In the part one of this series, we reflected upon the last decade and demonstrated how workers in Michigan and Wisconsin were hurt when their governors enacted anti-union laws.

(Note: A more in-depth study making the same point was published by the Economic Policy Institute. When you’re finished reading this series, take a moment to read the summary of their report HERE.)

In contrast, we looked to Pennsylvania and Minnesota where pro-labor governors did not pursue similar policies and succeeded at retaining 95 percent of union jobs throughout their tenure.

In addition to being a bulwark to so-called “Right to Work” laws and other anti-worker policies, labor-friendly governors have also been aggressive in their efforts to protect our right to collective bargaining.

For example, in 2019, newly-elected governors J.B. Pritzker (Illinois) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (New Mexico) stood strongly with workers when they signed legislation banning local governments from establishing so-called “right to work” zones.

When he signed the bill, Pritzker said, “‘Right-to-work’ has always meant, ‘right to work for less money,’ and it’s wrong for Illinois.” (Source)

Also in 2019, Govs. Kate Brown (Oregon) and Jay Carney (Delaware) offered a legislative rebuke of the U.S. Supreme Court’s anti-union Janus vs. AFSCME decision, each signing laws to expand and protect collective bargaining rights for public workers in their states.

However, a governor’s powers extend far beyond passing new laws.