[B]y late Thursday, the House had passed one of the three bills in a 58-52 vote and the Senate had passed two others—one for private-sector workers and one for public-sector workers—by votes of 22-16 and 22-4, respectively. [...]Gov. Rick Snyder, who had repeatedly said he did not want a so-called "right to work" law, is firmly behind this push, which comes just a month after an election in which Michigan Republicans did not campaign on the issue. The legislature is expected to return to the bills on Tuesday.
The bill that passed the House includes a $1-million appropriation. By making it an appropriations bill, the Republicans made it ineligible for repeal through a ballot initiative.
"Right to work" laws allow people in union workplaces to reap the benefits of the union, such as grievance representation and improved wages and benefits negotiated by the union, without paying even a fee covering the direct costs of their representation. Instead, they get to freeload on their union coworkers. Giving people the benefits of membership without payment of fees is not, needless to say, a practice followed by the business associations like the Chamber of Commerce that often push freeloader laws on unions. But writing such a requirement into law for workers is part of the general right-wing agenda of imposing ever-bigger burdens on the ability of workers to join together and build power.