work laws as uncomfortable as possible for Gov. Rick Snyder and his Republican allies while laying the groundwork to seek payback at the polls.
Opponents of the laws spent the weekend mapping protests and acts of civil disobedience, while acknowledging the reality that Republican majorities in the House and Senate cannot be stopped or delayed by parliamentary maneuvers. Leaders vowed to resist to the end, and then set their sights on winning control of the Legislature and defeating Snyder when he seeks re-election in 2014.
“They've awakened a sleeping giant,” United Auto Workers President Bob King said on Saturday in a union hall, where about 200 activists attended a planning session.
Right-to-work laws prohibit requiring employees to join a union or pay fees similar to union dues as a condition of employment. Supporters say it's about freedom of association for workers and a better business climate. Critics contend the real intent is to bleed unions of money and bargaining power.
Hundreds of demonstrators thronged the state Capitol last week as bills were introduced and approved hours later, without the usual committee hearings allowing for public comment. Even more protesters are expected Tuesday, when the two chambers may reconcile wording differences and send final versions to Snyder, who now pledges to sign them after saying repeatedly since his 2010 election the issue wasn't “on my agenda.”
Republicans are betting any political damage will be short-lived. Last week, Snyder urged labor to accept the inevitable and focus on showing workers why union representation is in their best interest.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers clinch playoff berth with win over Chiefs
- Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
- Groom cited at Farmington wedding reception being filmed for reality TV show
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Climate changes, habitat loss cited as threats to 314 bird species
- Outdoor notices: Dec. 22, 2014
- Police investigate alleged institutional sexual assault at Pine youth treatment center
- Car wash explosion, fire injures 2 in McDonald
- Police seek answers in killing of 2 NYPD officers
- Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status
- Pitt players support Rudolph for job