'Right to work' now the law in 7 of 11 Midwestern states
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By Tim Anderson | Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:30 am
Early in 2012, Indiana became the first Great Lakes state to adopt so-called “right-to-work” legislation (dubbed “right to work for less” by opponents). It didn’t take long for a neighboring state to follow suit.
Michigan passed a law at the end of the year that prohibits employer-union agreements in which individuals are required to become a member of a labor organization and to pay dues to it.
In some parts of the country (including parts of the Midwest), right-to-work laws have been in place for decades, but not in the Great Lakes region — a part of the country with a traditionally strong manufacturing and union base. But as the figures below show, union membership has declined significantly over the past three decades, with one result being less political clout for unions.
The political impact of the actions in Michigan, if any, remains to be seen. In Indiana, the right-to-work bill was passed in February by a Republican-led legislature and signed by a GOP governor. This November, Hoosiers handed the party a supermajority in the House and elected a new Republican governor.