Michigan Democrats introduce bills to repeal state right-to-work laws

Michigan Democrats introduce bills to repeal state right-to-work laws. (File - WWMT)

A new study finds people in right-to-work states like Michigan earn significantly less than people in neighboring Midwestern states that haven't enacted similar laws.

Political Reporter Nick Minock reported the discrepancy in wages is fueling an effort to roll back the controversial law.

It has been five years since union protestors stormed the state capitol to beg lawmakers not to pass a right-to-work law in Michigan.

Michigan Democrats are trying to repeal right-to-work because they call it a failed experiment.

State Senator Jim Ananich, D-Flint, is pushing two bills that would repeal right-to-work.

Ananich said, “We have seen that this has helped lower wages this is having to make people work longer hours."

Right-to-work allows workers to decide if they want to pay union dues or not and since it was signed into law, some of the state's labor unions saw their membership decline.

It's catching the attention of Michigan House Democrats who say some workers are now free loading on the backs of unions.

Rep. Jon Hoadley D-Kalamazoo, said, “Right now I know there are a lot of folks frustrated because there are certain folks who enjoy the benefits of the labor union, supporting them when they are having a problem with their boss or advocating for higher wages who are free loading and not paying their fair share.”

But Governor Rick Snyder and his allies argue right-to-work has made Michigan more of a competitive state and has contributed to the state's lower unemployment rate over the years.

Many Republicans are vowing to fight the push to overturn right-to-work.

Rep. Pete Lucido R-Shelby Twp., said, “If the unions feel they aren't strong then they have to go ahead and work their own game. If management feels people have to belong to a union for whatever reason, then management then management will allow it."

But Democrats argue although there may be more jobs in Michigan, workers haven't seen the wage growth that they were promised when right to work got the ok.

Hoadley said, “We haven't seen a more competitive environment. Folks are making money if you're the corporation but not the person who is getting the paycheck at the end of the day."

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