'Right-to-work' bill advances in Mich.

Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:07 PM   |   Comments

LANDSING, Mich., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday to make it illegal for companies or unions to require employees to pay union dues.

The 58-52 vote was mostly along party lines, with a few Republicans joining all Democrats in voting against the measure, the Lansing State Journal reported.

The White House issued a statement saying President Barack Obama opposed so-called right-to-work laws, including the one under consideration in Michigan.

"The President believes our economy is stronger when workers get good wages and good benefits, and he opposes attempts to roll back their rights," the statement said. "Michigan -- and its workers' role in the revival of the U.S. automobile industry -- is a prime example of how unions have helped build a strong middle class and a strong American economy.

The vote came as union members and supporter demonstrated at the state capital in opposition to the bill. At one point state officials ordered the Capitol building locked down but an Ingham County Court judge issued an injunction ordering the building be reopened. When the building remained closed, all 46 House Democrats staged a walkout in protest before returning for the vote, the newspaper said.

Republican Rep. Mike Shirkey called the vote "a monumental decision that will give unions the freedom to make their case while giving workers the freedom to make a choice."

Democratic leaders said they would request the House bill be reconsidered.

The Michigan state Senate has been debating a similar bill.

Topics: Barack Obama
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Sen. Mary Landrieu uses mom's home as Louisiana address
Dairy Queen hit by Backoff malware breach
Chelsea Clinton quits at NBC after 3 years
Plague bomb data found on seized Islamic State laptop
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
Trending News