In the wake of the legislators in Michigan passing right-to-work legislation, confrontations between anti- and pro-union supporters erupted on the lawn of the capital and led to a Fox News contributor being punched in the face.
The current debate raging in Michigan has also brought emotions to a boiling point, which spilled over on to the steps of the capital when union protesters confronted a conservative group representing Americans for Prosperity and tried to tear down their tent.
Fox News contributor Steven Crowder was punched in the face as a result of the confrontation. Crowder was trying to conduct street interviews to get reactions of protesters about right-to-work in Michigan when a protester punched him in the face.
"They were trying to tear down the tent and people were trying to pull them off. ... And as they did that, a few people tripped … this guy tripped over a tent peg and then got up and hit me," Crowder told Fox News.
News of the attack quickly spread and the president of Americans for Prosperity said this shows the true nature of unions and how they intimidate others to get their way.
"This shows the true nature of the unions. Too often, they're willing to be violent and this has no place in American civil discourse," Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, told Politico. "And they ought to be ashamed of themselves, and I think it's going to hurt them [as the debate continues]."
Republicans claim the new law will have an economic benefit by encouraging all people to work without the issue of going through union delegation, making the labor force more competitive and efficient.
However, those opposed fear that such legislation will erode worker's rights and lead to lower wages and working standards, given that employers will be able to bargain directly with individual employees without having to appease union representatives.
"This is the nuclear option," Rep. Doug Geiss said in a statement. "This is the most divisive issue that we have had to deal with. And this will have repercussions. And it will have personal hard feelings after this is all said and done."