With nearly 13,000 protesters gathered outside the Michigan Capitol, the state legislature has passed sweeping legislation that attacks both private sector and public sector unions, setting the stage for Gov. Rick Snyder to sign the bills into law. The operative language in the bills is nearly identical to the American Legislative Exchange Council's "model" Right to Work Act.
Both HB 4003, which affects public sector unions, and HB 4054 / SB 116 affecting private sector unions, undermine collective bargaining by allowing workers to opt-out of paying the costs of union representation. As the Center for Media and Democracy's Executive Director Lisa Graves reported today, the move is calculated political payback attacking unions for supporting Democrats. Wages are lower for both union and non-union workers in Right to Work states, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
The legislation is straight out of the Koch-funded ALEC playbook. Compare the language in HB 4003 and HB 4054 with the ALEC "model" Right to Work Act.If you're new to ALEC, it's a
Check here to see which Michigan lawmakers belong to ALEC -- and which ones used taxpayer money to pay for ALEC dues.
We're happy to see at least one, Sen. Rick Jones (R-24), told the Detroit News in August 2012 that he was no longer a member because "I thought (attending ALEC conferences) would be looked at by my constituents as a junket."