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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  • by LAB on Mar 28, 2013 at 09:27 AM
    For those that oppose the union, can't wait for your kids or grand kids that work at oh lets say the UAW or IBEW and get minimum wage and no pension, no healthcare, no paid holidays, nothing. What I don't get is why are the middle class having to fight so hard for a wage above poverty. I do get that the republicans find ways to keep more money and the democrats find ways to spend more money. The republicans want more in their pocket and less in ours even though most cars cost over $25,000. I feel bad for the kids that are born today because the middle class is losing this battle and fast. Soon we will only be able to go to work and home, no play. Oh and for "unknown in Lansing" get your numbers right, where did you ever here $60 a week for Union Dues. I pay $10 a month. RTW states have 30% lower wages. New hires are in for a very disappointing future. Oh and don't forget they want to raise retirement age. Work till ya drop!!!
  • by John Location: Chi on Dec 19, 2012 at 02:34 PM
    Actually, the only way Right-to-work will affect Unions is that some people will opt out of paying dues so it will limit the number of dollars unions can use to alter elections, both local and national, which they have no business using dues money for anyways. No union has ever gone under or stopped representing their workers in any company under RTW laws. maybe now they can concentrate on their workers instead of messing with our elections
  • by Anonymous on Dec 16, 2012 at 05:30 AM
    And what about all the GM,Ford, and Chrysler plants that have shut down in Michigan.
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 15, 2012 at 04:24 AM
    If 11% of the work force is union, then 89% of the jobs aren't worth showing up for? OH! 11% set the standards for the OVERWHELMING majority!?!?!?
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 14, 2012 at 05:33 AM
    Anonymous- You should like labor unions because they're the reason you have weekends, 8-hour work days, medical benfits, safety standards at work, 40-hour work weeks, minimum wage laws and a host of others.
  • by Steve Location: Dewit on Dec 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM
    IS it working? Yes if you are asking is it working as planned, not "Is it working as advertised" It has nothing to do with creating jobs,. It is a move to de-fund unions to weaken them. No more , no less. At least have the guts to be honest!
  • by unknown Location: Lansing on Dec 13, 2012 at 09:13 AM
    Whats to say that i didn't want to belong to the Union and save my 60.00 a week? But there happened to be a bad part come down my line and they said it was mine, i wouldn't get any help from my REP ,but they could also tell me i'm fired!!!!!!!!! this could happen !!!!!!
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Dec 13, 2012 at 09:00 AM
    To anon on Dec. 13th thank you for telling the truth about the Ok. plant. Its amazing how much these unions lie and tell half truths to get their point across, and the media goes right along with them. I would like to say just look at what these unions did all through this, they made threats, they created violance, tore down a tent that pepol where in. I even read a blog on this station threating the Gov. is that what we want in this state. And if thats what it means to be in a union NO THANK YOU I dont what anything to do with them. These unions talk about workers rights and how they fight for the rights of all workers. Well wheres my right not to join a union if i dont want to I gess you have rights as long as you dont disagree with the unions .
  • by Anonymous on Dec 13, 2012 at 04:34 AM
    The OK plant was already in trouble. The only reason why it did not close earlier was that unions was wanting too much in relocation expenses.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 13, 2012 at 04:33 AM
    Our nation is built on freedom. Labor unions take that away. Why should we like labor unions.
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