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Union workers stage protest in Michigan

Union members from around the country rally at the Michigan State Capitol to protest a vote on Right-to-Work legislation December 11, 2012 in Lansing, Mich.

The Michigan State Capitol is hosting thousands of protesters this morning. The house is taking up a so-called "right-to-work" bill.

The Republican-controlled chamber passed the measure this morning, and it will go on to GOP Gov. Rick Snyder.

Even using the term "right-to-work" is a politcally-charged phrase, says Marketplace's Krissy Clark, reporting from Michigan for the Wealth and Poverty Desk.

"Basically, a right-to-work law bans unions from requiring employees to pay dues or fees as a condition of employment," she says. Union dues are a percentage of a worker's paycheck -- usually equally to two or three hours of work a month -- that goes towards things like contract negotiations and union administration.

Supporteres of right-to-work laws say that it isn't fair to make employees pay those dues, and that it hurts the state when it comes to attracting businesses. Those who are against the laws, however, say that it weakens unions and hurts wages for everyone.

 

 

 

About the author

Krissy Clark is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Wealth & Poverty Desk.

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