December 11 2012
Who'da thunk? Michigan - one of the country's most heavily unionized states - is today considering right-to-work legislation.
Last Thursday the states' lawmakers preliminarily approved measures to free both private and public labor forces (except firemen and police) from forced union participation. Today, votes could make these measures official, meaning Michigan would become the country's 24th right-to-work state.
Many teachers are among the protestors today, meaning several schools have cancelled classes today due to teacher absences. I believe those teachers have the right to miss a day of work to go to the state capital and express their opinions, but I disagree with their stance. In right-to-work states, teachers - along with auto workers, engineers, electricians, nurses, actors, everyone - are still free to join unions, bargain collectively, and collect dues from their members. They simply cannot force people to join the union.
If union membership is so important and so valuable to members, then why would they need government to force people to join? The merits of membership should be enough to encourage people to pay dues by their own volition.
You can watch the vote live here. It should take place very soon.