"Often times people try to tie right-to-work to collective bargaining," State Rep. Pat Somerville said Friday. "This has nothing to do with collective bargaining."
Somerville, who represents the 23rd District, said right-to-work legislation would prevent "freeloaders," which are union workers who benefit from collective bargaining, but do not pay union dues, according to Somerville.
"If you allow someone to not pay dues they will then be benefiting for something they did not pay for," Somerville said.
The right-to-work bill prohibits unions from collecting fees from nonunion workers, which opponents say would weaken organized labor’s ability to bargain for good wages while supporters say it would boost jobs.
Although this legislation would cover both the public and private sectors, there would be an exception for police and firefighters.
The bill passed 58-52 in the House, and 22-16 in the Senate after a call to action from the governor on Thursday. Somerville said he voted against the bill.
"They (Republicans), honestly, believe it will create a better environment for Michigan businesses," Somerville said. "It's tough to say if this is true because I've seen some good and I've seen some bad."
The 23rd District includes Brownstown Township, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Huron Township, Trenton and Woodhaven.
Find out what a local union president said about right-to-work.