Michigan, UAW to start contract negotiations - Jul 31st, 2013 - State

— Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and the largest union representing state employees are set to formally start talks on a new contract.

United Auto Workers President Bob King and other union and state government officials will shake hands in a news conference in Lansing Wednesday afternoon. It's meant to signify the start of 2013 labor negotiations.

The contract for 17,000 state employees in the UAW's Local 6000 ends on Dec. 31.

The talks come amid tension between organized labor and Snyder over his signing of a right-to-work law that took effect this year. Courts have yet to decide if the law making it optional for unionized employees to pay union fees applies to state workers.

Talks with four other state employee unions also are expected to begin.