Michigan's "right-to-work" laws

Associated Press
About a dozen members of the Michigan Nurses Association stand on the state Capitol steps in Lansing, Mich., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012,  protesting right-to-work legislation. Organizers say the gathering was meant to symbolize the silencing of unions that nurses say will happen should the legislation become law.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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In a dizzyingly short time span, Republicans have converted Michigan from a seemingly impregnable fortress of organized labor into a right-to-work state, leaving outgunned Democrats and union activists with little recourse but to shake their fists and seek retribution at the ballot box.

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