Among the bill's Catholic supporters is Father Robert Sirico, president of the Michigan-based Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.
"Who knows best what workers need? It seems to me that workers themselves know best what they need," Fr. Sirico said.
"This legislation, to my understanding, will not stop people from joining unions. What's stopping people from joining unions is pricing the work out of the market. That seems to be the judgment of most workers in Michigan, at least in the private sector," he said.
Fr. Sirico cited the decline in private sector union membership in Michigan, saying that workers "feel that their interests are best served by being able to negotiate their own contracts in a competitive market." He said Catholic teaching holds that the right to join a union is "rooted in the natural right to association" which means people have "the right to associate or not associate."
The priest added that the Catholic Church has no policy position on particular legislation but rather "a set of principles" concerning justice and "the best prudential opportunities that are available to workers for the sake of their families, and the well-being of the community as a whole."
Fr. Oubre rejected any depiction of the legislation as a workers' initiative.
"It was backed by large funders whose goal is to undermine unions till they don't matter. Then workers will be standing alone in relationship with their employers. When that occurs, workers will be back to conditions of Leo XIII in 1891."
Pope Leo XIII helped collect and promulgate Catholic social teaching through several encyclicals that responded to the rise of capitalism and socialism and the injustices of both systems. Since the 19th century, Popes have continued the tradition through their own encyclicals.
Fr. Oubre cited Pope John Paul II's encyclical "Laborem Exercens," which said unions "defend the existential interests of workers in all sectors in which their rights are concerned" and are "an indispensable element of social life, especially in modern industrialized societies."
The priest said the Church's relationship with unions is "both supportive and challenging."
"Without endorsing every tactic of unions or every outcome of collective bargaining, the Church affirms the rights of workers in public and private employment to choose to come together to form and join unions, to bargain collectively, and to have an effective voice in the workplace," he said.
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"At their best, unions are important not just for the economic protections and benefits they can provide for their members, but especially for the voice and participation they can offer to workers."
Fr. Oubre said Catholic social teaching promotes "a vision of co-responsibility to promote the common good" in economic effort. Both labor and management are "intrinsically tied together."
"When either side tries to reduce the voice and place of the other, the potential for injustice grows, and co-responsibility is undermined," he said.
Fr. Sirico said employers have the responsibility to pay their employees "living wages" and to be "competitive in the market" and profitable "because that's the only way in which the workers can be paid."
"Owners have to provide an environment that is decent, that protects the dignity of the worker, that ensures for a vibrant business," he continued.
He said Catholics should decide the extent to which they cooperate with organizations that promote policies that are "intrinsically evil." He said all the unions in Michigan favor abortion rights and mandatory employer coverage for contraception.