Right-to-work protest heats up

Hundreds of demonstrators packed all four levels of the rotunda Tuesday, chanting "Union!" and" What's disgusting? Union-busting!" They stomped their feet and banged together hard hats.
AP Wire
Dec 11, 2012


The Republican-led Michigan House has approved a contentious right-to-work bill limiting unions' strength.

The measure approved Tuesday morning deals with public-sector workers. Another bill focusing on the private sector was approved last week, when the Senate OK'd both bills.

When final versions have cleared the House, they'll go to GOP Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature as early as Wednesday.

Passage followed numerous challenges and changes sought by Democrats as well as raucous protests inside and outside the Capitol from pro-union demonstrators. Thousands descended upon downtown Lansing to rally against the legislation that prohibits requiring nonunion employees to financially support unions at their workplace.

Backers say a right-to-work law would bring more jobs to Michigan and give workers freedom. Critics say it would drive down wages and benefits.

Earlier, protesters packed the state Capitol in Lansing, chanting and whooping as lawmakers prepared to take final votes on divisive right-to-work bills.

Hundreds of demonstrators packed all four levels of the rotunda Tuesday, chanting "Union!" and" What's disgusting? Union-busting!"

They stomped their feet and banged together hard hats.

The noise was deafening. At one point the crowd began loudly roaring, applauding themselves as the decibel levels grew.

A group of about 20 state troopers blocked the Senate chamber. Officers stared straight ahead, expressionless, as the crowd heckled them, demanding to be let in and shouting: "You're next."

The scene was calmer outside the House chamber, where another group of state police blocked the room. About a dozen protesters clustered around troopers, one mugging for a snapshot with an expressionless officer.



Wing - I know you are feeling the heat when you start with the "Laninvain". If this is such a harmless and popular bill, why the desperate measure to pass it so quickly? Is this a matter of choice, or a matter of weakening the middle class? In 1979, the Michigan middle class earned about 54% of the state's income, and 37% of the state's workers were in unions. In 2012 - less than 18% of Michigan workers are unionized and the middle class receives only 47% of state income. Both union AND non-unionized workers in RTW states earn on average $1,500 less per year than non right-to-work states, with no significant positive impact whatsoever on employment. Glad you think this is so hilarious - remember,Wing....ignorance is bliss. So you want to compare this to Obamacare? Bring it on! My recollection is that Obama met with groups of people from Congress, the insurance industry, the medical profession, the CBO, Medicare/Medicaid/SS officials, and dozens of independent commissions over about a year. Hardly ramming it through. Unless you are independently wealthy, or retired on a set-in-stone pension, you might not find this latest Republican coup so funny....I wonder if you might be crying in about 10 years when the RTW chickens come home to roost.


This does not ban unions, only give workers a choice if they want to join PERIOD. So I ask again, why Lan, are you opposed to workers having a choice? All your gobbledy goop about declining wages has many more reason than can be replied to in one post. The business climate for companies is just one reason. When they leave, so do higher paying jobs...your turn.


Really, media matters! Why don't you use your own common sense to develop your thoughts on the subject. Again, why you are against workers having the right to choose. If your link is accurate, why the big uproar if workers can choose to not join a union or fully join a union? Let me guess, its because their money will not go into union coffers for them to use to fund what party?? Unions are not what they were when started. They evolved into a political machine, sometimes thuggery, fat bureaucracy monster that does not really care about the workers, only act as if they do while workers pouring money into their pot. Most of what unions originally formed around to protect workers is now law! Now unions are reduced to protecting the type of "worker" that go out on lunch to drink and smoke pot in their vehicles in Detroit. Why have a union wedge between workers and companies to resolve issues. Apply some common sense without your media matters sucker in your mouth, Jeez!


If the unions are showing a benefit for the dues they collect why are they so worried? Looks like they do not want people to have a choice!


The right to work legislation has been talked about for over two years. Gov. Snyder has talked about this issue in the first 3 months of his term. Some are confusing passing this measure so quickly with effective governing. When you have overwhelming harmony and agreement with an HB what the hell is there to discuss? Are you telling me that the UAW and MEA had absolutely no idea this HB would be introduced? Then, why have they been skimming millions of member dues into a marketing campaign to defeat this HB before it was even introduced? Why were the inner city schools in Lansing, Saginaw, Detroit, and Flint closed today to allow their teachers to attend this rally at the State Capital and bash our representitives & Govenor? How much in teachers salary did this cost the tax payer's of Michigan because of the Union boss' arrogant decision to NOT put our kids first, but only themselves and their monopoly on OUR education system? By the way...the chickens HAVE already come home to roost because hardworking people let the Unions take over our education system and the auto industry over the past 65 years. This is precisely what today was about. It appears taking back our Country is going to take more time so, lets start with our State and build from there, shall we?


Yes - the RTW has been in the planning stages for quite some time. Odd they chose to come out AFTER the election to get it passed (thought they might not get reelected if put forth before the election?). Oh - they thought that when the proposal on collective bargaining was voted down, the people were giving them "permission" to pass the RTW law. But when the emergency manager proposal was voted down by the people, they chose to read that as.....permission to put another emergency manager bill on Snyder's desk?

Pretty clever, wouldn't you say?


The thuggery that took place was done by Fox News. They sent an agitator into a middle of an excited group to cause a riot. All he got for his trouble was punched in the face. Fox waited him to get killed, that would have made ratings go up. Fox does not report news they make it. Rogers Ailes is a criminal and should be in jail.

As far as the children of Michigan, please like you care about public schools. You want kids all put into a failing charter schools just so you can save a buck. All repubs care about is greed.

I hope everybody enjoys the $12/hr they get and welcome to Michissippi! By the way no business are going there and that state is a repubs dream.


Whaaaat! You seem as confused as your name tag! Wow.


Holycowdog, this was a big news event. The entire country was watching what was going on in Michigan yesterday. Any news organization has the right to be right down in the middle of all these demonstrations. I'm sure glad Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnel, Al Sharpton, and Ed Schultz don't aggitate the country for ratings. As for the kids, its the unions driving kids to charter schools. Public schools would flourish if the unions were not controlling this system. $12hr? After unions dues are taking out, this is what many new teachers are making now! Einstein. By the way, it is America that is our dream and Michigan is soon to be a much better example of it, thanks to our State Legislators and Govenor's actions yesterday. This group of non-union workers seem to be doing just fine with great pay, full benefits, and are productive as hell.



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