Gov. Rick Snyder (R., Mi.) said his state was going to get right-to-work legislation passed, calling it "pro-worker" and good for the economic development of Michigan in an interview Friday on Fox News.
Massive union protests have met the proposed legislation that could be signed into law by Snyder as early as next week, which would ban labor contracts requiring automatic union payments from employees, whether or not they joined.
"It's really important for a couple reasons," Snyder said. "First of all, it's all about about being pro-worker. We have hardworking people in Michigan, and it's important to give them the freedom to choose. They should be able to choose whether to join a union or not, and this is about the relationship between a union and workers, not about employers and unions, not about collective bargaining. This is solely focused on their relationship, and shouldn't people have the opportunity to say they want to belong or not? The second piece is, I think this can be good for economic development for more and better jobs coming to Michigan. We've watched closely what's gone on in Indiana. They've seen many more more companies look at Indiana, citing this as one of the factors, the fact that they did it back in February. They can have thousands more jobs in that state, because they became a right-to-work state."
Snyder rebuffed host Neil Cavuto's question that some looked at this as being bent on the eventual dismantling of unions.
"If you look at unions in Michigan, they've done a lot of great things in our state," he said. "We're the center of the labor movement going back the last century. Now I don't believe it's appropriate to say, just to keep your job, you have to pay dues and be a union member. So, basically this creates an environment where people can say they're choosing to join a union because the unions put a value proposition to make it worthwhile, and if the union's not providing value, someone shouldn't be forced to choose. So I view this as pro-worker legislation."