It's clear that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was emboldened to pass a right-to-work bill after watching Scott Walker restrict collective bargaining powers and survive a recall in Wisconsin.
What's not clear is the affect that turning a labor strong-hold like Michigan into a right-to-work state will have on the greater labor movement. But it doesn't look good for unions.
I've always been conflicted about right-to-work rules. On the one hand, I don't think that people who don't want to be part of a union should be forced to pay union dues. However, I don't believe for a second that the conservatives pushing these laws are concerned about workers' choices. They know that if fewer people pay dues, the union will be weaker.
Unions are still required to represent all of the workers at a given shop whether they pay dues or not, so the union will secure benefits for workers who don't have any skin in the game. All the while the union has fewer resources to bargain for those benefits.
A fairer solution would be to allow unions to drop employees who don't pay dues. This would force the workers who don't want to join the union to work under the guidelines set forth by their employers.
Also, this would let people really see how effective their union is at securing benefits since they can compare their situations to their non-union colleagues. Some unions might provide their members with real value, others might fail. In a sense, it would create a "market" for labor representation which would differentiate between strong and weak unions and businesses that are friendly or unfriendly to their labor force.
That seems like a reasonable solution to me. But nobody ever suggested that the people who make our laws are reasonable.