Thousands swarm state Capitol to protest right-to-work bills


LANSING –– Thousands of pro-labor protesters have swarmed the Michigan Capitol to denounce a Republican effort to approve legislation that would dilute the power of unions.

Approval by Republicans who control the Legislature isn't in doubt Tuesday. But that's not weakening the passion of critics who marched, chanted and beat buckets to show their displeasure. The legislation would make financial support of unions optional in the workplace.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and approximately 70 people sat on the floor in the Capitol Rotunda after the House approved one of two bills. A few hours before the vote, thousands of people led by police marched west on Michigan Avenue to the seat of state government.

Labor leaders warned that lawmakers who voted in favor will be targeted in the next election.

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