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FROM THIS EPISODE

Right to work advocates made big gains this week in Michigan with the passage of bills that affect both public and private sector employees. Guest host Sara Terry explores why the right to work movement is growing. Who benefits from these laws, and what role does politics play in determining who's covered and who's exempt? Also, is the Syrian government losing its last allies? On Reporter's Notebook, it's Golden Globes time. How much do their nominations matter during Hollywood's awards season?

Banner image: Anti right-to-work protesters gather outside of Michigan's state capitol building in Lansing December 11, 2012. Photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis
Katie Cooper

Main Topic Michigan's Right-to-Work Laws and the American Middle Class 35 MIN, 33 SEC

On Tuesday, Michigan became the 24th state to pass right-to-work laws, which prevent unions from compelling workers to pay union dues. It's a big hit to organized labor, which has historically had a strong hold in Michigan, the birthplace of the United Auto Workers Union. Advocates say that right-to-work laws stimulate economic growth, but opponents argue that they undercut pay for middle class workers. Only 12 percent of American workers belong to a union. What's behind the dramatic changes in labor union power? Who benefits from right to work laws? What role did politics play in Michigan?

Guests:
Micheline Maynard, Forbes (@MickiMaynard)
Bill Ballenger, Inside Michigan Politics (@iMIpolitics)
Gordon Lafer, University of Oregon
Stanley Greer, National Right-to-Work Committee

The End of Detroit

Micheline Maynard

Making News Is the Syrian Government Losing Its Last Allies? 7 MIN, 36 SEC

Russia's top Middle East diplomat said today that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is losing control of the country after nearly two years of conflict there. The comments from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov bring new pressure to bear on Assad since Russia has been a staunch strategic ally throughout the conflict. Ellen Barry is Moscow Bureau Chief for the New York Times.

Guests:
Ellen Barry, New York Times (@EllenBarryNYT)

Reporter's Notebook Golden Globe Nominations Play It by Its Own Book 7 MIN, 21 SEC

Steven Spielberg's Lincoln racked up the most Golden Globe nominations today – seven nominations in total, including best picture and best director. In Hollywood, there's always a bit of eye-rolling over the Globe nominations and awards – and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association which chooses them. Steve Pond covers awards and indie film for TheWrap.com. He's also the author of The Big Show.

Guests:
Steve Pond, The Wrap (@stevepond)

The Big Show

Steve Pond

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