Support Marketplace

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on 'right-to-work'

Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan speaks during a dedication ceremony of the statue of former President Gerald Ford at the Rotunda of the Capitol May 3, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Thousands of union members from around the state gather at the State Capitol to protest Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed budget cuts April 13, 2011 in Lansing, Mich.

Unions in Michigan are facing a new reality. They'll have to convince their members to keep paying dues after Republicans passed a law that makes Michigan a 'right-to-work' state.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the law -- so what effect does he think it will have on the state's economy?

Gov. Snyder is quick to explain why he supports the change. "This is good legislation, for two main reasons," he says. "First and foremost, it's about giving hard-working Michigan workers the freedom to choose to have the resources go to a union or not. Secondly, this is about more and better jobs coming to Michigan."

He cites Indiana as a success story when it comes to 'right-to-work' laws and job creation. That state passed a similar law back in February. "It is very clear that companies are looking at Indiana that previously did not," he points out. "I think that's going to happen here in Michigan."

Opponents of the law say it will reduce union membership and drive wages and benefits down, ultimately hurting the middle class.

"In terms of the wage question," Snyder argues, "this is giving unions an opportunity to be more responsive to workers. The other thing is, most jobs are non-unionized already -- even in Michigan."

 

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

Thousands of union members from around the state gather at the State Capitol to protest Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed budget cuts April 13, 2011 in Lansing, Mich.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...