Media playback is unsupported on your device

Right to work: Michigan protests over 'anti-union' law

12 December 2012 Last updated at 00:21 GMT

Lawmakers in the US state of Michigan have passed a bill limiting union power, known as a "right-to-work" law, amid mass protests at the statehouse in Lansing.

An estimated 12,000 people, many of them union workers and supporters, demonstrated amid cold temperatures, and protested inside the rotunda at the state house as the bill was being voted on.

State police used tear gas and pepper spray on demonstrators at least once, the Detroit Free Press newspaper reported, while two protesters were arrested for trying to force their way into the building where the governor's offices are located.

A crowd tore down a tent that had been set up by Americans for Prosperity, a group that backed the legislation.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the bill into law on Tuesday afternoon.

Footage from