Riot Cops Confront Thousands Of Pro-Union Protesters
Nearly 13,000 protesters, according to police estimates, descended on the legislative building on Tuesday to protest the passage of the bill earlier in the day by the stateâ€™s Republican-controlled House of Delegates.
Meanwhile, state troopers in riot gear confronted demonstrators, using pepper spray on a number of them, including a former Democratic lawmaker, local press reports said.
Mark Schauer, who previously represented the state in the US Congress, told a local news outlet that he was among those pepper sprayed by riot police while protesting against what many in the state regard as an anti-union legislation.
Moreover, two protesters were reportedly detained by police officers at the rally after Michiganâ€™s Republican governor signed the highly controversial bill into law in a state that was long considered a stronghold of labor unions.
The new legislation prohibits mandatory union membership, which would mean that private sector workers will receive similar wages and benefits as union members even without paying union dues.
Opponents of the bill argue that it is designed to undermine the unions and lower workerâ€™s compensations and benefits. Its passage represents a major defeat for organized labor in America.