March 17, 2011
Rally at the Michigan state Capitol.
Photo Credit: Phil Helms
Thousands of Michigan union members and supporters, including members of AFSCME Council 25, packed the state Capitol in Lansing to defend the collective bargaining rights of public service workers.
“This is what democracy looks like!” chanted nearly 5,000 protestors at the March 16 rally. Their rage was directed against a financial emergency bill that would give state-appointed “emergency managers” the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements of public service workers. Despite the protest, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed the measure that afternoon.
“What’s going on in Michigan is exactly what’s going on in Wisconsin, but it’s being done with more finesse,” says Al Garrett, president of Council 25 and also an AFSCME International vice president. “Basically the Snyder administration is trying to dismantle collective bargaining, but they’re doing it in the guise of the financial manager.”