Michigan unions protest outside capitol

The potential stripping of collective bargaining rights has already turned Wisconsin into a labor battleground, and now that energy is spilling over into neighboring Michigan. According to the Grand Rapids Press, hundreds of unionized workers gathered outside the state capitol building in Lansing to protest legislation that would allow emergency financial oversight of insolvent schools.

While such a bill currently lacks the all-out assault on collective bargaining rights, its opponents fear the measure is a "slippery slope," the Press reports. The Michigan state Senate is expected to vote on the bill on March 9.

"Through our right to collective bargaining with our local elected officials, we negotiate safety for the public and the firefighters going into the burning building," Lansing firefighter Dan Kriegbaum told the news source. "Some emergency manager has never walked in my shoes."

According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said such measures are necessary to reduce the amount of insolvent schools in the state and help bring budgetary losses under control. Snyder contends cutting aid to such schools could be an option as well. 

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