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Thu Oct 30, 2014, 10:24 AM

Michigan: Testimony, e-mails shed light on right-to-work turmoil

from the Detroit Free Press:

LANSING Michigan's right-to-work laws should be struck down because there was a concerted effort to prevent the public from witnessing the laws' passage including the locking of doors to the Capitol and directing Republican staffers to fill seats in the public gallery, attorneys for the Michigan ACLU argue in court papers filed Wednesday.

The 2013 lawsuit on behalf of the Michigan AFL-CIO and other unions and two Democratic state representatives, originally filed in Ingham County Circuit Court, is now in the Michigan Court of Claims. It alleges violations of Michigan's Open Meetings Act during two turmoil-filled days of legislative action at the Capitol in December 2012, after Gov. Rick Snyder did an about-face in announcing he would support fast-tracked legislation on right-to-work.

Thousands of union supporters demonstrated inside and outside the seat of state government in Lansing and were met by more than 100 police officers, some on horseback. State troopers used pepper spray in some instances, made a few arrests and on the first day of debate, Dec. 6, shut off access to the Capitol for several hours, saying they were concerned about security and public safety.

The State of Michigan and other defendants, through the attorney general's office, have denied in court filings that any violations of the Open Meetings Act took place during passage of right-to-work legislation, which makes it illegal to require financial support for a union as a condition of employment. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/30/lawsuit-sheds-light-michigan-capitol-turmoil-right-work/18157739/

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