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Tue Sep 18, 2012, 08:49 PM

Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! came to MI today. Transcript and 29:08 video

Michigan a Key Battleground for Labor Rights with Votes on Emergency Managers, Collective Bargaining

Michigan voters will be asked in November to decide the future of a controversial state law that allows the governor to appoint an unelected emergency manager or corporation to take over financially distressed towns and cities and effectively fire elected officials. The law, which is now on hold, empowers unelected managers or corporations to take over cities and effectively fire elected officials. In addition, another initiative on the Michigan ballot in November aims to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution to stave off future attacks on unions. We’re joined by Paul Abowd, an investigative reporter at the Center for Public Integrity. [includes rush transcript]



Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from the PBS station WGVU.

Voters here in Michigan will be asked in November to decide the future of a controversial state law that allows the governor to appoint an unelected emergency manager or corporation to take over financially distressed towns and cities and effectively fire elected officials. The law, which is now on hold, empowers unelected managers to sell off public property, shred union contracts, privatize government services, without any input from local voters. Critics have described it as Michigan’s "local dictators" law.

In addition, another initiative on the Michigan ballot in November aims to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution to stave off future attacks on unions. Analysts say Michigan could be pivotal in the national fight over the future of the worker rights, and labor-backed groups are spending millions on ads like this one, in which an auto worker discusses the importance of collective bargaining.

more...
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/18/michigan_a_key_battleground_for_labor#transcript

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