On Tuesday, the Michigan legislature gave final approval to controversial "right-to-work" bills prohibiting unions from compelling workers to become members and pay dues. The passing of the two bills — one dealing with public-sector employees, the other with government workers — is deemed by some as "a devastating and once unthinkable defeat for organized labor in a state considered a cradle of the movement." Thousands of protesters had gathered to oppose the measure, but lawmakers were ultimately not swayed. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is expected to sign the bills into law as early as Wednesday. The measures will make Michigan the 24th state with right-to-work laws. Supporters say the laws give workers more choice and boosts economic growth, but critics say the real intent is to weaken organized labor by bleeding unions of money needed to bargain effectively with management.
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