A Michigan-based labor policy analyst thinks his state is poised
to become the 24th right-to-work state.
Vincent Vernuccio, director
of labor policy for the Makinac Center for Public Policy, says
legislators in Lansing are having serious talks concerning
"Right-to-work simply means that workers have a choice whether
or not to pay a union," Vernuccio explains. "Right-to-work does not
affect collective bargaining in any other way, except it takes away
the ability of a union to get a worker fired for not paying them.
In right-to-work states, they can't do that."
If Michigan were to become a right-to-work state, it would be
only the second state of its kind in the Great Lakes region.
Indiana became a right-to-work state earlier this year.
"Indiana is much more attractive to business right now because
of that right-to-work status, and Michigan's got to catch up," the
policy analyst notes. "Indiana going right-to-work probably plays …
a little bit into what Michigan is considering right now."
And he points out that Indiana is not the only right-to-work
state that is doing well.
are growing faster, having bigger population growth," Vernuccio
notes. "Their economies are growing better, workers are doing
better -- they're getting bigger growth in wages over the last
Michigan currently has a Republican governor and the GOP
controls both chambers, so Vernuccio believes now is the time for
right-to-work legislation to pass, even though it has been right
for The Great Lakes State for decades. "Now it is just time where
they can actually put the correct policy into law," he states.