The protests at the Michigan capitol—which Workers' Voice spokesman Eddie Vale estimates at 10,000 and growing—aren't the only tactic in the fight against the Republican bill that President Barack Obama characterized as "giving you the right to work for less money." Although Republicans have tried to prevent the bill from ever going to the voters for a referendum by including an appropriation, unions believe there may be another way to get a vote:
According to one good government group’s analysis of the state constitution, there exists the option of the “statutory initiative,” which would be forced by the collecting of signatures equal to at least eight percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.

Will unions and Michigan Democrats avail themselves of this option? Eddie Vale, a spokesman for the labor-funded Workers’ Voice, which played a big role in the Ohio and Wisconsin labor wars, tells me it’s being seriously considered. “The Michigan Constitution allows two other ways to let the people decide this issue on the ballot, and whether it’s one of those options or the 2014 Governor’s election itself, Michiganders will be heard loud and clear,” Vale says. (There may also be another referendum option as well.)

That would be a big lift, of course, and no matter what, if or when this bill passes, Republicans will have forced unions to dedicate resources to rolling back a bad law rather than moving forward.

Meanwhile, today's protest keeps building, with reports that the capitol has been declared over capacity and closed. And:

RT @mpoindc: The Michigan House has been gaveled into session. You may stream its proceedings here: http://t.co/...
@mmurraypolitics via TweetDeck

7:41 AM PT: Michigan House Democrats are fighting this out.

Amendment to strip appropriations fails, but, there is still ANOTHER option to put it on ballot.
@evale72 via Echofon

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 07:25 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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