School district cancels class so teachers can protest ‘right-to-work’

A Michigan public school district has canceled classes for all students on Tuesday, freeing teachers to protest the scheduled approval of a right-to-work bill at the state capitol.

The final version of the bill — which would make it legal for workers to buck joining a union — is expected to be signed into law by Rick Snyder, the state’s Republican governor, on Tuesday. While teachers all over the state are expected to skip work to protest the bill, a school district in southeast Michigan preemptively cancelled classes to aid its teachers’ actions.

“Due to the anticipated high absenteeism for tomorrow, Tuesday Dec. 11, the Taylor School District will be closed for students,” said district officials in a statement, as reported by The Detroit News. “No students are to report to school. …”

The school district did not respond to requests for comment.

Teachers are not the only ones pulling out all the stops to defeat right-to-work legislation. Michigan’s Democratic lawmakers met with Snyder Monday to try to convince him to veto the bill.

And President Barack Obama gave a speech to auto workers in Redford, Michigan, condemning right-to-work laws as politically motivated and uneconomical.

“These so-called right-to-work laws — they don’t have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics,” he said. “What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.”

If Snyder signs the bill as expected, Michigan will become the 24th right-to-work state. Proponents of the bill say it will attract businesses to Michigan, improving the state’s dismal economic outlook and reducing its 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

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