By Andrea King Collier, Reuters
Republican Governor Rick Snyder said on Thursday he wants Michigan to be the 24th state to adopt a “right-to-work” law making payment of union dues voluntary, setting up a confrontation with organized labor in the home of the U.S. auto industry.
Hundreds of unionized workers converged on the state capital of Lansing as majority Republicans in the legislature were set to introduce the legislation on Thursday. The raucous protests recalled the bitter fight over the last two years in Wisconsin, where Republicans voted to curb the powers of public sector unions.
The Wisconsin law in 2011 sparked massive protests and unsuccessful efforts to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker.
Michigan is home to the United Auto Workers and would become the second state in the industrial U.S. heartland to adopt such a law after Indiana earlier in 2012.
Snyder said the legislation would cover the public and private sectors, with exemptions for police and fire, and he hoped it would be passed before lawmakers adjourn for the holidays.