As the Michigan House debated a right-to-work measure today, a member of that august body warned of–or perhaps threatened–violence. "We’re going to pass something that will undo 100 years of labor relations and there will be blood, there will be repercussions," WWJ-AM quotes Rep. Doug Geiss, a Detroit-area Democrat, as saying. "We will re-live the battle of the overpass."
The station offers a refresher in labor history: "The battle of the overpass was a bloody fracas in 1937 between union organizers and Ford Motor Co. security guards. [United Auto Workers organizer] Walter Reuther was famously thrown down a flight of stairs and another union organizer was left with a broken back."
So far this time there are no reports of violence or threats by management (unless you count Geiss, who is after all supposed to represent taxpayers, as part of "management" vis-à-vis government employees). But union leaders have echoed the violent rhetoric. WWJ quotes Terry O’Sullivan of the Labor International Union of North America, as saying at a rally, in reference to elected officials who support the right to work: "We are going to take you on and take you out."