DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - United Auto Workers President Bob King said Thursday that a coalition of unions will push for an amendment to the Michigan Constitution that bars so-called “right-to-work” legislation outlawing contracts that require employees to join unions.
Republicans who control the state Legislature have been pushing for a law that would ban labor agreements with mandatory union dues. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has said the issue is not a priority for his administration.
A union coalition will push for a November ballot issue protecting the right to have union shops King told about 1,000 people at the UAW’s national convention in Washington.
King said union representatives discussed the drive Wednesday in Washington, according to The Detroit News.
“In that meeting, we got consensus,” King said. “The UAW has been out in front advocating for in Michigan that we do a ballot initiative to change the Michigan Constitution – to protect workers against corporations and guarantee workers’ right to collective bargaining.”
He said they will seek 500,000 signatures, about twice what the law requires to place a constitutional amendment on the state ballot.
King said other union presidents decided to support the Michigan effort in order to send a message.
“We hope that Michigan can lead what will then be movements around the United States to guarantee workers’ rights to organize and to collective bargaining,” he said.
King predicted Michigan voters would “overwhelmingly” support the initiative. Gov. Rick Snyder has said he doesn’t support right-to-work proposals.
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