Thursday, December 06, 2012

Michigan: the next right-to-work state?

Could Michigan become the next right to work state?

From the Wall Street Journal--paid registration required:
Lawmakers have been preparing to introduce a right-to-work bill in the state legislature, and the labor cavalry is heading to the Wolverine state. According to the United Auto Workers website, the union will rally Thursday in Lansing to spook lawmakers out of going through with the bill.

Target No. 1 is Governor Rick Snyder, who held a press conference on Tuesday to say that right to work was on the agenda for "thoughtful discussion." That's a shift for Mr. Snyder, who has tiptoed around the topic since he was elected, saying it wasn't a battle he was looking for. Unions took his soft touch as a sign of weakness and pushed Proposal 2, which would have given them a virtual veto over all union-related legislation.

Meanwhile, the economy has languished. Michigan is the fifth most unionized state in the country and the birthplace of the UAW. According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan has lost 7,300 jobs since January, while next-door Indiana, which became a right-to-work state earlier this year, has been on the upswing.

According to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the state has a record number of businesses choosing to expand or set up in the state, including Amazon and Toyota. The 220 companies will create some 21,000 new jobs and invest $3.6 billion. The growth has come despite a decrease in the average tax incentives offered by the state to $8,900 from around $37,000 in previous years.
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