Michigan Right to Work law creates controversy
Last week, Michigan became the 24th U.S. state to adopt a “Right to Work” (RTW) law. According to media reports, the law was passed at near warp speed, and caused a shock wave of controversy and discussion.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who approved the law just twenty minutes after it landed on his desk made his case for “Reinventing Michigan” in an op-ed for Forbes. He wrote: “Michigan businesses will realize greater efficiency and higher potential profits while partnering with a world-class workforce that will be free to decide whether union membership is right for them.”
George Will described the passage of the law as a watershed moment for Michigan, “the state with the fifth-highest rate of unionization (17.5 percent, down from 28.4 percent in 1985) and, not coincidentally, the sixth-highest unemployment rate (9.1 percent).”
Labor leaders decried the passage of the law, accusing Republican leadership of hijacking worker rights, and predicting a dire future as a result of the change. “This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state,” Teamster President James Hoffa told CNN. “We’re going to have a civil war in this state.”
With Michigan following on the heels of Indiana in passing Right to Work laws in traditionally labor friendly northern states, it’s likely that labor leaders fear a domino effect in surrounding states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Keep an eye on this issue in your own state, especially if you live or work in the Midwestern United States.
More information on RIGHT TO Work
Want to know more about Right to Work laws and what they mean? Check out these resources:
- Employment at Will and Right to Work: What’s the difference?
- Ten reasons why Michigan’s Right to Work law matters
Does your state have RTW laws?
What do you think of RTV? How does your company work with RTW laws?