State police said they were beefing up their presence in Michigan's capital in preparation for expected protests over fast-moving right-to-work legislation.
Lawmakers in the state's House and Senate approved the Republican-backed initiative Thursday, passing separate bills within hours of their being introduced, The Detroit News reported.
The law would allow workers who don't want to be in a union to be hired in union shops, which has enraged union members across a state with a long history of organized labor struggles.
With Thursday's bills rushed through the legislative chambers, there was some doubt that protests on Tuesday, as a final vote is taken, would change any votes. "
"There's no stopping it. The steamroller's moving. It's over. They're not listening to anybody," said Ken Grabowski, legislative director of the Police Officers Association of Michigan.
"Whether we'll be successful, I don't know. All throughout history, by demonstrating their displeasure with certain positions, people eventually change the course of that history," United Auto Workers president Bob King said.
The protests planned for Tuesday have police gearing up for the occasion. A storage room in the Capitol is filled with riot gear helmets, the News reported. Officers dressed in riot gear were already walking the hallways of the Capitol and police cars are filling up nearby parking lots.
"We always come prepared. We'll have a very visible presence at the Capitol. Our concern is to be able to provide that safe forum so everyone can exercise their constitutional rights," Michigan State Police Department spokeswoman Shanon Banner said.
Lawmakers may have also ensured themselves of police support by exempting firefighters and police from the legislation for reasons the News called "murky."
"They behave more like value-adding trade associations than unions," said Republican Rep. Mike Shirkey, who has been a strong advocate for the right-to-work initiative.
"These are men and women who must respond and rely on each other in ways no other union must," said pro tempore Speaker John Walsh, a Republican.
AFL-CIO labor attorney Andrew Nickelhoff said other unions rely on each other for safety, as well, but weren't exempted from the bill. "If that were really the reason, they would at least include corrections officers," Nickelhoff said.
Gov. Rick Snyder has long held the position that making Michigan the 24th state with a right-to-work law was too divisive. But he changed his position last week after a meeting with backers of the bill and now says he will sign it.