Right-to-Work Is Very Much a Live Issue
Interesting snippet from Saturday’s Flint Journal: Democratic Attorney General candidate David Leyton, campaigning at the Democratic state convention in Detroit, felt the need to address A Certain Labor Law Reform That Supposedly Has No Chance of Ever Becoming Law Here. According to the Journal’s Kristin Longley, Leyton drew cheers by pledging to “work to make sure Michigan never becomes a right-to-work state.”[*]
Now how that will get to be an issue for an Attorney General is worth pondering. Does he expect to see it on the ballot? If such a law ever passes, would he attempt to undermine it using his position as the state’s chief attorney? Why should this even matter in what has up to now been a union stronghold?
The truth is this is probably little more than a politician looking for an applause line, but the fact that it apparently worked — Leyton got the convention’s endorsement, which should help him to secure the nomination — tells you that right-to-work is on the minds of a lot of people who make their living paying close attention to Michigan politics.
[*] A right-to-work law would allow individual workers to decide whether to join or pay dues to a union. Workers could not be obligated to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. States with right-to-work laws have a significant and persistent advantage over non-right-to-work states in terms of economic growth, wage growth and job creation.