Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 12, 2012

5 things to know about right-to-work law


---- — LANSING (AP) — Here are five things to know about right-to-work legislation approved by the Michigan Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder:

The Name Is Misleading: It isn't about a right to work but rather a right for workers to choose whether they want to join a union or pay fees that amount to union dues.

It Moved Swiftly: The GOP majority used its superior numbers and backing from Gov. Rick Snyder to ramrod legislation through the House and Senate last week. Snyder signed the bills into law Tuesday, hours after the final House votes.

But Didn't Over Easily: Critics, including Democrats and Michigan's sizable labor contingent, contend the real intent is to bleed unions of money and bargaining power and allow nonunion workers to get the perks without paying for it.

It's Not The First: Michigan becomes the 24th state with such laws. Victory in the Great Lakes State gives the right-to-work movement its strongest foothold yet in the Rust Belt region.

Rust Belt Rerun?: Law enforcement officials vowed Michigan won't become "another Wisconsin," where demonstrators occupied the state Capitol around the clock for nearly three weeks. They took steps to prevent that.