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Michigan: Join the protests; battle to defeat ‘right to work’ legislation

By Fight Back! Editors |
December 9, 2012
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In the coming days, the unfolding events in Lansing, Michigan will be at the center of the class struggle in this country. A battle is under way that pits the labor movement and its allies against raw corporate power. At issue is anti-union ‘right to work’ legislation passed by Republican legislators Dec. 6.

The purpose of ‘right to work’ legislation is union busting. These laws mean that workers who benefit from union representation do not have to pay union dues. States that have passed these laws have seen wages go down, along with union power. If Michigan Republicans are able to get by with this attack, it will be a setback for workers everywhere.

Michigan Republicans fear another Wisconsin, where there was a massive and heroic fightback against the union busting plans of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. So Michigan Republicans launched a surprise attack during a lame duck secession of the legislature. They kept things quiet. They did not hold hearings where the public could state our opinions - they just rammed the bill through.

When the labor movement got wind of their plans and converged on the State Capitol last week, the answer was repression. Protesters in front of the Senate Chambers were maced, some were arrested and the Capitol building was put on lockdown to keep protesters out.

As things stand now, the legislature is set to reconvene on Tuesday, Dec.11. Republican politicians will have to reconcile the differences between the ‘right to work’ for less bills passed in the House and Senate. The Senate bill also covers state workers. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says he will sign the ‘right to work’ for less law.

It is vital that workers mobilize now to stop this attack. Every worker who can go to Lansing should go. Michigan workers have a proud history of struggle. We need that militancy now.

Protest in Lansing, Michigan, Tuesday, Dec. 11. Stop the so-called ‘right to work’ bill!

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