Unions blast House panel for advancing mass picketing, strike bills

BY JAKE NEHER
Michigan Public Radio Network

Unions are blasting a set of bills in Lansing dealing with picketers and employees on strike. One bill would increase penalties for people who break current picketing laws. For example, it’s already illegal for protesters to block business entrances or public roadways.

Republican state Representative Tom McMillin chairs the House Oversight Committee.

“As long as they’re doing it legally and not blocking somebody from having their business open, there’s no problem. So we’re just dealing with things that are… businesses are not having the ability to keep their business open, the police may be limited in resources and can’t park a car out there 24 hours a day,” McMillin said.

The legislation would also allow business owners to get a court order banning a demonstration without first having to prove picketers were doing something wrong.

Unions and Democrats said the proposal goes too far.

The bills cleared a state House committee Tuesday. They now go to the full state House.

Copyright 2013, MPRN

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