Right to Work in Michigan?!
by Maria Stavrou
Today, Michigan is on track to make history as one of the most heavily unionized states thus far to pass right-to-work legislation. Amid heavy protests by labor unions in the capitol building and despite last-minute coaxing by state Democratic lawmakers, Governor Rick Snyder is poised to sign into law a bill that will permit workers to opt-out of union membership and dues. Michigan, a state which has been heavily affected by the economic downturn and is still besieged by high unemployment rates, will surely benefit from the passage of this bill.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is supportive of the measure. President Obama jumped into the debate yesterday, claiming that “these so-called right-to-work laws, they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics.” However, much of the growth that President Obama took credit for in his reelection bid came from states that had passed similar legislation to that which Michigan is considering. According to the American Enterprise Institute, “almost three out of every four jobs added to U.S. payrolls have been in right-to-work states… even though those 22 states represent only 38.8% of the U.S. population.” As of October 2012, Michigan suffers from an unemployment rate of 9.1%, among the highest in the nation. Hopefully as a result of this legislation, Michigan will be able to show the same kind of job gains as the states which already have such measures in place.
Michigan Campaign for Liberty has led the charge for this bill, taking the fight to the home turf of the UAW — a victory not only for freedom of association, but for getting Michigan’s economic recovery on track.
In this short clip, Michigan Campaign For Liberty supporters can be seen standing calmly in a sea of union protesters, defending their right to work free from the burden of compulsory unionism.