Politics
2:46 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Senate leader does not want "right-to-work" in Michigan

The Republican leader of the state Senate says he has no interest in making Michigan a right-to-work state.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says union workers have already made many concessions to help Michigan’s economic outlook.

"You know, those unions and those workers that are out in the economy and the day-to-day, the teamsters, the operating engineers, the carpenters, the building trades, they’ve already had a significant effect from this economy. They’re paying more toward their health care, they have less hours, they’re getting less pay, they’ve had that effect directly.”

Richardville says more-general right-to-work law legislation would only put additional pressures on labor unions that have already made concessions.

"I’m not a believer that that’s going to transition the economy at this point. However, I will look at some other things, maybe a subset of that. If you pay dollars into a public school system, you send your kids there, you want to participate, I don’t know that you necessarily need to be a part of a union in order to work or teach in the school district."

Richardville says he does not think teachers in Michigan should be required to join unions. A proposal in the state Senate would allow school districts to hire teachers through private companies.

Representatives from the state’s largest teachers union say Richardville and the Republican-led Legislature are unfairly attacking teachers.