Interrupted several times by applause, State Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-37th District) gave an impassioned plea yesterday for her colleagues to vote "no" on right-to-work legislation that eventually passed through the House and likely will become state law.
In the speech, which was broadcast and shared on YouTube.com, Barnett said unions are not imposed on businesses and, under the National Labor Relations Act, no one is required to be a union member. She said workers go through a process that includes an election to form a union.
"It's called democracy," she said.
Barnett represents both Farmington and Farmington Hills.
In making the announcement Thursday that he would support right-to-work legislation, Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, said, "I think workplace fairness and equity is a better way to describe it, because it's about being pro-worker and giving workers the freedom to choose who they associate with."
He said the legislation will give Michigan a competitive advantage, and said Indiana, a right-to-work state, has "significantly increased" the number of businesses looking to locate there, due to the new law.