By Rick Manning — Hot on the heels of Big Labor suffering a stunning defeat at the polls in the state of Michigan, where an attempt to entrench collective bargaining into the state constitution was rejected by 57 percent of the voters, the Michigan state legislature is in the midst of passing legislation to establish right to work laws in the state with the state House of Representatives passing the legislation by a 58-52 vote and the Senate expected to pass it later this evening.
The legislative dam broke when Republican Governor Rick Snyder announced that he would support passage of a right to work law in the state urging the legislature to move quickly so the state could enjoy the economic benefits that the state of Indiana is reaping since its recent passage of a similar law.
The Associated Press reported that Snyder’s decision was influenced by the relocation of some 90 companies into Indiana since right to work legislation became law in that neighboring state with Snyder saying, “That’s thousands of jobs, and we want to have that kind of success in Michigan.”
Americans for Limited Government’s president Bill Wilson called the move by the Michigan legislature and Governor, “the beginning of the rebirth of the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit.”
Responding to reports that Detroit city officials were demanding a federal government bailout for the city due to its support for Obama, Wilson argued that, “The passage of right-to-work legislation will do more for reinvigorating Detroit and surrounding areas than any federal government bailout could ever do. Legislation which unties workers from the shackles of Big Labor has proven time and again that it attracts the very job creators that the city and state need in order to re-establish their place as one of America’s great manufacturing centers.”
Long a bastion of Big Labor, the passage of right to work in Michigan, which protects non-union employees from being compelled to pay dues into the labor unions coffers, will undoubtedly send shockwaves across the nation.
Voters in the November elections have put Republicans in control of the governorships and state houses in 25 states with 53 percent of the nation’s population. The collapse of Big Labor’s power in Michigan will likely resonate throughout these state capitols, emboldening Republican leaders to reform laws that have been put in place to advantage labor unions in both their economic and political power.
“If Republicans are smart and aggressive, we quite possibly could be witnessing the death of Big Labor’s stranglehold on America’s politics, that is how significant this Michigan action is,” Wilson concluded.
Michigan is expected to become the 24th state to pass right-to-work legislation.
Rick Manning is the Communications Director at Americans for Limited Government.