Source: Sherman Publications

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Not so fast, protesters say

September 28, 2011

'Right to Work' protesters stand outside Fountains Golf and Banquet Center. Photo by Trevor Keiser
Teacher and auto union members protested the Independent Tea Party Patriots' Right to Work meeting.

"We're out here to defend the middle class. Right to Work is really a misnomer because it has nothing to do with the freedom and the right of a person to seek and gain employment," said Mark Walton, one of the protest leaders. "It's all about undermining worker's rights and reducing people's living standards in order to line the pockets of the rich, folks who already have the money."

Walton said Right to Work doesn't promote economic growth or reduce unemployment.

"We have nothing against these folks, a lot of these tea party people we think are misled. A lot of them are working people," he said. "We do have a problem with the rich folks who are financing this activity and promoting the right to work. This is not just a Michigan thing it's a national thing."

"We feel 'Right to Work' is really right to work for less," said fellow protester Ed Klein . "It's a basically an attempt to bust unions."

Aimee McKeeven, Region 7 president of the Michigan Education Association and president of the Pontiac Association of Teachers, said attacks on the middle class need to stop.

"It's demolishing what the state was built on," McKeeven said. "Union rights have provided small classroom sizes. It's gotten us better healthcare and better wages."

Trevor Keiser