Will Michigan become Right to Work state?

Published On: Nov 13 2012 10:53:18 PM EST

Voters may not want the state's constitution to enshrine collective bargaining rights, but do they support Right to Work?


After Michigan voters rejected a collective bargaining amendment, leaders in Lansing are looking to life after Proposal 2.

Legislators already are putting the finishing touches on Right to Work legislation. They are moving to introduce it by the end of this year in the lame duck session.

When Gov. Rick Snyder took office he said he had no intention of pushing Right to Work in Michigan. He said there were too many other issues to be dealt with first. He told the legislature to stand down.

However, labor decided to push ahead with Proposal 2 anyway,  a tactical error of epic proportions, according to political strategist Dennis Darnoi.

"The notion they could get this enshrined in the Michigan Constitution was incredibly short sighted and flawed," he said.

Proposal 2 would have enshrined collective bargaining right in the state's constitution. It crashed and burned spectacularly on election day.

After the failure on election day, there is a real possibility of Lansing legislatures passing Right to Work. Sources tell Local 4 legislatures have been hard at work drafting it. Could we see a Michigan where you are no longer forced to join a union?

Democratic political strategist Joe Disano says the latest polling he has shows 70 percent of Michiganders support collective bargaining.

"The No. 1 issue is will the governor sign it? No. 2, it will touch-off multiple recalls in the senate, I think they’re overreaching here," he said.

Disano has polling which shows people may not have supported Proposal 2 but that does not mean they support Right to Work. A sample of 500 people were questioned about the issue.

The road ahead on the Right to Work issue in Michigan will be anything but pretty.

"It gets incredibly ugly," said Darnoi. "You're going to see recall efforts throughout 2013 and you’ll probably see a ballot initiative in 2014 to drive up the Democratic base in an off-year election. It will be incredibly ugly."


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