26 Feb

Lansing, Michigan Pro Democracy Rally

LANSING — Michael Belligan does not belong to any union. But he wanted to lend his voice to a cause that he believes affects him nearly as much as hundreds of thousands of union members statewide.
Waving a sign that read “Solidarity, the East Lansing man stood shoulder-to-shoulder this afternoon with more than 2,000 union members and other activists outside the Capitol to rally for the rights of workers in Michigan and nationwide.
Belligan, 31, who works as a technician at a Lansing-area engineering firm, said he believes a proposed pension tax and bills in the Legislature that would curb collective bargaining rights is an assault on the middle class and his way of life.
“As unions go, so goes the middle class,” Belligan said.
The Rally to Save the American Dream, which began at noon, is part of an effort by public employee unions and to organize protests at state capitols around the country to support public workers in Wisconsin. There, tens of thousands of workers have stormed the Capitol in Madison to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s push to curb collective bargaining rights of public workers to balance the budget.
Today’s rally is the largest union rally of a series of rallies that began Tuesday at the Capitol. This week, thousands of public workers and private sector workers have descended on the Capitol to protest bills that would make Michigan a right to work state, curtail prevailing wage laws, remove binding arbitration for police and firefighters and expand the power of state officials to curb collective bargaining for public sector employees during financial emergencies.
Stan Jonik, 56, Detroit, an electrical worker who retired last year because of arthritis, said he believed the anti-union bills would hurt the ability of his fellow union members to negotiate good wages. Jonik, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58, also is upset at Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to tax pensions, which Jonik says will make it harder for him to make ends meet.
“They’re trying to take more away from us,” Jonik said. “We’re out here today to protest these things they’re trying to jam down our throats.’


Protests In Lansing, Michigan Over Governor Snyder’s Union Busting!

Check out these signs sent from some family members and fellow NEA/MEA members minutes ago from Lansing, Michigan where they are protesting similar cuts as Wisconsin’s wingnut Republican governor. Democracy in action. And of course because a lot of them are teachers, the signs are even spelled right. Enjoy…I’m sure there will be more.

More Photos Of Protests In Lansing, Michigan – Support Unions, They Support The American Dream!


Thousands Protest at State Capitol

Thousands of union workers and citizens brought their signs and chants to the Capitol today. They’re protesting an attempt in Wisconsin to strip employees of most of their collective bargaining rights and urging the governor here to keep cuts to public workers to a minimum.

Reporter: Rachel Thomas
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More than 1500 people gathered in front of the Capitol building to stand up for worker’s rights.

“The republican attack on us is not just this state it’s natinowide. It’s not just one union it’s all unions,” said Michael Mulholland of the Detroit Waterboard Workers’ Union.

“There was a call out from We had no idea the energy it would kick off,” said president Jerry Swartz of the Lansing Teacher’s Union.

Nurses, teachers, autoworkers, and more showed up to support collective bargaining in Wisconsin, but also combat the emergency financial planners right here in Michigan.

A bill working it’s way through the senate says emergency financial managers could re-organize a municipality that is in financial struggle. Their decisions would supercede any agreement made by collective bargaining.

“You have to read and pay attention. It’s about dissolving contracts and stopping rights of middle class folks,” said Swartz.

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