Jeana's World of Law

Jeana's World of Law

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Michigan Right-to-Work Bill Passed

According to ABC News, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed a right-to-work bill limiting union power into law in his state. He announced this in a press conference yesterday evening.

Despite the protests leading up to the vote, the GOP controlled state house approved a law that would make the payment of union dues voluntary for private-sector unions and most public-sector unions (police and firefighters would be exempt.) The bill was approved by a vote of 58-51.

According to the Huffington Post, Right-to-work laws forbid contracts between companies and unions that require all workers to pay the union for bargaining on their behalf. Although business groups and conservatives cast the issue in terms of workplace freedom, unions note that the laws allow workers to opt out of supporting the union although they reap the benefits of the collective bargaining. Because the laws tend to weaken unions generally, unions, as well as President Obama, call the legislation "right to work for less."

Supporters of the bill say the laws give workers freedom of association and promote job creation, while critics insist that the real intent is to drain unions of funds need to bargain effectively.

"I view this as an opportunity to stand up for Michigan's workers—to be pro-worker," Gov. Snyder said. "I don't view this as anti-union at all...I believe this is pro-worker." He also said that "Workers deserve the right to decide for themselves whether union membership benefits them," and "Introducing freedom-to-work in Michigan will contribute to our state's economic comeback while preserving the roles of unions and collective bargaining."

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