Right-to-work bills win approval from Michigan Senate, House
By David Eggert | firstname.lastname@example.org
updated December 06, 2012 at 8:09 PM
LANSING, MI – After hours of debate, a Republican-dominated Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would help make Michigan the 24th state with a right-to-work law prohibiting unions from collecting fees from workers who decline union representation.
It was a historic and tension-filled process, marked by occasional yells and clapping from union members sitting above in the gallery to watch. Some were escorted out or left voluntarily after yelling down at senators as Lt. Gov. Brian Calley - the Senate president - sought decorum.
Senate Bill 116, approved 22-16, would apply to private employees and House Bill 4003 - which passed 22-4 - to public workers; the House earlier approved House Bill 4054 for public employees on a 58-52 vote. Police officers and firefighters would stay in closed union shops under the measures.
“This is a historic event. We ought to treat history better than this," said Sen. John Gleason, Flushing, who joined Democrats whose level of opposition to the legislation was equaled by their frustration with the process.
No committee hearings were held. The bill language was seen for the first time just hours after Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP legislative leaders announced their plan to pass a right-to-work law.
Senate Democrats tried but failed to make 20 amendments to the bill in a chamber where they have just 12 seats. Republicans have 26.
"This is an assault on all the ones that came before us and all the ones that come after us,” Gleason said.
But Republicans said the right-to-work debate has been out there for years and said they have simple goals – giving workers “freedom to associate rather than a mandate to associate,” said Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive.
“We are for job creation, for business moving into Michigan, new factories and new opportunities,” he said.
posted on 12/06/2012 5:24:51 PM PST
(Victory is not relative, it is absolute.)
Police officers and firefighters would stay in closed union shops under the measures.
Ohio's doomed Prop 2 a year ago did not make this concession, and that is what sank it. The Ohio GOP is a peculiar, corrupt, stiff-necked bunch of out-of-touch country club schmucks, and they regularly shoot themselves in the foot this way.
Fantastic. Right way to go.
posted on 12/06/2012 7:23:00 PM PST
(Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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