Michigan – Right to Work state

Governor Rick Snyder Tuesday signed legislation making Michigan the 24th “right-to-work’ state in the nation. Snyder signed the bills less than five hours after the Michigan House gave final approval to the so-called “right to work” legislation, which prohibits requirements that workers pay a fee that would go to a union as a condition of employment. In announcing his signiture of the bills, the Governor said  “this is a major day in Michigan’s history.” Snyder cited two reasons for signing the legislation: the results neighboring state Indiana has seen since enacting right to work: and a union-led ballot drive that went down to defeat in November which triggered discussions on the issue. Labor unions oppose the bills, saying it’s just designed to hurt unions. Opponents of right-to-work say they will challenge the legislation in court and possibly ‘get the issue on a statewide ballot’.  (MRN)

Michigan State Police troopers, some in riot gear, worked to maintain order Tuesday as thousands of pro-and anti-right-to-work protesters clashed at the Capitol in Lansing. Several fights broke out and a tent set up by the pro-right-to-work group Americans for Prosperity was torn down trapping several people trapped underneath but were able to get out unharmed. A police spokesperson said that a small amount of pepper spray was used after a protester grabbed a trooper and tried to pull her into the crowd. The trooper was not injured. Former Michigan Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer and a neon-vested volunteer working to try to control the crowd were among those pepper sprayed. In a separate incident, a demonstrator was trampled by a police horse. At least one person was taken from the Capitol lawn by ambulance. Across the street, two people were arrested trying to get into the Romney Building, which was being closed to visitors. State Police Captain Harold Love said when police went in the building, the two people wouldn’t leave. Love did not know what the they might be charged with.  (MRN)

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