Broadside: Mich. Right-To-Work bill sparks protests

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December 11, 2012, 6:59 pm
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UPDATE: According to The Associated Press, Michigan Gov. Snyder says he has signed into law right-to-work measures limiting union powers.

(NECN/NBC News: Chris Clackum) - One of the last bastions of union labor is on the verge of becoming a Right-To-Work state.

Both houses of the Michigan state legislature have now approved new laws making union membership in Michigan voluntary.

Thousands converged on the state capitol in Lansing, where demonstrations turned ugly at times Tuesday.

A beefed-up police force had to keep protesters outside an already-packed Capitol building.

None of the protests stopped the Republican-controlled Michigan House from following the GOP-led Senate in passing the laws that Democrats say is nothing more than corporate union-busting.

Emboldened by organized labor's failed attempt in last month's election to get collective bargaining protected in Michigan's constitution, Republicans hurried up this legislation.

Governor Rick Snyder has promised to sign the bills by the end of the week.

Broadside host Jim Braude weighs in on the controversy.

"Supporters said it's about choice, fairness - no, what it's about is weakening democratically elected unions and giving the minorities something for nothing," Braude said. "Technically it means a worker is not required to pay union dues if he or she doesn't want to. Sounds reasonable enough, but what they don't tell you is while the worker is not required to pay, the union is required to represent that worker in contract negotiations for wages and health benefits, for example."

Watch the attached video for more.

Tags: michigan, Jim Braude, lansing, Chris Clackum, Right to Work, Michigan Right to Work protests, Michigan Right to Work, union membership
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