Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Minority leader, denounces petty politics
(UPDATES to clarify bill affects public workers)
Right-to-work-for-less for public-sector workers passed the Michigan Legislature just now, setting off a Civil War in Michigan. As lawmakers cast their final vote on the legislation, thousands outside could be heard drumming, hollering, whistling, honking horns and chanting, "Kill the bill, kill the bill!" and "Our House, Our House," and "Show me what democracy looks like!" When the final vote was cast, protesters erupted.
Noise outside is crazy loud in gallery. Keep it up!A second bill will affect private-sector workers. Gov. Rick Snyder, who spent his entire tenure as governor saying he opposed right-to-work-for-less because it's too divisive, will sign both bills immediately.
Thousands tried to enter the Capitol as lawmakers debated the bill that will increase poverty, lower wages and weaken workplace democracy. The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, a phony Tea Party group, bused in supporters and reserved the Capitol steps and park next to the building. The
The handful of Tea Partyers quickly fled when the crowd arrived. The protest remained peaceful, as police on horses and carrying tear gas guns stood by. But the Lansing State Journal reported mounted state police ran over a peaceful protester.
The legislation was passed in a lame-duck session, when politicians aren't accountable, because supporters don't have the votes to pass it otherwise. There were no hearings, no committees and no public input on the legislation.
Above, Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Widmer denounces the anti-worker bill as "petty and vindictive politics at its most disgusting." She characterized it as nothing more than an attack on workers' rights that will erode the incomes of Michigan's middle class.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa fired up the crowd estimated at 15,000 shivering outside the Capitol:
"We found out Snyder is for sale, well you know what governor? Michigan is not for sale! This is our state!"Hoffa told Michigan Teamsters last night that right-to-work-for-less will be fought in the courts, in the Legislature and at the ballot box.
This fight isn't over.