Hundreds of union members took over the State Capitol rotunda Wednesday to protest a possible right-to-work bill.
The loud demonstration came after Democrats and unions held a press conference promising to do whatever they could to fight right-to-work.
They're convinced the GOP will push the legislation through before the session ends and say Republicans will pay a political price if they do.
The GOP says members are having meaningful discussions but haven't decided on a course of action. According to a spokesperson for the Senate Republicans, there will be no vote Wednesday.
Republicans hold solid majorities in both chambers and don't need democratic votes to pass bills.
"Does Governor Snyder want two Michigans?" Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer asked a packed union crowd. "One where business get's everything they want and workers get the shaft every time? Because that is what is on the table."
Democrats made it clear Wednesday they're forming a wall. If right-to-work is pushed, they'll push back.
"I don't know what the fallout is going to be, but I want to be very clear that this is an act of political retribution," Whitmer said. "This is not an idea that is supported by sound public policy or metrics, or a desire for shared sacrifice."
Republican leaders haven't confirmed their plans for right-to-work, but say it is on the agenda.
"It's all about worker's freedom and worker's choice," Rep. Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake said. "We've been doing a good job of making sure that should we decide to move legislation forward that we have the appropriate support."
Shirkey says right-to-work is his priority one.
"History is not in our favor, there have been no states in the union that have passed it (right -to-work) in its first attempt, so I'm not pollyanna-ish about it," Shirkey said. "I'm optimistic, but not pollyannaish."
For the union crowds, the Capitol mood was not optimism, but rage. Democratic leaders called Snyder and other Republicans bean-counters with horrific back door agendas.
"Governor Snyder has been playing hide the ball on this issue for two years now and people have a right to know if he supports right-to-work and if he'll sign a bill into law," Rep. Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills said.
Republicans say this is the legislative process and argue both sides must let it play out.
Close this Window