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New Senate bill seeks to repeal Michigan’s right-to-work law

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Posted at 1:59 PM, Jan 13, 2023

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — An effort to repeal the controversial right-to-work law in Michigan is now getting more attention after the introduction of a new state Senate bill.

Many union members support repealing, but critics say it could hurt our state’s economy. There’s a mix of union and non-union companies in Wixom and Thursday, workers are expressing their views about a proposal to repeal right to work.

“Do you feel if someone is working in a factory or setting with a union they should pay dues?” 7 Action News asked worker Shawn Martin Smith in relation to the decade-old law.

“It’s good because you have rights. You can fight for certain things. I prefer myself a union shop,” Smith said.

She says she’s enjoyed better pay and benefits as a result.

“A lot of my family members work at a factory and succeed at the factory. I like the support, I like the union,” worker Tamesha Andrews said.

State Sen. Darrin Camilleri is a sponsor of the new bill.

“Because the union is representing every worker, you are then benefiting as part of that contract and paying your fair share into that collective system,” Camilleri said.

Yet, critics are hitting back.

“I have a concern in terms of the opportunity for workers to decide if they, as a condition of employment, decide if they are part of a union or not,” State Sen. Mike Webber said.

Another opponent is State Sen. Jim Runestad.

“Overall, the growth and business is going to the states that have right-to-work (laws). It’s just a constraining process to deal with right-to-work laws,” Runestad said.

Another worker Deangelo Burton told us, “I don’t feel like you should have to be forced to do anything you don’t want and pay dues or anything.”

Camilleri says a lot more dialogue will take place in the coming weeks and months. So far, it’s unknown how soon the bill could potentially move forward.

2023 Senate Bill No. 5 by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd