|Picket outside Romney office building in Lansing.
The Michigan Information and Research Service brings us the bad news just now: Michigan now has a law on the books that lets CEOs rip off their workers.
Less than five hours after the House approved the second of two bills making Michigan a Right to Work (RTW) state, Gov. Rick SNYDER made the action official by signing the bills, SB 0116 and HB 4003.
The signing comes exactly a week since Snyder said RTW was "on his agenda" and five days since the Legislature began work.
Since the bills do not have immediate effect, they will not go into effect until 90 days after sine die.Angry workers set up a picket outside the Romney office building, chanting, "The people united will never be defeated," we learn from the AFL-CIO.
We have just begun to fight. Here is the statement from We Are Michigan:
More than 17,000 Michigan residents from all walks of life rallied today outside the State Capitol building as anti-worker legislators heeded Gov. Rick Snyder’s call to divide Michigan by ramming through a so-called “right-to-work” bill which promises to kill jobs, lower wages, crush workers’ rights and unravel the middle class.
Snyder, who seemingly misled the public by announcing he would sign the bill Wednesday, waited until the thousands who had gathered outside the capital returned home before calling a last minute press conference and bill signing on Tuesday night. Earlier this year, Snyder called the legislation “divisive” and “not part of his agenda.”
Now, after his party lost seats in the Michigan house, Snyder rushed the bill through in just six days, with no public hearing. The bill reverses decades of balanced labor law in Michigan, which has yielded stable industrial relations, good middle class jobs, and broadly shared prosperity. Studies have shown that workers in so-called “right to work” states earn an average of $1,500 less annually.
Continued citizen protests are expected throughout the state in coming days and months. Workers are weighing political, legal and legislative options as well, including putting the measure on the ballot in 2014 (the same year that Snyder is up for re-election), a move similar to what Ohio voters did in 2011 when they overturned an anti-worker law championed by their governor.
“It’s heartbreaking that Rick Snyder has chosen to tear Michigan apart and betray the American Dream rather than working with us to create good jobs and secure a brighter future for our state. We urge Governor Snyder to cut the puppet strings of Dick Devos and the Koch brothers and end his attacks on Michigan’s working middle class,” explained Reverend Charles Williams III, National Action Network Michigan Chapter. Because good jobs and so much else is at stake, we will not rest until workers’ rights to a fair and decent wage are restored. Everything is on the table during the next two years.”