Ground zero in the labor battle has moved to the Wolverine State

In a sudden move on Thursday, Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder called on his allies in the state legislature to immediately introduce and pass a Right-to-Work FOR LESS law in the state. These laws have been passed in a number of states around the nation allowing union members to opt out of paying union dues, which cripples organized labor and turns workers against each other. Aided by support from the Koch brothers-funded AstroTurf group Americans for Prosperity, Republicans in the Michigan state house and senate did as they were asked and approved the legislation. Outside, amid massive labor protests, eight people were arrested.

For procedural reasons, Governor Snyder won’t be able to sign the bill into law until early next week. Michigan will join Indiana as only the second state in America’s manufacturing belt to have joined states like Alabama and Mississippi in screwing their workers. Despite what Governor Snyder says about this law and how “pro-worker” it is, the facts show otherwise.

Workers in Right-to-Work FOR LESS states earn about $1,500 less than other workers, and also earn fewer benefits, and are victims of more workplace accidents. Union busters and CEO fatcats are the only winners in a Right-to-Work FOR LESS state. The nation is watching to see if the labor movement builds on their victories in Wisconsin and Ohio, and takes the fight to Michigan on behalf of working people.

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