Michigan could very well be a right-to-work state in 2013 following Gov. Rick Snyder's call to action Thursday for the state legislature to pass a "workplace fairness and equity" bill in the next few days.
Throngs of protesters gathered on the Capitol lawn and in the lobby of the governor's headquarters Thursday, including members of Dearborn's UAW Local 600. Union members from across the state joined the protests, organized by the Michigan chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
UAW posted updates from Lansing on its Facebook page, including video from outside of the Senate chambers, where a crowded room of protesters chanted against the legislation.
Snyder held a press conference Thursday morning to urge legislators to get a right-to-work bill on his desk before the holiday break.
In a new Pure Michigan ad published today on YouTube, Snyder says his decision to pursue such legislation is "about being pro-work and giving workers the freedom to choose who they associate with."
Opponents of the law argue that it would result in lowered wages for workers across the board, and would not spur job creation.
AFL-CIO of Michigan President Karla Swift responded that partisan legislation was not the way to better Michigan's economy.
"The Michigan labor movement remains committed to working with anyone who prioritizes the creation of family-sustaining jobs instead rather than partisan politics," Swift said in a statement. "Ordinary citizens across the state are counting on their elected officials to hear them out on this issue, and will continue to make their voices heard."
Although this legislation would cover both the public and private sectors, there would be an exception for police and firefighters.
With the end of this year's legislative session fast approaching, The Detroit News suggests Republican lawmakers would "likely attach right-to-work legislation to an existing bill to bypass the normal process of introducing new legislation that has to sit in both houses of the Legislature for at least five days."
Would you like to see Michigan become a right-to-work state? Tell us in the comments.