Unions Push for Labor Rights Amendment

Mar 7, 2012

Unions in Michigan have launched a petition drive to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

The ballot campaign is a pushback against Republican dominance at the state Capitol and about 80 measures before the Legislature that would restrict union organizing and fundraising. It would also preempt any effort to make Michigan a right-to-work state.

Jeff Bean is a teacher from Flint. Bean says he’s concerned about his union’s ability to negotiate effectively on his working conditions, because, he says, "when I look at the body of legislation that has come out and is pending in Lansing, all those things seem to be threatened.” 

Bean and other union activists have until July 9th to collect about 323 thousand signatures from registered voters. Democratic Party leaders hope a ballot question would also help them with voter turnout. Republicans say the question is a bid by labor leaders to gain a political advantage in November.