LANSING (WWJ) – Wednesday is being called the “National Day of Protest,” with bus loads of union members descending on the state’s capitol in Lansing for an afternoon rally.

Hundreds of Detroit city workers are among the upwards of 20,000 union members expected to participate.

In fact, Catherine Phillips, AFSCME Local 25 spokeswoman, said she has been told that every available bus in the state was hired to ferry workers to the rally.

What’s the message that union members want to send to lawmakers?

“We are the people that elect, uh, the officials in Lansing, and locally,” Phillips told WWJ Newsradio 950. “And, we are the people that can take them out, out of office as well,” she said.

WWJ’s Pat Sweeting spoke with Al Garret, president of Michigan AFSCME Council 25.

“What we see, on all levels of our government, today is an attempt to deal with the fiscal problems we have by strapping it on the back of working and middle class families,” Garret said.

Members of around 20 different unions were expected to participate in Wednesday’s rally.

Governor Snyder, meanwhile, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950 told Joe Donovan and Roberta Jasina:

“That’s democracy,” Snyder said. “Um, so I respect their right to have their say and, um, I’m sure they’ll be quite vocal on that and we also need to remember they’re a lot of good people out there that are very supportive of what we’re trying to do because it’s all about reinventing Michigan.”

AFSCME has 60,000 members in Michigan.

Wednesday morning, 82 DDOT bus drivers called in sick to work. It was rumored they would be participating in the rally.

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