Michigan has become the first state in more than half a century to repeal a right-to-work law, a major victory for labor unions. The law, which went into effect in 2013, allowed workers to opt out of paying union dues or fees as a condition of employment. It really has nothing to do with an employee's right to work or not work. It only impacts whether a union employee may receive the benefits of being in a union without paying union dues.
The repeal of the law is seen as a major victory for organized labor, which has been on the decline in recent years in Michigan and nationally. The law had been seen as one of the reasons that the percentage of employees who were union members was declining. The law had made it more difficult for unions to grow because it is reduced their income from union dues.
The repeal of the law may boost the state's economy, as it could lead to more unionized businesses investing in Michigan. Businesses groups, however, were in favor of the law that has now been repealed. They argue that the former law encouraged businesses to open in Michigan because it made it harder for unions to be elected.
There is no question that the repeal of the law is a major victory for labor unions. For non-union employees, it will have no impact on their “right to work.”