GOP lawmakers in Michigan, the birthplace of the American labor movement, are pursuing historic legislation that would make theirs the 23rd state to finalize a "right-to-work" law. But could the state that harbors both the United Auto Workers and the Michigan Education Association really pass a law prohibiting unions from regulating dues and compelling membership in closed-shop work environments? With the GOP now in control of the state legislature and a Republican Governor at the helm, observers are predicting that the measure is indeed entirely possible.
The last time a right-to-work bill was proposed by Michigan legislators was in 2008, but it was quickly muffled, as Democrat Jennifer Granholm held the governorship and Democrats enjoyed firmer pull in the legislature. But because the party gap in the state legislature has now widened in the GOP’s favor and a Republican is now Governor, right-to-work advocates are anticipating a dramatic shift in political authority.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (photo) has stated that his agenda is not to promote right-to-work status; however, analysts believe state lawmakers could still push through a bill without public support from Snyder.
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