How Has Right-To-Work Worked Elsewhere?

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

After a wild day of protests, leaders from both sides are looking at the bigger picture and starting to plan for how the new right to work law will impact them.

"Right to work brings nothing to Michigan; nothing good anyway," said Mike Green, President of UAW 652.

Green has been with the union for years, and says the new law will cost members benefits, wages, and for some, maybe even their jobs.

"Oklahoma City they became a right to work state, and GM closed the plant there within five years. It doesn't bring anything. It doesn't bring a good paying job," said Green.

He says Governor Snyder isn't listening to the people who put him in office.

But business leaders contend the new law won't hurt unions, or their workers, instead, like some other states it will give people more freedom and invite more jobs to Michigan.

"I think unions will still have an opportunity to engage with employers just as they do today," said Michael Finney, the President of Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "What it will do though, it will open up opportunity for us to be considered by companies that historically have not considered Michigan."

Supporters say right-to-work has been good for neighboring states, like Indiana.

"They have seen a dramatic and a positive increase in the number of employers who are now looking at Indiana, and have made decisions to invest or expand there," said Rich Studley, the President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

There is evidence and anecdotal stories on both sides, but one thing is certain: right-to-work is a very heated topic.


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