Unions and liberal groups (Friday) announced they are forming a nonprofit organization to fight right-to-work legislation and Gov. Rick Snyder's "attempt to tear Michigan apart."
We are Michigan is in its infancy but includes the group Progress Michigan, unions, community activists and faith-based groups, spokesman Jon Hoadley said at a news conference at the Capitol.
The group is assembling a team of lawyers to examine all options for challenging the right-to-work law, which Snyder announced support for on Dec. 6 and signed into law on Tuesday, said Andrew Nickelhoff, a Detroit attorney who is the new group's general counsel.
The right-to-work law is "probably the most undemocratic piece of legislation I have ever seen," Nickelhoff said.
He cited the lack of public hearings, the sealing of entrances to the Capitol building by police during debate on the legislation, and the inclusion of an appropriation in the bill to make it immune to a referendum to repeal it.
Shalaya Bryant, a Detroit health care workers and a member of the Service Employees International Union, said: "We plan to fight back."
"We're going to hold them accountable for their actions and show them that we need business."
Hoadley said the group will likely come forward with an action plan in about two weeks. The group will also oppose what he said are other Snyder initiatives, such as increased pension taxes, cuts to education funding and policies that hurt the environment and health, he said.
Right-to-work legislation makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment.
Snyder and other GOP leaders have said there had been ample discussion about right-to-work legislation in Michigan before the bills were passed amid protests that brought an estimated 12,500 people to the Capitol.
The new law can't be repealed through a referendum, but could be overturned through a citizen initiative, which requires a larger number of signatures gathered to get on the ballot.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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