DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Dozens of union members and others protested against Michigan’s new right-to-work law outside a Detroit building where Gov. Rick Snyder had a scheduled appearance.
Michigan became the nation’s 24th right-to-work state when the new law took effect at midnight, and several citizens have been very vocal about their unhappiness with the new legislation. The law means Michigan workers can choose not to financially support unions that bargain on their behalf.
Toting a “Snyder = Snake” sign, 52-year-old Dwight Jarrett, a life-long Detroiter, rallied with others Thursday morning outside the Detroit Athletic Club.
“Once the union contracts are over with, you’re going to see a whole lot of people who are out of jobs. Maybe some temp place is going to come in and take those good jobs for less money, and I think that’s unfair,” he said.
Retired Chrysler worker Jim Peters said it was important for him to join the protest.
“I think it will let people know that we’re not happy with this. I think it will stir up people eventually where they’ll get rid of this right-to-work law,” he said.
Peters said he’s not just concerned about the law’s impact on the state now, but for generations to come.
“I don’t think it’s going to give our children or grandchildren a chance to have the kind of standard of living we had before, the middle-class standard of living where you can afford to buy a car, buy a home and send your kids to college,” he said.
Another man, dressed in a suit and an oversized papier-mâché Snyder head, flipped pancakes in a skillet — an ode to the “Pancakes & Politics” event the Republican governor was attending.
Inside, Snyder said right-to-work is “done” and “over with” and called it “a significant milestone” that “will bring jobs to Michigan.” The governor said the new law “isn’t about being anti-union,” but is “about being pro-worker.”
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