LANSING — The House Democratic Caucus, led by House Democratic Leader Richard E. Hammel (Mt. Morris Twp.) and House Democratic Leader-Elect Tim Greimel (Auburn Hills), fought for almost four hours and exhausted all legislative avenues but were unable to stop the so-called “right-to-work” legislation. House Bill 4003, the public-sector bill, passed on a 58-51 vote. Senate Bill 116, the private-sector bill, passed on a 58-52 vote.

“It’s a sad day for the middle class and the state of democracy in Michigan when legislation that harms workers is successfully rushed through the process without any hearings or debate,” Hammel said. “Despite repeated calls for hearings on this legislation, Republicans insisted on moving it through the Legislature as fast as they could. We are appalled by the continued assault on the standard of living of Michigan’s working men and women.”

Democrats offered several amendments to the bills, including measures to remove the appropriations from the bills to allow them to be subject to a voter referendum, but they were defeated. Despite the passage of the bills, Democrats vowed to continue fighting for Michigan’s middle-class families.

“This is an all-out assault on middle-class families,” Greimel said. “So called right-to-work laws lower wages for union and nonunion workers alike, which ensures that rich business owners like Dick DeVos can get even richer. We will not tolerate this attack on Michigan’s middle class, and we will continue to fight for the economic security of all Michigan’s residents.”