Union members protest possible Right to Work legislation - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Union members protest possible Right to Work legislation

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(12/05/12) - Protestors are trying to get their message across loud and clear, and they say Right to Work laws don't work in Michigan.

Rumors are flying that majority Republicans might try to push for Right to Work legislation in the last few days of the session.    

Gov. Snyder said Tuesday night that Right to Work legislation is on the agenda, but we haven't seen a bill introduced yet.

This bill would have the potential to change the landscape of how unions and shops do business in Michigan.

The halls of the state capitol boomed with protestors' chants and cheers Wednesday afternoon.

"It takes too much power away from the unions and the working people, it puts it in the hands of the politicians and corporate officers," said Eric Kozel with the UAW Local 659.

Right to Work laws put an end to mandatory union membership and fees. Right now there are 23 right to work states, and supporters say it's a big economy booster.

"Right to Work states have bigger population growth, they have bigger wage growth, if you account for cost of living, workers are making more earning in Right to Work states, more attracted to business," said Vinnie Vernuccio with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

But protestors say it could lower wages and take away their union's power.

"Right to Work is an excuse from the employers to keep people scared and keep people worried about their jobs, that they have to toe the line, they can break laws and hurt people," said Phillip Kyer, a plumber/pipe fitter in Lansing.

"I'd just like the government to understand we've had enough, we really want to rebuild this state, we have the power to do it with the unions in place, they don't have to strip the power away from us and strip away our rights," Kozel said.

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