Update: Earlier this evening the House approved House Bill 4054 which will provide workplace freedom to private sector union workers, ending forced unionization and forced union deductions that take away a worker's right to control how their hard-earned paycheck is spent. A separate bill currently in the Senate will provide labor freedom rights for government and public workers. That bill is expected to be voted on Tuesday.

State Representatives Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and Joe Graves (R-Argentine Township) released statements today on the proposed Freedom to Work legislation.

From Representative Ananich:

“I strongly opposed this job-killing, divisive measure because we should be focused on working together to restore our economy, not pitting people against each other. This legislation will only take money out of the pockets of hardworking people, costing us jobs, and weakening the middle class.

The place where I grew up, the town I love and call home, Flint Michigan is rightfully recognized as the birthplace of collective bargaining and the middle class. I can tell you that we’ve fought and won this fight before, and we will not give up on these values and priorities now. I can promise you that I will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the working families who are making their voice heard on this.

Make no mistake that the Republicans who control the legislature made this choice and crammed this through in a shameful way because they know it does not have the support of the majority of people. As a son of Flint, this was a battle I had hoped would not come, but it is one worth fighting in every way we can.”

From Representative Graves:

Unions have an important role in our state, but workers also deserve the chance to choose whether they'd like to be a union member or not which is why I voted for this legislation today," said Graves, R-Argentine Township. "Every worker in Michigan should be allowed the choice to join, support any group or cause and today we have restored freedom in our workplaces.

Today we are putting Michigan workers back in charge of their own lives and own careers," Graves said. "This change will give our workers more rights and restore workplace fairness and equality to everyone who works in our great state