Freedom of assembly is under attack in Michigan.
The state House of Representatives recently took up HB 4643, legislation that would levy massive fines against striking workers and labor organizations found to be leading or organizing a strike.
Under the proposed law, introduced by Republican state Rep. Tom McMillin, workers exercising their right to strike could be fined up to $1,000 a day. Unions who organize or assist strikes can be fined up to $10,000 per day.
State Rep. Jim Townsend (D) offered three amendments to the bill to give judges more discretion in assessing the fines. Click here to watch his testimony.
“This deals with our very basic Frist Amendment freedoms,” said Townsend. “My fear here, unless we adopt these amendments, is that we’re going to be putting at jeopardy the First Amendment freedoms that I know every single person in this chamber swore to uphold.”
The amendments were rejected.
Michigan is quickly becoming one of the most anti-worker states in the country. In 2012, Michigan’s right-wing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, along with the state’s Republican legislature, passed “right to work for less” legislation despite mass protests at the Michigan State Capitol.