Clash at the Capitol: Right to Work bill passes 58-52 - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Clash at the Capitol: Right to Work bill passes 58-52

Posted: Updated:
Lots of activity in Lansing Thursday as Right to Work efforts kick into high gear. Lots of activity in Lansing Thursday as Right to Work efforts kick into high gear.
Inside the Capitol. Inside the Capitol.
UAW President Bob King couldn't get inside right away. The crowd started a "Let Bob in" chant. UAW President Bob King couldn't get inside right away. The crowd started a "Let Bob in" chant.
Gov. Snyder talks about Right to Work legislation during a roundtable discussion. Gov. Snyder talks about Right to Work legislation during a roundtable discussion.
Union workers gather in lobby of George W. Romney building in Lansing to protest proposed Right to Work legislation. Union workers gather in lobby of George W. Romney building in Lansing to protest proposed Right to Work legislation.
LANSING (WJRT) -

(12/06/12) - A bill to enact Right to Work laws has passed the State House with a vote of 58-52. It now moves on to the Senate.

Before that vote, House Democrats walked off the floor to protest the building not being opened to the public.

Earlier Thursday, Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican leaders vowed to move forward with the legislation.  Police and fire unions are not included in it. 

The legislation makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment.

Union supporters responded with a massive protest. Police have arrested several people and used chemical spray as lawmakers met.

State Police very carefully controlled how many people went in and out of the building. They say people tried to rush the senate floor as lawmakers were in session. 

"Several individuals tried to push past the troopers and failed to obey lawful orders by the troopers. The two troopers were outnumbered. They used chemical spray, personal chemical spray and we brought reinforcements over there. Those individuals that tried to push past the troopers were then arrested," said Inspector Gene Adamczyk with the Michigan State Police.

At times, police did not allow anyone inside of the building. 

It was a very passionate subject for those on both sides of issue.

Gov. Rick Snyder even mentioned that passion as he outlined his stance to the media Thursday morning. This effort hasn't always been on his radar, but it certainly is now, and supporting the effort is all about supporting workers and supporting their freedom of choice, he says. Snyder says he will sign the bills as soon as they land on his desk.

"I'm asking that we pass an act that calls for workplace fairness and equity, to be pro-worker, to give freedom of choice to our workplace and that the legislators move promptly and efficiently in moving it though the legislature. When it arrives on my desk, I plan on signing it," he said. "We've come to the point over the last few weeks, or the last few months or two, where the issue was on the table whether I wanted it to be or not. Given that it is on the table, I think it is appropriate to be a good leader and to stand up and take a position on this issue."

Democrats and those against Right to Work legislation are calling it a sad day in Michigan, after Republicans announced they would press for quick approval of legislation limiting union powers.

Protestors fear this legislation will crush the labor movement.

"Let's face it. They don't like unions. The unions are the founders of what goes on today. You wouldn't have a 40 hour work week if it wasn't for union," said Dennis Iliff, retired union worker.

"We're really proud of the job the unions have done, and through collective bargaining, to bring tens of thousands of new jobs to Michigan really just in the auto industry and all the network of suppliers and everything. Michigan needs to move forward, not move backward," said UAW President Bob King.

Supporters say it would make Michigan more competitive and that it would be good for business.

Here are the newest developments as of Thursday evening:

  • The state House introduced the bill around 3 p.m., just 2 hours later, passed it with a 58 to 52 vote. That specific bill can't move onto the Senate until the next session day.
  • Later Thursday evening, the state Senate passed their own versions of right to work bills.  One, dealing with public workers, and the other with private-sector employees.
  • All three bills will eventually be consolidated into two bills, so the debate continues.
Powered by WorldNow

abc12.com

ABC12 Main Station
810-233-3130

Mailing Address:
2302 Lapeer Road
Flint, Michigan 48503

Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WJRT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.