Michigan Chamber of Commerce in favor of right-to-work legislation

By Paul Egan
Detroit Free Press


Dec. 03–LANSING — The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today came out in favor of right-to-work legislation as Republican leaders in the Legislature continue discussions about whether to proceed with the controversial legislation during the lame-duck session.

Michigan’s most powerful business lobby had been neutral on the issue prior to the Nov. 6 defeat of union-backed Proposal 2, which would have enshrined collective bargaining rights in the state constitution and made a right-to-work law unconstitutional.

Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber, said a recent survey showed 85% of its members in favor of such a bill.

“It is clear that now is the time for bold and decisive leadership to pass comprehensive freedom to work legislation that applies to both the public and private sectors,” Studley said.

“This action would make Michigan the 24th state (after Indiana) to enact Freedom to Work legislation and it would help create and retain jobs in Michigan and improve our state’s economic competitiveness.”

Right-to-work legislation makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment, allowing workers to join a union if they wish, but ending the closed shop.

The Michigan arm of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity is expected to draw hundreds of right-to-work supporters to the Capitol Tuesday to lobby for a bill.

Union leaders and many Democrats say such a measure would not create new jobs, but would depress wages and benefits for existing jobs.

Another major business group in Michigan, the National Federation of Independent Business, earlier came out in favor of right-to-work.

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com



Posted by Tribune News Services

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