ONTD Political

Police, unions prepare for Michigan right-to-work debate to continue on Tuesday

5:27 pm - 12/07/2012
LANSING — A large police presence remained at the Capitol in Lansing today despite a lack of protesters on the grounds.

About 50 Michigan State Police vehicles were parked near the Capitol a day after lawmakers took up contentious right-to-work legislation, sparking fierce protests and clashes with police that led to the arrest of eight people. Consideration of right-to-work legislation will resume Tuesday.

Dozens of Michigan State Police were inside the building, near entrances and on the sidewalks.

State Police officials declined to release the number of officers present, but said they had an increased presence to protect protesters, visitors and workers.

Releasing the number doesn’t give police a tactical advantage, Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said today.

“With right-to-work being such a controversial issue and a very personal issue to so many people, we’ve seen an increase in protesting,” he said.

Right-to-work legislation makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment.

The eight people arrested Thursday are accused of resisting and obstructing a police officer, Adamczyk said. It happened when they tried to rush past troopers guarding the Senate floor. The troopers were forced to use mace to repel their advance, he said.

They appeared briefly in district court in Lansing Friday but they were not charged and their names were not released. Freed Thursday on $50 interim bonds, they were told to return to court Dec. 19.

“The majority of the protesters had a point to make, but were very polite, very civil,” Adamczyk said.

On a rainy morning, less than a half dozen protesters milled around outside the Capitol today.

Cliff Oaks of Montrose and Chad Clark of St. Louis, both members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876, said they were at the Capitol to show their opposition to the three-bill package of right-to-work legislation, parts of which were approved in the state House and Senate late Thursday.

Oaks said one of the important purposes of unions and the dues that are paid is to pay for training that benefits all members and improves safety for electricians and the public.

“So, for someone to come to us and want a job and not be a part of the union, and use our money for his training, I feel is just flat wrong,” Oaks said.

Clark said he expects a huge union turnout at the Capitol on Tuesday, when the Legislature is expected to resume consideration of right-to-work legislation.

“I want to see them shut the state down,” he said.

No demonstrations are booked today or over the weekend at the Capitol, but bookings have been made for Monday and Tuesday, said Steve Benkovsky, director of Capitol facilities.


I'm going to try to be there for the protests Tuesday. any other Michiganders going?

edit: if you smell something burning in Michigan, it's just Snyder's pants on fire:

schexyschteve 8th-Dec-2012 04:31 am (UTC)
I can't stand Rick Snyder and the Republicans.

Why are they so hell-bent on destroying unions?!
redstar826 8th-Dec-2012 04:38 am (UTC)
because they are asshats and I hope they step on all the legos

I feel like this whole damned lame duck session is some sort of game where they are trying to see how much bad shit they can come up with before they leave
beoweasel 8th-Dec-2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
Because they're shills for big business that want maximum profits without regulation or labor getting in the way of them lining their pockets.
ebay313 8th-Dec-2012 05:58 am (UTC)
I would like to go but I have work :(

Also my pro-union, republican aunt posted on facebook about how mad and disgusted she was by this. And I just want to be like- WTF do you expect from republicans?
redstar826 8th-Dec-2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
I had that argument with my father. He voted for Snyder and is now very pissed off at this
evilgmbethy 8th-Dec-2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
man, best of luck to Michigan labor.
meimichan 8th-Dec-2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
I REALLY wanted to go this weekend but it's just not financially feasible. Or possible with my schedule.

Native Michigander stuck in Wisconsin. And I was at the Madison protests nearly every day, so I know how that went over here.

I can't believe how fast this happened. It seems like I read Snyder's suggestion to move forward on this in the Detroit Free Press and then the next day, BAM, one House bill and one Senate pill, passed. I was stunned.

This is going to screw over so much of my family still living in MI.

Voter referendum won't work here either, those bills are attached to an appropriations bill. Fuck you Snyder
redstar826 8th-Dec-2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was sooo fast. Like, I got busy for a couple of days with my semester ending and I didn't read the news for 2 days and bam! all of this happened. I'm just lucky that as a substitute teacher I have some control in setting my own schedule so I can drive into Lansing (although of course I dont' get paid if I don't work)
simply_blah 8th-Dec-2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
'Right to work' my ass. It's more a 'right to fire you for whatever'.
romp 8th-Dec-2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we shouldn't let the right spin every term to cover their ugly actions.
bellonia 8th-Dec-2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
That's not right to work, that's at-will employment. Right to work takes the teeth out of unions and union contracts.
simply_blah 8th-Dec-2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
My bad. :(
deathchibi 8th-Dec-2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
A lot of states like to have both - I know Texas does, so you're kinda screwed as a worker. :/
bellonia 8th-Dec-2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
Right to work and at-will employment go hand in hand, often. Part of right to work states means that union contracts are less enforceable. For example, many unions may have a just cause clause for firing people, but with right to work, they can't enforce dues payments (ex: when I was in a Michigan Union, it came out of my paycheck). Without getting all of the dues they're owed, they can't afford certain services (say hiring a lawyer for a certain incident), which creates precedence for the organization...

In other words, this is pissing me the fuck off. :(
horkbizarre 8th-Dec-2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
I can't believe how fast this went through. On top of that, there's a ton of anti-choice bullshit going on right now too.

and the democrats are opposing the mass transit bill as protest over RTW so congrats for fucking us over more I guess??
redstar826 8th-Dec-2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
there is also some really bad stuff with regards to education that they are trying to push through. uggg this damned state right now D:
kitanabychoice 8th-Dec-2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
Everything about this is meh. I'm really upset with my home state right now.
checkerdandy 8th-Dec-2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
As an Idahoan, I'm rooting for you guys. We've been RTW since 1985. :/
bowtomecha 9th-Dec-2012 05:11 am (UTC)
So do the police there have unions? Seems a bit of a contradiction.
cghardy 9th-Dec-2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
You don't get to choose who you protect.
grey_gnome 10th-Dec-2012 02:10 am (UTC)
I read the police are exempt from the provisions of the right-to-work bill? Also, I heard the republicans want to write up another emergency manager law after we just voted the previous one down? Blah.
redstar826 10th-Dec-2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
yes, police and fire are both exempt. I haven't heard about the emergency manager law, but at this point nothing would surprise me
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