DETROIT - Michigan's Right to Work vote yesterday came with a lot of emotion. It also came with a lot of questions. Since there was no committee process and only limited debate in the Legislature the questions surrounding right to work largely went unanswered.
Yes we know unions say it is something just short of blasphemy to even consider right to work in the cradle of unionism because it is sheer union busting. The opposition says it's about fairness. It says requiring workers to join a union and keeping their dues paid and up to date as a condition of employment is against their right to association.
But that's the political spin. What are the numbers? Where do you get a fair look at right to work and its impact?
The net-net of the competitiveness study tells us the nation's money and business growth are moving away from right to work states. It also says non-right to work states still have much better wages.
The actual focal point is the State of Texas and how the rest of the nation stacks up to its business climate. Within the body of that research the entire Right to Work/Non-Right to Work comparison is spelled out. I read the study today and came away thinking there is no particular point of view except that Texas is one great place to live and do business.
Now, personally I have been to Texas and would not put it high on my list of places I would consider packing up the family and moving to any time soon. But, clearly a lot of people are doing just that. In this debate, that is precisely the question at play. Where is the money, the job growth, the population moving? Republicans in the Michigan Legislature see this and want Michigan in on that party.
The union opposition insulted, angry and indignant about that consideration and the Republican's power politicking forcing this down their collective throats. For its part, the union side has its own studies that say Right to Work destroys jobs and wages and uses Oklahoma as its focal point.
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