11 / 3
      12 / 2
      6 / -5

      Protesters stand up against right-to-work

      The Right-to-Work Bill has already passed the Michigan Senate and House and awaits Governor Snyder's signature. There's been plenty of opposition to the legislation. Demonstrations took place Monday in Marquette and Negaunee. Public workers opposing the Right-to-Work Bill protested in front of Dan Benishek's office in Marquette. Downstate, t he Michigan Nurses Association also held a protest in Lansing.

      On Tuesday, thousands are expected to hold demonstrations at the state Capital.

      Unions collectively bargain for benefits, equal wages and safe working conditions. Union officials say if right-to-work is signed into law, it could break up unions, leaving employees with no protection and less benefits, while employees who choose not to join a union will still reap the benefits they offer.

      "What it's doing is giving workers lower wages, less benefits and no security at the job, no voice at this job. What it's doing is giving more profits to the CEOs," said Kathy Carlson, Marquette County Labor Council.

      The Right-to-Work Bill gives employees the choice to not be a part of a union and not pay union dues and fees. Union members say if this bill is signed, the future of unions and employee benefits could be in jeopardy. Opponents of the bill add they are surprised by how fast it's passing through the legislature.

      "Governor Snyder told us right-to-work was not on his agenda, so he lied to us," Carlson said.

      Republican State Senator Tom Casperson says he supports the unions and voted against the legislation.

      "I don't want to get rid of that, and the argument on the other side is it doesn't get rid of it; makes the union stronger. I just disagree philosophically with that opinion. I think it is a wedge to divide the unions apart, and I think it went too far," said Casperson.

      However, Governor Rick Snyder says the bill is not anti-union. He says it's all about giving people a choice whether or not to join one.

      "I don't believe this is fundamentally anti-union. I believe it's pro-worker, giving workers more authority about their lives and situation. Giving them the freedom to choose," said Snyder.