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Protesters swarm as Michigan pushes right-to-work measure
Police block off Capitol amid union backlash
“A victory over forced unionization in a union stronghold like Michigan would be an unprecedented win on par with Wisconsin that would pave the way for right to work in states across our nation,” AFP-Michigan Executive Director Scott Hagerstrom said in a statement.
Unions, he added, have “overreached in Michigan when they tried to strong-arm their way into our constitution,” citing the vote on Proposal 2, the ballot measure that would have enshrined collective bargaining into the state’s constitution. It failed on a 57 percent to 42 percent vote.
“Early unions fought for better pay, safer working conditions and shorter work hours — protections now mostly granted by federal and state law,” Mr. Hagerstrom said. “Unfortunately, today’s unions have become a force for higher spending and taxes. Freedom in the workplace would ensure that unions are not able to skim dues from workers who do not support their big-government agenda.”
How passage of a right-to-work law might play out politically for the governor and state Republicans is uncertain.
Bill Ballenger, the publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, said right-to-work backers run the risk of a major backlash if they end up losing the legislative battle.
“After making Snyder come out and do this, or urging him to do this, if they don’t have the votes, that would be a disgrace to party leadership in the Legislature,” Mr. Ballenger said. “Or they will have compromised the governor’s image and reputation and probably earned him opponents in an election or in trying to get his agenda passed.
“I think a lot depends on the response from the Democratic Party and organized labor — what they decide to do in the next few weeks, assuming it passes,” he said. “I do think it complicates life for the governor.”
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
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