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Monday, December 10, 2012

President Heads To Michigan As Unions Fight To Stop State’s Right To Work Law

Union workers fill the entire of the Capitol rotunda in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Hundreds of chanting and cheering protesters streamed back into the Michigan Capitol after receiving a court order saying that the building must reopen. (AP/Carlos Osorio)

Union workers fill the entire of the Capitol rotunda in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Hundreds of chanting and cheering protesters streamed back into the Michigan Capitol after receiving a court order saying that the building must reopen. (AP/Carlos Osorio)

President Obama goes to a truck factory in Redford, Mich. on Monday as the plant’s owner, Daimler Trucks North America, announces new investment worth up to $100 million dollars to expand production. In the President’s rear-view mirror, Sunday’s face-to-face meeting with Republican House leader John Boehner over the fiscal cliff. But Obama arrives in Michigan just as a fight heats up over union rights.

Last week, Michigan’s Republican dominated state legislature pushed through bills to make Michigan a “right-to-work” state. The new laws would make it illegal for unions to require employees in a unionized work place to pay union dues. Proponents of the law say that workers should be free to decline union membership even in a unionized work place. Opponents say the new laws are an attempt to weaken unions.

Michigan legislators are expected to pass the law Tuesday in a final vote, but thousands of union representatives have begun gathering in Lansing, the state capital, to protest, including nurses who plan to demonstrate this morning with duct tape over their mouths.

Guest:

  • Micheline Maynard, former Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times and contributor at Forbes.com

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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