LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Four years after Michiganders got the right to choose whether they wanted to join a union, membership has actually increased.

“Obviously this is not what those who wanted to pass that legislation had intended. It’s the opposite,” said Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber.

Bieber says it’s great news for Michigan.

“Union membership is up and that translates over to more people being able to band together and speak collectively to raise wages, better benefits, more time off with family,” Bieber said.

While Senator Rick Jones was for the right-to-work legislation, he recognizes that the increase of 36,000 members means two things:

“There’s more jobs and it means that people are joining and that’s fine. That’s your right as an Americans to decide whether you want to be a member or you don’t want to be a member,” said Jones.

Bieber says in a right-to-work state, workers make $1,500 less on average. However, a booming auto industry is contributing to better jobs and unemployment is shrinking.

“I think that’s why Michigan is, is rebounded better in union membership than the other states because we’re so auto-centric.”

Right-to-work aside, everyone can agree that increased jobs and wages are better for Michigan’s economic growth.