Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reportedly signed legislation eliminating right-to-work laws in the state on Friday.
The occasion marks the first time such laws have been repealed in the state in five decades.
Residents were permitted to refuse union membership in their employment and were not required to pay union dues under the right-to-work legislation.
Whitmer and other Democrats applauded the repeal, which represents a big victory for labor unions.
Following the midterm elections, Michigan Democrats took control of the governor’s house and both chambers of the legislature for the first time since 1983, allowing them to overturn the right-to-work laws passed by previous Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
According to a Mackinac Center for Public Policy report, unions have lost over 143,000 members since right-to-work laws went into effect in 2012.
There are now 26.5% fewer workers paying membership fees to the state’s largest unions; particularly severe losses occurred in the Service Employees International Union, which saw a nearly 66% decline in membership between 2012 and 2022, as well as the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which saw a 49% decline.
The American Federation of Teachers and the Michigan Education Association both had 32% losses in membership.
Whitmer, who was re-elected in November, got at least $2.25 million from the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
She was previously chastised for advocating the cessation of virtual learning in the state’s government schools as late as March 2021.