Thousands Protest at State Capitol

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

More than 1500 people gathered in front of the Capitol building to stand up for worker's rights.

"The republican attack on us is not just this state it's natinowide. It's not just one union it's all unions," said Michael Mulholland of the Detroit Waterboard Workers' Union.

"There was a call out from We had no idea the energy it would kick off," said president Jerry Swartz of the Lansing Teacher's Union.

Nurses, teachers, autoworkers, and more showed up to support collective bargaining in Wisconsin, but also combat the emergency financial planners right here in Michigan.

A bill working it's way through the senate says emergency financial managers could re-organize a municipality that is in financial struggle. Their decisions would supercede any agreement made by collective bargaining.

"You have to read and pay attention. It's about dissolving contracts and stopping rights of middle class folks," said Swartz.

Local leaders believe Governor Rick Snyder's tax breaks and budget plan will pit local governments and the unions against each other.

"When you are giving 'Corporate America' tax breaks and taking away revenue sharing, you are putting them (local leaders) in a position to go after those workers," said Susan Schmidt, chief legislative aid for Rep. Mark Meadows.

"The can is being kicked down to local government. We have property tax and in some places not much more than that," said Lansing's Mayor Virg Bernero.

Plenty of citizens not in unions also showed up. They believe the unions represent the middle class and their voice in government.

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  • by Carl on Feb 28, 2011 at 09:24 AM
    This country has overpromised to its public servants, period. We can't afford the fat retirement packages taht the unions have negotiated bit by bit over the years. We need to hit the reset button!
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Feb 27, 2011 at 04:41 AM
    These people can rally and wave banners all they want to, but the bottom line is they are grossly over paid and their benefits are overly generous! The taxpayers are fed up with footing the bill and having to reduce their lifestyle just to keep their heads above water. Enough is enough! Reduce the costs of ALL government workers to realistic levels and the budget will have a huge surplus. Thank you. Ricardo
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