Hundreds of Michiganders flooded the state Capitol building in Lansing on Thursday to tell their legislators to reject a “right to work” for less proposal currently before a legislative committee. Working families oppose the legislation that would make it easier for corporations to take advantage of their employees and weaken workers’ ability to bargain with management.
“Every working person in Michigan should be concerned about the contents of this ‘right to work’ bill and question how quickly it is moving,” Rick Meeth, a teacher from Bay City, told the Michigan State AFL-CIO. “Whether you are a union member or not, employees in ‘right to work’ states average $1,500 less in wages per year and are less likely to have access to benefits through their job.”
More than 15,000 online signatures have been collected opposing the “right to work” legislation as well. According to Michigan Live, Republicans say the legislation has already been written and they will propose it if they think it has a chance at passing. Legislative leaders were scheduled to meet with Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on Thursday to discuss the legislation.
“With such little discussion or debate, how can lawmakers be sure they are doing the right thing?” asked Craig Hennigan, a graduate teaching assistant. “A ‘right to work’ law will make it easier for big corporate special interests to take advantage of workers. It does nothing to create jobs or rebuild our state.”
Supporters of “right to work” legislation say that it is necessary to prevent workers from being forced to join unions, something that is already illegal under federal law.