Proos: Freedom-to-choose protects worker rights, makes Michigan more competitivePublished 4:45pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012
By Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph
The Michigan Legislature recently took a large step toward ensuring workplace fairness and making our state more competitive for jobs by approving freedom-to-choose legislation.
I have long supported workplace fairness and am proud to help bring it to Michigan.
Freedom-to-choose means a brighter Michigan future with more jobs, robust economic growth and workers who can decide for themselves what to do with their hard-earned dollars.
Everyone should have the freedom to choose what organizations they do or do not join or financially support. This reform is about protecting that choice for our workers. People will still be able to be a part of a union and collectively bargain. But just as workers will be able to choose to participate in a union, they will now have the ability to choose not to.
As a border community, Southwest Michigan is in constant competition with Indiana for jobs and investment. That is why freedom-to-choose is so important to our region.
It will help us compete in the market for new jobs with Indiana – which became the 23rd workplace fairness state in February – while also giving us a competitive advantage over the rest of the Great Lakes states.
Since Indiana enacted its law, nearly 100 businesses have told Indiana officials that the workplace fairness law will factor into their decision on where to locate projects. Android Industries in Fort Wayne is an example of one company that publically stated that Indiana’s becoming a freedom-to-choose state was a factor in choosing it as an optimal location.
Freedom-to-choose is already having an impact in Indiana and has proven effective in creating jobs in many states for decades. It is time we bring the worker and economic benefits of freedom-to-choose to Michigan.
We have made great strides in the last few years to make Michigan competitive for jobs, and freedom-to-choose will help us continue to build a strong economy so that our children and grandchildren can choose to live, work and raise a family here in Southwest Michigan.
Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.