The vote to turn Michigan into a right-to-work state will take place today after days of protests in Lansing about the pro-worker legislation that prevents having to pay dues to a union. Not surprisingly, local police are bracing for possible violence today as more protests are planned.
Even with the outcome considered a foregone conclusion, the heated battle over right-to-work legislation in the traditional union bastion of Michigan shows no sign of cooling.
Authorities in Lansing were bracing for an onslaught of demonstrators Tuesday at the Michigan Capitol as the Legislature reconvenes for what could be final votes on bills. Hundreds of people gathered early Tuesday to get inside.
Yesterday while in Michigan campaigning for his new $1.6 trillion tax increase, President Obama slammed right-to-work states all over the country, saying legislation on the table in Lansing isn't about economics but about attacking unions.
"These so-called right-to-work laws, they don't have anything to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics," Obama told cheering workers Monday during a visit to an engine plant in Redford, Mich. "What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money."
Schools have also been closed so teachers can go protest today because afterall, "it's all about the kids."
At least two Michigan school districts have announced plans to cancel classes Tuesday – the same day some teachers and other union protesters are expected to converge at the state Capitol to protest right-to-work legislation.
Warren Consolidated Schools in southeast Michigan is canceling school “due to the number of staff who has notified us that they will be absent” Tuesday, according to a letter from Superintendent Robert Livernois posted on the district website.
Let's not forget that President Obama refused to comment when his former chief of staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to give protesting unionized teachers exactly what they wanted. Apparently his criticism only applies to Republicans.
Before this week, the last time the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike was September 8, 1987. It lasted until October 3, during which officials, teachers and parents clashed in the city's longest teachers strike ever. After it ended, I called the Chicago school system the worst in the country.
President Obama has been noticeably silent. He shouldn't be. The nation deserves to know whether his allegiances lie with his political allies in the public sector unions or with Emanuel and Duncan. This power struggle will reveal much about the constitution of the modern Democratic Party.
If the legislation in Michigan passed and singed into law by Republican Governor Richard Snyder, the Wolverine State will become the 24th in the country to have a right-to-work law on the books.
UPDATE: Much like Wisconsin in 2011, out of state union workers are being bused in to help storm the capitol.
Michigan is getting bombarded by out-of-state union activists, including protestors from Wisconsin. They're expecting union protestors from Ohio and elsewhere, too.
Look for a surge in notes from doctors practicing near the state capitol for union members skipping work on Tuesday.
UPDATE 12:15 pm EST: The Republican controlled legislature has passed the right-to-work legislation 58-51. Michigan Governor Snyder is expected to sign the bill into law later today.