Briefs: 9/6/12

NW Staff

Michigan to protect bargaining

Michigan voters can decide in November whether to allow a right to collective bargaining in state constitution.

According to Reuters, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of unions and organized labor.

“A coalition of unions submitted petitions with nearly 700,000 signatures, twice the number needed, to get the measure on the ballot,” Reuters reported. “The coalition included the AFL-CIO, the United Auto Workers and the Michigan Education Association.”

If passed, Michigan would ensure collective bargaining of labor contracts as a right guaranteed by the state constitution.

Florida and Missouri also protect actions such as collective bargaining in their state constitution. Currently, there are 23 states with “right-to-work” laws, which ban employers from making workers pay for union representation.

Democratic convention ending

After keynote speeches from Michelle Obama and actor Kal Penn on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the Democratic National Convention continued in its host city of Charlotte, N.C. with a speech from Bill Clinton on Wednesday, Sept. 5, and will wrap up with an acceptance speech from President Barack Obama on Thursday, Sept. 6.

The event’s speakers are focusing strongly on social issues above economic issues, addressing such points as same-sex marriage laws and women’s rights.

The president was set to speak this evening at the Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, but has been forced to relocate his speech to the smaller Time Warner Cable Arena due to ongoing storms in the area. The difference in seating between the two venues is nearly 55,000, leaving many ticket holders without seats. The last-minute change was prompted by a forecast of strong thunderstorms on Thursday night in North Carolina’s largest city, making convention officials concerned over the potential for an evacuation.