'More money in people’s pockets': Unions celebrate Michigan Governor’s repeal of state’s right-to-work law

'More money in people’s pockets': Unions celebrate Michigan Governor’s repeal of state’s right-to-work law
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Image via Twitter

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed legislation Friday repealing the state's right-to-work law for the first time in nearly 60 years, HuffPost reports.

Per Detroit Free Press, Democratic State Sen. Darrin Camilleri said, "Today is a historic win for workers everywhere. We're entering a new chapter in Michigan."

According to HuffPost, unions celebrated the repeal, along with Rob Bieber, head of the Michigan AFL-CIO, who asserted "the state had 'restored the balance of power' for workers."

READ MORE: Michigan opens the door to restoring union power

“After decades of attacks on working people, it’s a new day in Michigan, and the future is bright,” Bieber said.

The state's Republican lawmakers insist "repealing right-to-work jeopardizes state efforts to attract businesses to locate to the state," as they believe "companies don't want to set up shop in places where workers could lose their jobs if they refuse to pay union dues or fees."

However, HuffPost reports:

Right-to-work laws forbid unions and employers from entering into agreements that require every worker under the contract to pay fees to cover the cost of bargaining and representation. Unions despise the laws and say they lead to 'free-riding,' in which workers choose not to pay union dues but still enjoy the benefits of a union contract.

Democratic Michigan State Rep. Regina Weiss said earlier this month, "Back in November, voters sent a clear message when they elected a pro-worker and pro-working families majority," according to The New York Times.

Detroit Free Press reports:

Democrats disagree and contend that right-to-work is unfair because it allows "free riders" who benefit from the contracts negotiated on their behalf without paying into the union. The law has led to weakened unions and chipped away at their ability to negotiate better employment terms, they argue.

READ MORE: We may be at the beginning of a new era of labor power

"Today we are coming together to restore workers' rights, protect Michiganders on the job, and grow Michigan's middle class," Whitmer said.

READ MORE: How union solidarity improves everyone’s healthcare

HuffPost's full report is available at this link. Detroit Free Press' report is here. The New York Times' report is here.

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