The year 2012 began with Indiana lawmakers passing Right to Work legislation, and it may end with Michigan lawmakers doing the same.
“It’s time for a call, and my call is, asking for the Workplace Equity and Fairness Act to be enacted in the next few days,” said Governor Rick Snyder, (R) Michigan. “We’ll have a more effective Michigan, a brighter future, more and better jobs, and a future for our kids.”
In the past, Governor Snyder has left Right to Work off his legislative agenda, saying it was too divisive and that he had more important things to do.
“The other thing that really drove this, in terms of timing in my view, was what Indiana did,” said Governor Snyder. “I talked earlier about the issue, about economic growth, the State of Indiana went to freedom to choose in February of this last year, and we’ve been watching the situation carefully. They’ve had a significant increase in business activity, in terms of businesses that want to expand and grow in the State of Indiana.”
Today in Lansing, the presence of protestors made it obvious that the Right to Work fight had arrived in the very state where the U.A.W. was born.
Right to work would stop the mandatory payment of union dues and fees, and give workers a choice as to whether they wanted to be a union member.
Today, eight protestors were arrested and police had to use pepper spray to subdue the crowd.
Michigan has twice as many union members as does Indiana.
“We have approximately 17 percent of the current workforce in Michigan that participates in some form of a union, either public or private, and out of that, 17 percent of course, there is a long history: But the world has changed significantly in the last few decades, the world has changed significantly in just the last couple of years, and that change requires Michigan to change with it,” said Michigan State Senator John Proos, (R) St. Joseph.
Only police officers and firefighters would be exempt from the Michigan version of Right to Work.