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Democrats try again to repeal Right to Work law

Flickr User Bill Jacobus

Democratic lawmakers are trying once again to repeal the state’s so-called “Right to Work” law.

Five years ago, a Republican-led Legislature made Right to Work the law of the state. It prohibits contracts that make union membership a condition of employment.

Democrats say letting people opt out of unions gives them a free ride to the benefits of the union. It also lowers unions’ membership and diminishes their effectiveness.

Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood is a bill sponsor. He says the law takes away the rights of Michigan workers to have strong unions.

“We’re here to say that five years into it, it’s not working. Let’s restore those right for working families and for workers in Michigan.”

He says strong unions are important to Michigan. But Right to Work diminishes the power of unions and lets people get the benefits of a union without paying dues.

“This is something that offends I think just the very nature of us as Michiganders.”

Senator Steve Bieda is a bill sponsor. He says Right to Work dilutes the power of unions by letting people opt out – while those employees continue to enjoy benefits of a union.

“We seek its repeal because it impacts working families, it impacts the ability to have a decent salary and wage for thousands of individuals – millions of individuals – across the state.”

The bills are expected to sit in committee in the Republican led Legislature.