Gov. Rick Snyder said today he has already signed right-to-work legislation into law, soon after the House passed it earlier today.
The word historic kept coming up Tuesday as the state House of Representatives considered and ultimately passed controversial right-to-work legislation for public- and private-sector employees.
It was a historically large crowd outside, estimated at 12,500 people by police. Most of the folks were loudly protesting the bills that would make it illegal to require a financial contribution to a union as a condition of employment. Plenty of right-to-work supporters were on hand, too, leading to heated words between the pro- and anti-forces, and the dismantling of tents erected to shield the right-to-work supporters.
It was a historic issue to be taken up in Michigan, one of the birthplaces of the organized labor movement and home to nearly 700,000 union members, according the state Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the end, the House voted 58-51 today to pass a right-to-work bill for public-sector employees, and 58-52 on a bill for private-sector workers.
All the Democrats in the House and six Republicans -- Anthony Forlini of Harrison Township, Ken Goike of Ray Township, Ken Horn of Frankenmuth, Dale Zorn of Ida, Ed McBroom of Vulcan and Pat Somerville of New Boston -- voted against the bill, but it wasn't enough to defeat the controversial legislation.