10,000 Protestors Jam Capitol Grounds

Right-to-Work Protests, New Law Coming

By Peter Neumann

December 11, 2012 Updated Dec 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM EDT

LANSING, Mi. (My TV20 News at 10) --- Michigan's capitol is the focal point for rallies today largely organized by labor unions to protest pending legislation that would weakening their grip.

Legislators are taking up a house and senate versions of the bills. Outside o the capitol grounds, some 10,000 protestors are chanting and carrying signs.

Backers of the so-called "Right-to-Work" legislation working its way through the state House and Senate say it's necessary to revive Michigan's economy, and make the state competitive with neighboring states, like Indiana, where the state's economy has flourished by comparison.

Labor rallies and opposition in Indiana - as well as in Wisconsin, could not stop the passage of right to work legislation in those states. Michigan would become the twenty-fourth state t o pass right to work legislation.

Once the house and senate versions are passed, Governor Rick Snyder says he will pass the final bill into law, despite the protests and rallies.

One of the most contentious aspects of Michigan's law is the requirement that union dues still have to be paid by a worker even if the worker chooses not to be a part of the union. So closed shops would be prohibited - that's where a worker must join the union if they want to work there.

The unions see Right-to-Work weakening the labor movement in Michigan, and represents a fundamental challenge to their ability to retain control and power.

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