The Associated Builders and Contractors congratulated Michigan for becoming the nation’s 24th right-to-work state.

“Workers in Michigan have a reason to celebrate because they now have the right to freely decide whether to join a union,” said the association’s national chairman, Eric Regelin, president of Granix LLC in Ellicott City, Md. “No American should be required to join a labor union just to keep a job, and no resident of Michigan should be forced to pay dues to an organization he or she does not believe in. That is just wrong.”

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bill Tuesday. It outlaws requiring union membership or the mandatory payment of union dues or similar fees as a condition of employment for most public and private sector workers. Police and firefighters are exempt.

“As in other right-to-work states, Michigan likely will see new businesses moving into the state and creating more jobs,” Regelin said. “Hopefully more lawmakers – strapped with massive budget deficits, falling revenues and stagnant economic growth -- will consider a right-to-work law to help turn their economies around.”

Michigan’s enactment of the bill, which was introduced and passed in a matter of days by the Republican-controlled legislature, is seen by supporters and opponents of such laws as especially significant. Michigan is the home of the United Auto Workers and has a long and storied labor history. It is the second state in the nation’s so-called Rust Belt to enact a right to work law. Indiana’s governor signed the Hoosier State’s law earlier this year.