Why 10,000 People Protested Michigan’s ‘Right to Work’ Bill

This week michigan-protest210,000 people protested in Michigan’s capital thanks to the signing of a bill that makes Michigan the 24th “right-to-work” state in the country. It took four minutes before the topic was trending on twitter, so what’s all the fuss about?

What Is Right-to-Work?

A “right-to-work” law prohibits unions from requiring workers to pay membership dues. It also allows companies to hire non-union employees to work alongside union employees. Sounds like a good thing, right?

What Do Protestors Say?

Pro-union supporters worry that this bill favors corporations and will allow them to lower wages (by hiring non-union workers who will work for less) and fire employees at will, replacing them with non-union counterparts.

What Do Supporters Say?

“Right-to-work” supporters, including Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, argue that it will make Michigan more attractive for new businesses and create more jobs for a state that definitely needs them. Many companies have been afraid to move to Michigan because of the deep rooted unionized culture – a culture that some people argue brought the auto companies to their knees just a few years ago.

Why Is Michigan Such A Big Deal?

Well, even being the 24th state to pass such a bill, Michigan is gaining national attention because it is the home state of the United Auto Workers, one of the first, biggest and most powerful unions in the country.

Recent Results

Indiana has been labeled the poster-child for Michigan’s change to a right-to-work state, and rightfully so. Indiana passed its bill 10 months ago and has since added 43,000 jobs while Michigan has lost 7,000. This bill makes Michigan a more business friendly state and will hopefully bring jobs that are desperately needed.

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