Michigan Gov. Snyder signs right-to-work bills

Michigan Gov. Snyder says he has signed into law right-to-work measures limiting union powers

Associated Press
Michigan lawmakers approve right-to-work bills

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Protesters gather for a rally in the State Capitol rotunda in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. The crowd is protesting right-to-work legislation passed last week. Michigan could become the 24th state with a right-to-work law next week. Rules required a five-day wait before the House and Senate vote on each other's bills; lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene Tuesday and Gov. Snyder has pledged to sign the bills into law. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed right-to-work legislation, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a state that has been a cradle of the movement for generations.

He put his signatures on the bills Tuesday, hours after the state House passed the measures as the chants of thousands of angry pro-union protesters filled the Capitol.

Snyder says a failed ballot proposal to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the constitution triggered the discussion that led to the passage and signing of right-to-work.

During a news conference, he called the protests "an exercise in democracy."

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