Michigan officially became the 24th “right to work” state in December. By a 58-51 vote, the Republican-led House passed a bill that would ban enforcing union membership as a condition of employment for government workers and then also passed a similar law covering private-sector workers, by a vote of 58-52. Now, as a result, several lawsuits have been filed to block the law from being enacted. Opponents argue that the vote was made in “secret” and citizens were not allowed in to protest.
Let me address this by stating succinctly: This is a huge reach! To argue somehow that allowing more protestors to enter The State House to protest and cause disruption would have changed the outcome of the vote or prevented the passing of the law, is simply preposterous.
Right from the beginning, the union vs. the “right to work” issue in Michigan was hotly contested. As many as 10,000 people swarmed the Capitol as the legislation was being passed. The crowds filled the lawn and it continued all the way down East Michigan Avenue. The opposition voice was heard loud and clear.
Despite the opposition, Gov. Snyder, who firmly maintained his position, deserves a congratulatory “hats-off.” He told the citizens of Michigan at a news conference after he had signed the legislation, “This isn’t about us versus them. This is about Michiganders.”
Scott Hagerstrom, director of the Michigan affiliate of the activist group Americans for Prosperity, said, “What a lot of these protestors may not realize is that after this bill passes, they can still belong to a union. It’ll just be their choice. They just can’t force their co-workers to give their hard-earned money to a private organization.”
On my recent appearance on the Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” I supported the right to work laws. In my opinion, it’s a fundamental issue of choice. Moreover, unions are no longer as relevant as they once were. We have a myriad of laws that govern the workplace ranging from labor laws that set wage and hour standards and discrimination and harassment laws. We Have OSHA and numerous other regulatory agencies. The issue here is this: You should not be able to require, as a condition of employment, someone to be part of a union. Give employees the choice!
I wholeheartedly disagree with the position that many opponents are taking like that of Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, who called it “a terrible result.”
Liberal opponents and union supporters need to acknowledge that the legislation was passed and passed fairly.
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, told the media that this was “a great day for Michigan’s workers and taxpayers,” and said further “I would like to congratulate Michigan’s workers for their newly protected freedom to work without union affiliation as a condition of their employment.”
Mix is absolutely right—it’s all about freedom, in this case the freedom to work without being forced to join a union.
Legally these lawsuits won’t hold any water in court. I am confident that the courts will view these cases as I do, needless suits filed by a litigious few but ultimately, without merit.
Check out my appearance on
Neil Cavuto’s program for more of my conversation and strong stance on the “right to work” law.