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Michigan Legislators Pass Right-to-Work

by Lee Schalk / /

Yesterday, amidst a throng of angry protesters, union thugs, pepper spray, and filibustering Democrats, the Michigan Senate and House each passed Right-to-Work legislation that Governor Snyder has pledged to sign. Because of a procedural rule, the package cannot be finalized for at least five days, but on Tuesday, Michigan appears poised to become the 24th Right-to-Work state in the U.S. -- quite remarkable for the birthplace of the modern labor movement. Conservative leaders and activists have delivered yet another damaging blow to labor unions in Michigan, where an attempt to enshrine collective bargaining in the State's constitution was defeated soundly on November's ballot.

Earlier this week, NTU urged Michigan legislators to support Right-to-Work. Given the demonstrably solid record of economic growth in Right-to-Work states, employees, business owners, and job-seekers all stand to benefit from this legislation. Consider some of these figures from the Mackinac Center and the National Institute of Labor Relations Research:

  • Indiana has added 43,300 jobs since becoming a Right-to-Work state less than a year ago.
  • During that same time period, Michigan lost 7,300 jobs.
  • Right-to-Work states experienced 72 percent of all net household job growth in the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012.
  • Employees in Right-to-Work states have seen compensation rise by 11.3 percent from 2000-2010 versus 0.7 percent in forced-unionization states.

Also worth noting is that Right-to-Work protects our fundamental Constitutional right to freedom of association. Americans in Right-to-Work states maintain their ability to join unions, but they are also given the ability to decline membership without fear of being penalized.

For more on this historical victory in the Great Lakes State, head over to the Mackinac Center's blog for a great piece entitled "The Human Side of Right-to-Work Legislation."