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Local unions excited as repeal of "Right to Work" clears the senate

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Unions say it's a long-awaited development.

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer is poised to strike Michigan's "Right to Work" law from the books.

Democrats have aimed to repeal the measure put in place by Republicans in 2012.

Dan Glass, President of Teamsters 332, is elated to see the right to work repeal get through the Senate.

But even with the repeal likely, he said he's still frustrated the 2012 bill passed at all.

"It's ten years too late, but at least it got done," Glass told ABC12.

Glass believes the 2012 bill put them in an unfair situation.

"The general attitude became 'I can just get it for free. I don't have to pay.' And that's ridiculous. We've had to deal with that for 10 years. You want to come to a union shop? Pay your union dues. You want to go to an athletic club that has a membership fee? Pay the membership fee. They certainly wouldn't let you in the doors if you didn't pay," he explained.

Dan Gaudet, business manager for Local 370, echoed those feelings.

"It is a choice. They can choose not to work for a union contractor. But if they're working for a union contractor and getting all the benefits, they should pay the dues," said Gaudet.

He's also excited to see the push for re-instating the prevailing wage, which prevents non-union contractors from offering a lower rate than unions on government jobs.

"We were outbid on school projects- state-funded projects. And oftentimes we had to go back in there and repair what they did," he said.

He believes bringing back the wage will mean better pay for non-union workers and a better quality of work for buyers.

"It's really good to see our elected officials go through with their promises," Gaudet said.

And Glass said he's just as grateful.

"Just know that labor's got their back all the time, just like they've got ours," he added.

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