Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 - After a day full of angry protests by union members and liberal activists that included eight arrests and hours of debate, the State House and Michigan Senate last evening both passed bills (Senate Bill 116 and House Bill 4003) to advance Freedom to Work legislation. The House and Senate will return next week to take the next step toward sending this landmark legislation to Governor Snyder for his signature by mid-December.
Pro-business lawmakers, led by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Speaker Jase Bolger, took bold action on this landmark legislation to improve Michigan’s ability to attract and retain good paying jobs and further improve our state’s economic competitiveness.
As we look forward to next week, the Michigan Chamber will continue to advocate that NOW is the time to enact Freedom to Work legislation. Union opposition continues to be very active and vocal, so please continue to voice your support for Freedom to Work legislation.
We support this legislation because it is good public policy that will protect all employees from being forced to join a union and pay dues against their will. It is important to understand that Freedom to Work legislation is allowed under federal law and does not prohibit a union’s right to exist or prevent collective bargaining – it just gives every employee the ability to decide for themselves if joining a financially supporting a union is the right choice for them.
Lawmakers voting on this issue had a clear choice: either support the status quo and continue to allow the forced unionization of employees or chart a new course for Michigan by supporting the right of employees to choose how they spend their hard-earned paychecks. We thank the 22 Senator Republicans and 58 House Republicans who chose to stand up for freedom in the workplace. Sadly, not a single Democratic lawmaker in the House or Senate had the courage to stand up to Michigan’s union bosses and support this legislation.
This is a pivotal moment for Michigan's future. Please make your voice heard today!
For a full recap of events on Thursday, please view the following links:
- Recap by The Detroit News
- Video recap of protests, including union protests at the Michigan Chamber headquarters
- Dr. Timothy Nash Viewpoint: Michigan's future hinges on its competitiveness (Published in The Detroit News)
For more information and links to other news items regarding Freedom to Work, visit the Michigan Chamber's online Legislative Briefing Center.