DETROIT (WWJ) – On Thursday, Michigan becomes a so-called “Right To Work” state. All this week, WWJ’s Jayne Bower is taking a close look at the law; its promises and pitfalls.

Less than 18 percent of Michigan workers are unionized yet right-to-work came with this promise from Governor Snyder: “More and better jobs.”

More and better jobs – promoted Snyder.

“There’s no way to prove that,” said UAW Archivist at the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State Mike Smith. “I think the fact of the matter in any academic or policy maker who has seriously studied the subject will tell you that we don’t really know.”

And policy director at the Mackinac Center Vincent Vernuccio agrees:

“If a state has right-to-work they have a 90 percent income tax, guarantees a company’s probably not coming to that state,” he said. “So, it is part of a larger picture.”

Vernuccio says that in newly right-to-work states like Indiana there are lots of corporate tax incentives that attract business.

Are the contracts reached before the right-to-work laws goes into effect legal?

Two veteran employment law attorneys spoke with WWJ:

Sam Morgan represents workers and businesses: “Clearly in the legislative process, in anticipation that there would be an opportunity for employers and unions to settle or even open contract renegotiations in order to beat this deadline.”

Robert Boonin has been representing companies for decades and he agrees that the contracts are legal.

“After all when the tax laws changed people adjust their tax planning before the law changes – I don’t see this as being much different – I think there are some interesting issues – as to what does the employer get for entering into these agreements?

Tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 as Jane Bower takes a closer look at the right-to-work law for Michigan.
Michigan Labor History Remembered As Right-To-Work Law Ushered In


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