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Could Michigan's Shift to 'Right-to-Work' Happen in NY?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Workers install doors on Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCross vehicles April 21, 2010 at the General Motors plant in Fairfax, Kansas. (Steve Fecht/General Motors/Getty)

Michigan is known as the birthplace of the modern labor movement. But on Tuesday, the Republican-led state legislature approved new limits on unions that drastically cut the power of organized labor in the state.

The right-to-work legislation makes it illegal for unions and management to negotiate a contract that requires workers to join a union.

"I don't think a right-to-work law in Michigan is going to affect New York very much," Rick Hurd, professor of Labor Studies at Cornell University, told WNYC. "Our unions are strong. We have the highest rate of unionization in the country."

Michigan's right-to-work law came about after conservative Republicans took over in 2010, but Hurd said New York's Republicans are much more moderate. 

Listen to Amy Edding's full interview with Professor Rick Hurd above.

Guests:

Rick Hurd

Hosted by:

Amy Eddings

Produced by:

Daniel P. Tucker

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