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Right to Work Protest in Grand Rapids

11:47 PM, Dec 9, 2012   |    comments
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Grand Rapids (WZZM) - The fight over right to work in Michigan will continue this week starting Monday in Grand Rapids.

Activists will tape their mouths in Calder Plaza, a way of saying lawmakers have not allowed them to express their views.

The opponents of the legislation say it will bust the unions.

"It will bankrupt the unions," said Terry Hoogerhyde with the Grand Rapids Community Action Group. "Your unions will not be able to afford to do an efficient job of representing the people."

Governor Rick Snyder says if right to work legislation crosses his desk, he will sign it.

The law would allow workers at union shops to stop paying dues.

The governor says it will bring more jobs to the state and the legislation is pro-worker, not anti-union.

"People can make that choice to say, 'Yes, I want to belong," said Snyder. "And if there's some reason they say 'I don't want to belong,' I hope it gives the union some ideas and thoughts on how to improve themselves so they can provide better service and get them on board."

Hoogerhyde says people already have a choice. They can work in a union shop if they want to or they can choose to work at a company without unions.

"You're going to have a person that is not paying any kind of a fee that is going to reap all the benefits of the union, be represented by the union just like their coworkers and not pay a service fee for this," he said.

Legislators return to session Tuesday and the largest protest in state history could be there to greet them.

Members of the group protesting Monday in Grand Rapids will be there and so will thousands more.

In response, Michigan State Police will strictly enforce the procedures for use of the state capitol.

That includes the public not interfering with any legislative session.

In case of emergency, the capitol can be locked at any time.  Signs are not allowed inside the capitol and anyone who refuses to follow the rules can face criminal charges.

Tuesday, the City of Lansing will close the following streets to traffic starting at 6 a.m. Parking will also not be available on these streets. 

- Capital from Ionia to Allegan
- Michigan from Washington to Capital
- Ottawa from Capital to Walnut
- Allegan from Capital to Walnut
- Walnut from Allegan to Ottawa

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