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Union “Death Warrant” Heading for November Ballot in Michigan?

The union-backed “Protect Our Jobs” initiative took two steps closer Monday to being on the November ballot in Michigan.  The initiative would make collective bargaining a constitutional right under the Michigan Constitution for both public and private employees.

After the Michigan Board of Can­vassers originally stalemated on whether the initiative could go on the ballot, the Protect Our Jobs Committee filed suit and Monday afternoon, the Michigan Court of Appeals by a 2-1 vote ordered the Board of Canvassers to proceed with putting the initiative on the ballot.

Though an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court seems likely, on Monday evening, the state Board of Canvassers certified the proposition for placement on the November ballot.  A coalition of union groups lead by the AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers and the Michigan Education Association had previously submitted petitions with nearly 700,000 signatures -- twice the number needed.

A Reuters News Service report quotes critics who have attacked the proposition as a “death warrant” for Michigan's economy. Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, told Reuters that the governor remained opposed to the measure because “it has potentially far-reaching implications and ramifications to numerous existing statutes that would turn back progress and appear to go well beyond what paid petition gatherers portrayed.”

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About this Author

Gerald Lutkus, Labor and Employment Attorney, Barnes Thornburg, Law Firm
Partner

Gerald F. (“Jerry”) Lutkus is a partner in the South Bend office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP where he is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Departments. He practices in the areas of labor and employment law counseling and litigation, arbitration, collective bargaining, media law, including counseling of and defense litigation for media companies and commercial and business litigation.

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