Michigan Senate puts right-to-work on a 'fast track'

After hours of debate, Michigan's Senate approved right-to-work legislation on Thursday. Supports say the right-to-work measure will boost jobs, while opponents worry that labor will lose some of its bargaining power. 

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
A union steel worker holds up a sign during a rally outside the Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, as Senate Republicans introduced right-to-work legislation in the waning days of the legislative session.

The Michigan Senate has passed right-to-work legislation, following earlier approval by the House.

The bills would prohibit unions from collecting fees from nonunion workers, which opponents say would weaken organized labor's ability to bargain for good wages while supporters say it would boost jobs.

A measure dealing with private-sector workers passed on a 22-16 vote Thursday after hours of impassioned debate. Four Republicans joined all 12 Democrats in opposition.

Moments after it passed, the Senate passed a bill with similar provisions for government employees. Democrats walked out before the bill was approved on a 22-4 vote.

Union activists repeatedly shouted protests from the gallery and cheered Democrats who denounced the measure.

Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP legislative leaders announced earlier Thursday they would put right-to-work on a fast track.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.