Unions vow political payback for Michigan’s right-to-work law
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, December 9, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Updated: Sunday, December 9, 2012
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.
- Steelers notebook: Slimmed-down Redman optimistic for 2013
- Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger likes the revamped offense
- Steelers’ Polamalu trim, fit as he arrives for OTAs
- Pirates notebook: Morton could be back in early June
- Penguins notebook: Morrow sits; Bylsma changes lineup
- DVD reviews: ‘The Last Stand,’ ‘Side Effects’ and ‘Parker’
- Mayoral nominee Peduto plans city hall house-cleaning if he’s elected
- Senators notebook: Stone gets call in place of Conacher
- Quantum Theatre keeps it fresh in 23rd season
- Couple accused of abusing adopted kids moving in with parents
- ‘Material Matters’ exhibit goes through 2 different art forms with 1 thing in common
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.