Ron Paul: Right to Work is Part of Economic Liberty

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a stalwart Right to Work supporter is retiring from Congress, but before he leaves, he made a forceful statement on worker's choice and economic growth: Many observers were surprised when Michigan, historically a stronghold of union power, became the nation’s 24th “Right to Work” state. The backlash from November’s unsuccessful attempt to pass a referendum forbidding the state from adopting a right to work law was a major factor in Michigan’s rejection of compulsory unionism. The need for drastic action to improve Michigan’s economy, which is suffering from years of big government policies, also influenced many Michigan legislators to support right to work. Let us be clear: right to work laws simply prohibit coercion. They prevent states from forcing employers to operate as closed union shops, and thus they prevent unions from forcing individuals to join. In many cases right to work laws are the only remedy to federal laws which empower union bosses to impose union dues as a condition of employment.

Right To Work Freedom is a "Beautiful Thing"

Right To Work Freedom is a "Beautiful Thing"

Heritage Foundation provides readers with a succinct summary of what Right to Work means to workers in Michigan: Conservatives won an enormous victory in Michigan last week. The state just passed a right-to-work law that makes union dues voluntary. Starting next year, union contracts cannot require employers to fire employees who do not pay union dues. The state that gave birth to the United Auto Workers union has become America’s 24th right-to-work state. Unions are furious and vowing to overturn the legislation via an initiative. However, it is hard to see this drive succeeding. Unions already put a state constitutional amendment on the ballot to prevent the legislature from ever passing a right-to-work bill. Michiganders voted it down by a 15-point margin. That is not surprising: Polling shows that a majority of Michiganders support right-to-work. So do 40 percent of union households. This is great news for Michigan’s unionized workers and unemployed.

Right To Work returns Michigan to the people

Nolan Finley Union chants echoed off the Capitol dome before the Republican-controlled state Legislature's courageous vote on the right-to-work bill: "Whose house?" "Our house!" Not anymore. The Capitol now belongs to all the people of Michigan. For 60 years or so, labor unions have dominated policymaking and politics in this state. Even as their membership dwindled to a sliver of the work force — 17 percent — their stifling influence over Lansing kept Michigan from adopting the common-sense reforms that would have made it more competitive for jobs and investment. Competitiveness is what Gov. Rick Snyder is all about. His decision to lead the right-to-work push stemmed from his desire to give Michigan every advantage possible in competing with other states for economic development. It was not, as his critics charge, a capitulation to big money GOP interests or a hypocritical betrayal of his commitment to relentless positive action.

Michigan's "Stunning" Move Toward Freedom

National political columnist Rich Lowry calls the developments in Michigan "stunning" while explaining how Indiana, since their enactment of a Right to Work law, has created 43,300 jobs while Michigan was losing jobs. It was the advent of an era of industrial unionization that may be coming to a symbolic end in the same place it started.  Michigan is on the verge of passing the kind of “right to work” law that is anathema to unions everywhere and is associated with the red states of the Sun Belt, not the blue states of the Rust Belt. To say that such a development is stunning is almost an understatement. Michigan is to unionization what Florida is to sand, Texas is to oil, and Alaska is to grizzly bears. The union model hasn’t just been central to its economy, but to its very identity. Michigan was undergoing a real-world experiment in the merits of forced unionization versus right-to-work after neighboring Indiana adopted a right-to-work law earlier this year, the first Rust Belt state to do so. The early returns weren’t encouraging. Indiana added 43,300 jobs — 13,900 of them in manufacturing — while Michigan shed 7,300 jobs. Michigan governor Rick Snyder, a Republican reformer but not a bomb thrower, says seeing 90 companies from around the country decide to settle in Indiana after the labor change influenced his willingness to sign a bill doing the same thing.