Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'Protect Our Jobs' petition submitted with 685K signatures

Working people in Michigan want to a constitutional amendment protecting the right to collectively bargain. Today they submitted 685,000 signatures to put the amendment on the November ballot.

The Detroit Free Press reports:
The Protect Our Jobs initiative needs fewer than 323,000 valid signatures to get the question on the Nov. 6 ballot. 
“Collective bargaining ensures we have the equipment and staffing necessary to keep people safe,” Eric Weber, a Lansing firefighter, said in a news release announcing the presentation of the signatures. “No one understands the tools we need to keep our communities safe better than the people working on the ground every day.” 
The signatures now must be certified by the State Board of Canvassers and are subject to challenge. 
If passed, the measure would prevent “right-to-work” legislation that would make it illegal to require an employee to financially support a union as a condition of employment. But it could also strike down other laws passed in the last 18 months affecting teacher tenure, union dues collections and other areas. 
Gov. Rick Snyder has repeatedly said he’s not interested in right to work but has also spoken out recently against the Protect Our Jobs initiative.
The Michigan State AFL-CIO says the real work begins now:
More than 650,000 Michigan voters from every county across the state showed their support for this effort by signing.  This is a tremendous kick off, and now the real work begins. 
We must remind our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and families of the important role that collective bargaining plays in creating and sustaining middle class jobs.   We must also prepare to counteract the corporate special interest money that is about to flood into our state to confuse the issue and defeat working families at the ballot box.