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December 11, 2012 - 9:38pm

Michigan to become 24th right-to-work state


Paul Sherman/Daily

Update: Gov. Rick Snyder signed both Right-to-Work bills Tuesday afternoon. Read our updated story here.

Amid the sounds of an estimated 10,000 riled protesters waiting outside the Michigan State Capitol, the state House passed both controversial right-to-work bills that were before the legislature Tuesday.

House Bill 4003 — which applies to public sector unions — was passed at about noon in a 58-51 vote, and Senate Bill 116 — which applies similar regulations to private sector unions — passed 58-52 shortly after. Both bills consolidate legislation that passed through the House and Senate last week.

House Republicans invoked a motion to reconsider the private-sector bill in order to prevent Democrats from doing the same, which could delay final passage until Wednesday. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has signaled he will sign the bills into law this week.

Right-to-work legislation would prohibit the requirement of union membership in any job and outlaw mandatory fees associated with membership. Currently, 23 states have similar policies. During the November election, Michigan voters turned down a ballot proposal that would have enshrined collective bargaining into the state constitution.

Members of the Graduate Employees Organization and the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council are in the capitol to protest the legislation, along with thousands of members of other unions.

On Monday at the Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Mich., President Barack Obama criticized the legislation.

“These so called right-to-work laws have nothing to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics,” the president said.

—Daily Staff Reporter Danielle Raykhinshteyn contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Check back to for updates.