Thousands of union members, community activists and workers’ rights advocates will march on the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday as the state legislature is expected to take its final step in ramming through—without public debate or hearings—a divisive “right to work” for less bill.
The action—organized by a growing coalition of labor, community, faith and other groups—will begin at 8 a.m. at the Lansing Center at 333 E. Michigan Avenue and the march to the state Capitol kicks off at 9 a.m. For more information, visit WeAreMich.org.
The massive demonstration follows days of other actions throughout the state as workers responded to Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) abrupt about-face on an issue he said for more than two years was "not on his agenda." But at the urging of CEOs and right wing extremists—and with a dwindling legislative majority that would roadblock the anti-worker measure in the next legislative session—Snyder chose to push the “right to work” for less in a lame-duck session.
The Detroit Free Press, which endorsed Snyder in 2010, says the governor has bowed to “the party's most irrational ideologues."
News reports show police are setting up barricades and blocking off streets in anticipation of a huge turnout. Last week, state police closed the Capitol’s doors, preventing people from attending the House and Senate sessions where the “right to work” for less legislation was up for votes. A state judge later ordered the doors to re-open.
While a smaller number of protesters began gathering on the Capitol grounds today, Democratic members of the Michigan congressional delegation met with Snyder and urged him to reconsider. The Washington Post reports:
They urged him in no uncertain terms: If you go forward with “right to work” legislation, you’ll be consigning the state to years of discord and division. They urged him to consider vetoing the legislation or postponing it until the next session—or even agreeing to subject it to referendum.
Rep. Sandy Levin (D) told reporters that he informed Snyder that, “[i]f right to work passes, the governor will allow us to plunge into endless controversy and strife.”