Legislation moved in both the Michigan House and Senate Thursday to make Michigan a “right to work” state after Governor Snyder stated his support for the bills. Gongwer News Service Editor John Lindstrom told WMUK’s Gordon Evans that Snyder, who is a lawyer, laid out a legal case for supporting “right to work” legislation after saying such a law wasn’t on his agenda.
Lindstrom says Snyder cited Indiana becoming a “right to work” state, and the competition between the states for jobs. The governor also said some firms have refused to locate in Michigan unless it has a law that bars mandatory union membership. Lindstrom says Snyder would not any of the firms. Snyder was joined by some union members at his press conference on Thursday. They support the bills that will bar mandatory union membership. Lindstrom says the two members of the United Auto Workers and one from the American Federation of Teachers say they support unions. But say they should not have to join a union.
A handful of Republicans in both the House and Senate voted against the bills, or supported amendments proposed by Democrats. That included Battle Creek Senator Mike Nofs of Battle Creek. Lindstrom says there are various reasons for Republicans opposing “right to work” laws. He says some like Nofs, a former Michigan State Police Trooper, have been members of unions in the past. Although police and fire workers are exempt from the proposed legislation. Lindstrom says others have family members in unions and others come from areas of the state that are more reliant on labor unions.