The debate over right-to-work/forced unionism rages in Michigan where the Republican-led legislature is set to pass a right-to-work law (or what President Obama called a “so-called right to work law”). All indications suggest that Governor Rick Snyder will sign the bill. Unions there clearly “overreached” this past fall with their move to write collective bargaining protection into the Michigan constitution by a referendum. This measure failed by a 58-42 margin. Nice to see the legislature return the attempted favor.
But what impact will this move have? One recent study from 2007 suggests one consequence will be reduced unemployment in the state. In a piece titled, “Unions and Employment Growth: Evidence from State Economic Recoveries,” Robert Krol and Shirley Svorny find that “union power slows job growth during an economic recovery.” Therefore, removing forced unionism is likely to help Michigan recover quicker from downturns in a way that will actually benefit workers.
Here is a graphic from the Chicago Tribune that shows the states with and without right to work laws. Hmm…what seems to correlate with these laws?