Michigan lawmakers push right-to-work while protestors flood Capitol

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder awaits House, Senate to pass right-to-work bill

Published On: Dec 06 2012 04:52:55 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 06 2012 05:41:27 PM EST
LANSING, Mich. -

The scene inside the Michigan Capitol building on Thursday was reminiscent of Wisconsin earlier this year.

The Michigan State Police deliberately kept the group of right-to-work protestors small. Only a few hundred were allowed inside.

The Senate chamber doors were protected by a crowd of state troopers because earlier in the day protestors stormed it with just two officers on guard. Officers broke out pepper spray and arrested eight among the crowd.

More: Right-to-work protestors arrested, pepper-sprayed

State Police Inspector Jean Adamczyk said he is concerned about the structural integrity of the Capitol building itself.

"We want to keep things safe. We will not have another Wisconsin in Michigan," Adamczyk said. "People have a right to protest but it will be done in an orderly manner."
Watch: How would right-to-work affect Michigan?

The House was taking up the right-to-work bill Thursday evening and is expected to vote Thursday night. The Senate won't see the bill until next week.

For his part, Gov. Rick Snyder said this is about many things, about attracting jobs and worker freedom.

"It's giving workers the ability to choose," Snyder said. "Do they belong to a union or not, and I encourage unions to present the reasons why they should want to join a union."

Of course, union workers believe it's the state reaching into their pockets.

"They're trying to take working people and put them in a box and close the lid," said protestor Daniel Mouradian. "Get our wages down. Get rid of our benefits. And it's because ... I don't even know why, you'd have to ask them."

Snyder says Michigan needs to stay competitive with Indiana which adopted right-to-work earlier this year. Indiana has been attracting business.

When the House passes the bill it will have to sit for at least five days before the Senate can vote. The vote from the Senate could come as early as Tuesday. Snyder says he will sign it if it gets to his desk.