LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - It was a day full of emotion and protest in Lansing Tuesday as the governor and the GOP passed historic 'Right to Work' legislation.
“I have signed these bills into law, so both the public sector bill and private sector bill have been signed,” said Gov . Snyder. “To put it in a simple sense; I view this as an opportunity to stand up for Michigan workers, to be pro-worker to really see here’s an opportunity to give workers choice, a freedom to choose.”
For a time, it was chaos in the Capitol Tuesday as protesters blocked the doors to the Romney Building, where the governor has his office.
The rallying cries ultimately fell on deaf ears. Tuesday evening, the governor took to the podium to tell Michigan he signed the so-called Right to Work legislation behind closed doors.
Protesters rushed back to the Romney Building Tuesday evening as the governor called the last-minute press conference. As far as backlash, the governor is ready if the unions try to push forward with recalls.
“Really, (it's) unfortunate people are using the term retribution. Again, this isn’t about someone against someone else, this is about a situation about moving Michigan forward in a positive way and giving freedom to workers is particularly important,” said Snyder .
Defeated union workers, however, say they are not giving up.
“Labor is in solidarity and we’re going to work like hell to defeat these guys two years from now,” said union worker Leo Sell.
Here is what happens now; the law goes into effect 90 days after this legislative session ends which is technically December 31. Beyond that, a worker can not opt out of a union until the current contract expires.
For example, the UAW contract with the automakers runs to September of 2015, so UAW workers who might want to stop paying union dues have to wait until this contract ends.
A constitutional lawyer, Robert Sedler, says there could be some difficult times when the law goes into effect in some union plants especially when workers are on the line, side-by-side, and some are paying union dues and others are not, but still getting the union benefits.
VIEW THE RIGHT TO WORK BILLS:
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