Lansing, MI (NNCNOW.com) - Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill Tuesday afternoon that makes Michigan a Right-to-Work state.
The new law makes union membership in the state voluntary.
"This isn't anti-union, I hope it actually gives the unions the opportunity to be more successful by having an opportunity to have to listen to all the workers there and say why are they delivering a value proposition that workers can stand up and choose to join," the Governor said during a news conference Tuesday.
Thousands converged on the State Capitol Tuesday demonstrating for and against the bill.
"We believe in the long run that this will be a win-win for Michigan's economy, for individual freedom and what a lot of these protesters may not realize is that after this bill passes, they can still belong to a union," said Scott Hagerstrom, a Right-to-Work proponent. "It'll just be their choice. They just can't force their co-workers to give their hard-earned money to a private organization.
Democrats say the move is nothing more than corporate union-busting.
"What this is is a victory for the people like Dick Devos, Mitt Romney, the Koch Brothers and other corporate CEO's who believe the path to prosperity in Michigan is paved with lower wages and lower benefits," said Rep. Brandon Dillon.
Democrats and the unions say they plan to challenge the law in court.