Michigan is officially a right-to-work state.
That means, as existing union contracts expire, workers can opt out of paying dues and fees.
As we hear from The Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta, defenders and opponents of the law marked the day in different ways.
This was the state Capitol last December as the Legislature debated and voted on right-to-work…
“Kill the bill!...”
And this was the steps of the Capitol as the clock struck noon on the day the law took effect.
About 30 protesters – many with tape over their mouths – held a silent vigil.
G-M worker and union member Brett Brown was one of them. He says unions will use the courts and the ballot to try to get the law reversed.
“Right to work is temporary,” he says.
Brown says right-to-work’s not fair because people can opt out of paying union dues, but, by law, cannot be denied union protection.
“Everyone is going to realize, wow, this really was good for the worker because it made unions stronger in the long run,” he added.
Terry Bowman of Union Conservatives says that’s because unions will have to compete for workers’ loyalty and dues.