Right-to-work landscape in the Rust Belt region

Here is a look at the landscape in some Rust Belt states that have pushed for right-to-work plans in recent years — some successfully, others not:
Associated Press
Dec 12, 2012


Local reaction to Michigan's Right-to-Work law -- in Saturday's Register.



Illinois has not seen a serious right-to-work movement largely because of a near Democratic lock on the General Assembly in the past 30 years. During much of that time, the state had Republican governors, but they tended to be moderates who dealt with labor amicably. And when the GOP held the state Senate during the 1990s, there were many moderate Republicans from suburban Chicago who balanced out more conservative lawmakers from central and southern Illinois.


The Republican-controlled Legislature in Indiana approved right-to-work earlier this year. House Democrats walked out in 2011 for five weeks to block the measure by denying the GOP majority the numbers needed to conduct business. The state's quasi-public economic development corporation says a handful of companies have expanded operations in part because of the law.


The labor stronghold of Michigan became the 24th state to enact right-to-work on Tuesday when the House approved the final version of the legislation and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed it hours later. Snyder had previously maintained that right-to-work wasn't a priority for him, but the plan sailed through the GOP-controlled Legislature after he announced his new position last week. While labor unions said the move would be disastrous for worker rights and benefits, Snyder insisted the plan is actually "pro-worker."


Ohio voters in 2011 overwhelmingly rejected a sweeping law that placed restrictions on public employee unions. Republican Gov. John Kasich says making Ohio a right-to-work state is not among his priorities and that he sees other ways to keep the state competitive. However, a group called Ohioans for Workplace Freedom has been circulating petitions for a ballot measure that would keep workers covered by labor contracts from having to join a union or pay dues.


Pennsylvania labor unions have been largely successful in pushing back against efforts by first-term Republican Gov. Tom Corbett to dramatically scale back their gains. But Corbett says the state apparently lacks the political will to enact right to work. However, his spokesman says the governor would support such a bill if it reached his desk.


Wisconsin's Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011 voted to pass Gov. Scott Walker's proposal that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers and forced them to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits. Walker argued it was a cost-saving move, but unions said it was designed to cripple their political power. Walker did not propose right-to-work legislation and has said that is not a priority, but he's stopped short of saying he would veto such a measure.



The Big Dog's back

Why do Repubs keep trying to poke the middle class in the eye?

The Big Dog's back

"We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison.
We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike" May 2, 1933 Adolf Hitler


What office was closed?
Who's money was confiscated?
Who was thrown in prison?
Who's salary was reduced?
What strike was stopped?

Old and busted talking points Brutus.

You're just afraid that forced membership in the socialist party is not a salable product. Without extorting protection money, mob style, from people's checks that your precious SWP will dry up.

Have a product people find worth the money and they will buy it. Or in this case write the check for dues. No different from cable TV or a cell phone plan.

You are on here all the time extolling the virtues of being "Pro Choice". Well, now workers in Michigan have that option. Are you afraid they will find out it isn't worth the money to fund your political machine?

Erie County Resident

Might as well give up Pete.
You know that fruitcake you get from aunt Sally every year for Christmas?
You'd have more luck getting a logical thought from it instead of Brufus.

The Big Dog's back

So when Gov makes laws against unions you're all for that ehh ecr?

The Big Dog's back

pety, PATCO. Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization.


PATCO was warned. Repeatedly. They failed to heed that warning through their own arrogance and stupidity. Self inflicted wound. They had no one to blame but themselves.

The Big Dog's back

You asked, I delivered, you refuse to accept.


PATCO didn't really get fired. They quit. Same as the Tsubaki workers. They were forewarned. They were too stupid to think on their own, and relied on the the arrogance of their leadership. Self inflicted wound.

The Big Dog's back

pety, no likey paying union dues, don't work for a union shop. Make a big boy decision.


I do work in a union shop. Just don't pay dues. And make more than scale plus better bennies. Negotiated my own deal. That is how one gets ahead Brutus.

You should try thinking on your own for a change. You might be able to afford your own place.

The Big Dog's back

Why don't you work in a non union shop? A little hypocritical don't ya think?


Nah. And we are working on setting up a "separate" open shop. Once we have that completed then we can go after more contracts. That will allow us to compete no matter where we the project is.

Heck we were thinking GA or SC, but have actually been debating MI after what has happened there recently. That will save a bunch on travel expenses!

The Big Dog's back

Who's salary was reduced? Incoming workers.


You mean reduced at the Small 3? That was entirely the UAW's fault for bankrupting GM and Chrysler, and putting Ford on the brink. Tried to kill them and look what was the result. Again, arrogance of the union leadership,

the office cat

Right to work also means right to pay. Work in a union shop without joining... but negotiate your own salary and benefits, represent yourself with management, negotiate your own healthcare, work during holidays negotiated by unions, have no choice about overtime but don't get premium pay for overtime.
If you wanna dance to the music, you gotta pay the piper.


I did negotiate my own package. It is a WHOLE BUNCH better than what the union guys have.

Maybe you should try thinking on your own. It may do you some good. Stop being part of a herd. Stand out!

It may amaze you. Then again, if you are comfortable with the herd mentality, stay there.


Only smart thing he said


I appreciate making my own decisions. Thanks but no thanks for the brotherhood making my decisions and choices.

the office cat

And I appreciate you making your own choices - and living with them. Without bitching.

Swamp Fox

The "right to work" opponents usually are the union hacks who survive on the backs of the real workers....


I beg to differ~I'm union and I WORK! Go to work everyday so I can support those living off of the system. People who think union workers don't work are just plain idiots~clueless~maybe alittle jealous?? Get a life! Learn facts before running your mouth.

Licorice Schtick

The idea that union workers are inferior is a myth perpetuated by anti-worker classists.

The truth is, on balance, union worker are more productive. They may only deserve some of the credit for it, but it's a fact.

the office cat

Prove that -with concrete examples. Like usual, skin but no bones.

Free Man

I think there may be alot more Demo. work at Plumbrook.

NASA is getting out of hypersonic flight research. The Glenn Plumbrook center spends at least $50,000 per year to maintain the mothballed tunnel, , and necessary upgrades would cost substantially more.


I think many are seeing the small picture. The concern is what union management does, not what the workers being represented do!

Currently the practice is no different than asking every person working in an office building to donate money into a kitty out of their pay checks, the kitty would be used by whoever created the kitty for their own political investment or donation to the person or persons they want to win an election.

Freedom of choice has been removed from the individuals either way!

Just saying!


Richard Trumpka makes 240,000 a year on his salary. Thats a pretty good kitty for buttering up to millionairs all day.

Don S

I worked in right to work, you don't want it. All it ever did was to cause tention between the workers, a tool that the company used very well, to their advantage not the workers. The union was "forced" to represent the non-paying employees.

Licorice Schtick

Bingo. That's EXACTLY what "right-to-work" is designed to do - to divide workers against themselves. The contention that it's to protect workers' rights is a lie.


Right-to-work involves giving employees the choice of joining the union or not. Democrats only believe in offering a choice if it pertains to the killing of unborn children.