Unions vow political payback for right-to-work law

December 10, 2012 • National News

Dozens of union backers protest against the right-to-work bills outside Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker’s Kalamazoo, Mich., office Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. People sang Christmas-themed protest songs and carried picket signs outside the office of the Republican state senator, who received a bag of coal from union-rights demonstrators protesting her vote to make Michigan a right-to-work state. (AP Photo/The Kalamazoo Gazette, Aaron Mueller) ALL LOCAL TV OUT; LOCAL TV INTERNET OUT

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — With defeat in the Michigan Legislature virtually certain, Democrats and organized labor intend to make enactment of right-to-work laws as uncomfortable as possible for Gov. Rick Snyder and his Republican allies while laying the groundwork to seek payback at the polls.

Shellshocked opponents of the laws spent the weekend mapping strategy for protests and acts of civil disobedience, while acknowledging the cold reality that Republican majorities in the House and Senate cannot be stopped — or even delayed for long by parliamentary maneuvers. Leaders vowed to resist to the end, and then set their sights on winning control of the Legislature and defeating Snyder when he seeks re-election in 2014.

“They’ve awakened a sleeping giant,” United Auto Workers President Bob King told The Associated Press on Saturday at a Detroit-area union hall, where about 200 activists were attending a planning session. “Not just union members. A lot of regular citizens, non-union households, realize this is a negative thing.”

Right-to-work laws prohibit requiring employees to join a union or pay fees similar to union dues as a condition of employment. Supporters say it’s about freedom of association for workers and a better business climate. Critics contend the real intent is to bleed unions of money and Login to read more

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