State Senator Mike Nofs - Battle Creek
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (THE ENQUIRER) - State Sen. Mike Nofs said today his votes against right-to-work bills were based on his belief that they are bad for the state and his displeasure with how the bills moved rapidly through the Legislature on Thursday.
Nofs, R-Battle Creek, has long said he did not support making a Michigan a right-to-work state, and today he said he believes it will lower wages and benefits.
"I think that in general, working-class workers will not benefit from this," Nofs said.
He said he thinks workers already have the freedom to decide whether they want to take a job that's unionized or not.
"When you go to apply for a job, you know it's a union job," he said.
"If you don't like unions, don't apply for a union job. There are plenty of other non-union jobs."
Nofs was one of four Senate Republican who joined Democrats in voting against bills that would do away with requirements that unionized workers pay dues to support the union.
Nofs said he was "disappointed in the process," which didn't allow time for committee hearings and a chance for the public to weigh in.
He said he had about 10 minutes to look at the bills before they went to a vote.
Nofs said he supported two amendments that did not pass the Senate. One would have sent right to work to a public vote, another said a worker had to pay union dues to get union benefits.
Nofs said he is taking criticism from his Republican colleagues for the votes, but that he'd been upfront with both sides before Thursday about his questions and concerns.
Right to work will likely become an issue for Republicans in 2014, when legislators and Gov. Rick Snyder seek re-election, Nofs said, but he said he couldn't predict if it would be enough to cause the party to lose its majority control in the House or Senate or the governorship.
"It depends on how hard everybody works," he said.
Battle Creek Enquirer