In Michigan
4:14 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Supporters say Indiana debate builds pressure to approve "right-to-work" in MI

LANSING, MI –

A bill introduced Wednesday in the Indiana Legislature would make it the first state in the industrial Midwest to outlaw compulsory union membership. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, backers of the so-called "right-to-work" movement say it puts pressure on Michigan to do the same.

Governor Rick Snyder says a debate in Michigan on right to work would damage its sense of unity and efforts to rebuild its economy. Unions say right-to-work laws encourage employers to create low-wage jobs.

But right-to-work supporters say it's a debate Michigan cannot avoid much longer now that neighboring Indiana has taken up the question.

State Representative Mike Shirkey says the pressure will build even more if Indiana actually adopts a right-to-work law.

"Them making the decision to become a labor freedom state will I think shed the light on the fact that Michigan needs to continue to challenge our paradigms and that's one of them we need to change," he says.

Shirkey expects to be one of the major sponsors of right-to-work legislation that could be rolled out shortly after the Michigan Legislature resumes meeting in mid-January.