Political experts discuss whether “right-to-work” will be repealed
LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) - Political pundits say the “right-to-work” law has a possibility of being repealed now that Democrats are in control of all three branches of state government.
Bills to repeal right-to-work have been introduced in the state legislature.
“There’s probably going to be some action on the horizon. But it’s ultimately in the legislature’s court at the moment,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The future of the right-to-work law is uncertain. It allows union members, depending on where they’re employed, to opt out of paying dues if they choose, and keep their job.
Opponents of the law say this hurts unions and all workers. Calls to repeal right-to-work have grown louder now that Democrats have control of the state legislature. There are bills under consideration in each chamber to repeal right-to-work.
“We want to be smart about this when we make the decision. There are some implications to other industries,” said Rep. Amos O’Neal. “So, it’s not going to be a knee-jerk decision. It’s going to be really thought out and methodic in terms of what’s best for our state.”
Proponents of right-to-work say the law should remain in place. Jarrett Skorup, spokesperson for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said right-to-work is important for job growth in the state.
“Major manufacturers, many of them will not re-locate somewhere that does not have a right-to-work state. So, it’s good for the economy. Right-to-work states are growing faster with income, job growth, and population growth, and we need it for Michigan to compete,” Skorup said.
Skorup also said he believes workers should have a choice. He said about 140,000 people have opted out of paying union dues since the law was enacted ten years ago.
“So, we’ve been reaching out to lawmakers trying to share the stories of those individuals,” Skorup said. “Get meetings with them, have them place phone calls and talk to lawmakers about those rights. And really just to share the success story of the right-to-work law.”
O’Neal said people should hear more about right-to work in the next couple of weeks.
“There’s a timeline we set, and I don’t want to pre-empt that from the governor, but that’s on the top list as well,” O’Neal said.
As of Friday, Jan. 27, the bills are in committee.
There has not yet been word on when, or if any votes on the proposed measures will take place.
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