Whitmer became the first governor since the 1960s to roll back
right-to-work legislation. Twenty-six other U.S. states and the
territory of Guam still have right-to-work laws on the books,
according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
"Michigan workers are the most talented and hard-working in the
world and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,"
Whitmer, a two-term Democrat, said in a statement.
Michigan House Bills 4004 and 4007 and Senate Bill 34 passed the
Democratic-controlled state legislature earlier this month.
House Bill 4007 requires that contractors hired by the state pay
a so-called prevailing wage, the amount used when hiring union
The Michigan state legislature, controlled at the time by
Republicans, in 2012 passed a right-to-work law over the
objections of union activists. It was signed into law by
then-Governor Rick Snyder, also a Republican.
Republicans opposed repealing that law this year, arguing that
it would hurt businesses and make the state less attractive to
Union membership has declined sharply in the United States since
its peak in the 1950s, when more than a third of workers
belonged to a union.
Membership dropped to an all-time low of 10.1% in 2022 despite a
surge in organizing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to
data released in January by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Grant McCool)
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