Michigan leaders to pursue 'right-to-work' law on unions
LANSING, Mich. Dec 6 (Reuters) - Governor Rick Snyder said on Thursday that he wanted Michigan to be the 24th state to adopt a "right-to-work" law making payment of union dues optional, a move expected to spark a bitter fight with organized labor in the home of the U.S. auto industry.
Michigan, home to the United Auto Workers, would become the second state in the industrial heartland of the United States to adopt such a law after Indiana did it earlier in 2012.
Snyder said the legislation would cover the public and private sector with exemptions for police and fire. He said proposed legislation would be introduced in the Michigan legislature on Thursday and he hoped it would be passed before lawmakers adjourn for the holidays.
"Quite often people call it right-to-work, but I think it is a much better description to say that this is about fairness in the workplace and equality in the workplace," Snyder said.
Snyder said he was asking for an act to be passed promptly and efficiently through the legislature and he would sign it when it arrived on his desk.
Snyder had said in the past that a right-to-work law would not be appropriate for the state. He said Thursday Indiana's actions earlier this year influenced his decision in part.
"I think this is what is best for Michigan," Snyder said.
Michigan voters in November rejected a measure that would have enshrined a right to collective bargaining in the state constitution, leading to renewed calls from state lawmakers to take up the right-to-work issue before the end of the year.