Protests heat up in Lansing as Snyder plans to sign right-to-work bill
Tue, 11 Dec 2012 12:51:06 GMT —
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says he expects right-to-work bills to be on his desk later this week and is calling them "good legislation."
In an interview Tuesday morning with WWJ-AM, the Republican governor didn't appear to have been swayed by pressure on the issue from Democrats including President Barack Obama. The president was greeted by Snyder during a visit to Michigan on a day earlier.
Snyder says he believes the bills will pass and says: "This is about being pro-worker." He says the intention is to give workers a choice.
The Republican-dominated Legislature used political muscle to rapidly introduce and ramrod legislation through the House and Senate in a single day last week.
Snyder says, however, that the issue has been long discussed in Michigan and wasn't rushed.
Meanwhile across the state, classes are cancelled Wednesday in one of Michigan's largest public school districts because most of its 800 teachers plan to attend a protest in Lansing over the Legislature's move to pass the right-to-work law.
Warren Consolidated Schools spokesman Robert Freehan tells The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens that about 500 teachers have taken a personal day, and the suburban Detroit district will cancel classes for its 16,000 students. Suburban Detroit's Taylor school district also is closed Wednesday.
Warren's teachers are represented by the Michigan Education Association.
Republican spokesman Matt Frendewey says thousands of students will miss class "because union bosses are afraid to give workers in Michigan a choice in their union representation."
Right-to-work laws bar unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers they represent under collective bargaining agreements.