Michigan weakens union rights in home of auto industry
Bernie Woodall, Reuters
5:30 PM CST, December 11, 2012
LANSING, Michigan (Reuters) -Michigan enacted a ban on mandatory union membership on Tuesday, dealing a stunning blow to organized labor in the state that is home to U.S. automakers and the symbol of industrial labor in the United States.
As more than 12,000 unionized workers and supporters protested at the Capitol in Lansing, the Republican-led state House of Representatives gave final approval to a pair of “right-to-work” bills covering public- and private-sector unions. Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed the bills into law as soon as they reached his desk, completing in a few days a campaign to make Michigan the 24th U.S. state to prohibit unions from requiring employees to join and contribute dues.
“I view this as an opportunity to stand up for Michigan’s workers, to be pro-worker,” Snyder told a news conference after he signed the bills.