Michigan court orders collective bargaining rights proposal onto Nov. ballot

Aug 27, 2012

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ordered the proposal to protect collective bargaining rights in the state constitution onto the November ballot.

Now, the Michigan Supreme Court will be asked to intervene. The appeals court rejected a challenge to the proposal that claimed it is too sweeping and would affect an untold number of state laws.

Rich Studley is the president of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and part of the coalition opposed to the proposal.

 "We are very disappointed with the ruling," he said. "We will keep fighting to protect the constitution and we will appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court."

Unions that support the measure say they always expected the case to go all the way to the state Supreme Court.

But they say voters should get to decide a question after more than 600 thousand voters signed petitions to put it on the ballot.

Nick Ciaramitaro is with the American Federation of State; County and Municipal Employees.

"Well, we’re happy the Court of Appeals made the decision that the Protect Our Jobs amendment belongs on the ballot and people have the right to vote in the constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining," he said.

Ciaramitaro says an appeal by business groups to the state Supreme Court would be no surprise, but he says the courts need to make a final determination very soon.