12/10/2012

Michigan legislators trying to ram through right to work

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who earlier said he would not support so-called right-to-work legislation because it is too divisive, has promised to sign legislation that is being rammed through the state Legislature without any public input and voted on by elected officials who won't even be in office in January.

The Michigan House and Senate last week both passed legislation that takes away workers' rights while doing nothing to create jobs. Proponents have even used the deceptive phrase "workplace freedom" to try to change the perception of their anti-worker legislation. In reality, the record from right-to-work laws in other states is one of lower wages, fewer benefits and more dangerous workplaces.

The two Michigan legislative chambers passed the legislation without committee hearings or floor debate. And, reminiscent of what happened with protests against anti-worker legislation in Wisconsin, members of the public who wanted to observe the proceedings in the Legislature were locked out and some were even pepper-sprayed by police.

Even the Detroit Free Press, which endorsed Snyder for governor, slammed his actions on the issue.

Thousands of members from the AFT, other unions, and our friends and allies are gathering in Lansing on Dec. 11 for a huge day of action against right to work. Supporters outside of Michigan can sign a petition against the legislation, which has already attracted more than 15,000 signatures.

Follow the Michigan AFL-CIO on Twitter for updates. [AFL-CIO, Working America]

December 10, 2012