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Detroit pastors protest 'right to work' in Lansing

Rick Pluta/MPRN

Supporters and opponents of so-called “right-to-work” legislation are preparing for the coming week – and Tuesday’s expected votes by Republicans to send the bills to Governor Rick Snyder.

Today, a group of Detroit pastors traveled to the state Capitol in Lansing to speak out against the measures.

Turnout was light – only a couple dozen people gathered at the Capitol steps.    But the Reverend Charles Williams the Second of the King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit says they’ll be back on Tuesday, when thousands of people are expected to show up.

“And our faith will do the talking on Tuesday,” says Williams,   “We’ll be walking.  And we’ll be protesting, demonstrating, hopefully sending a message to the Legislature, letting them know that we’re not going to stand for ‘right to work’ in Michigan.”

Williams says he hopes the protests will help change some minds, but “right to work” opponents are already developing their strategies for after Tuesday’s votes. “Right to work” supporters say they’re doing the same.

“We have legislators who are out of touch with everyday people,”  says Reverend Maurice Rudds, with the Greater Mount Tabor Church,  “They assume they know what everyday people need, what working-class people need. But ‘right to work’ is terrible. ‘Right to work’ will push us back at least 50 years.”

Rudd says Governor Rick Snyder and legislative Republicans are ignoring what happened in November, when Democrats outpolled Republicans. Although there’s also polling that suggests a majority of Michiganders are open to a so-called “right-to-work” law.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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