Friday, December 7, 2012

"right-to-work" in Michigan?

In a surprise move yesterday, the Republican-majority state legislature signed bills to make Michigan the nation's 24th "right-to-work" state. Michigan has long been seen as a strong union state, and the bill, if passed, would make union membership no longer a condition for employment at a unionized workplace. In effect, non-union workers would receive the benefits conferred by a union without paying union dues. While backers of the bill claim that their action is not anti-labor (see Fox News interview with Governor Rick Snyder), protestors and Democratic legislators who walked out of the session at the state capitol obviously disagree (see above video and CNN story).

1 comment:

  1. A 2011 study by the progressive Economic Policy Institute found that right to work laws don't affect the performance of state economies and reduce wages for union and non-union workers by an average of $1500.00 a year. As President Obama said, “These so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.” Research backs the president up. Last year, the Economic Policy Institute released a report estimating that right-to-work laws decreased hourly wages for all workers by 3 percent. When businesses make a profit, the beneficiaries are typically CEOs and owners, not workers. Michigan has been known to have a strong middle class,thanks to the unions, and this legislation is going to change that.