Give Right to Work the Chance to Work in Michigan

In December of last year, Michigan passed Right-to-Work legislation. As expected, unions panicked, and this resulted in arrests, property damage, and assault. Unfortunately for the unions, they simply weren’t getting the job done in Michigan. Fortunately for the workers, legislators stepped in and did the right thing for them. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan and a coalition of unions are asking a judge to strike the law down. 

Yesterday, the groups filed a complaint asking Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette to invalidate the law. They allege that the state violated the Open Meetings Act as the Capitol was locked down for approximately four hours on the day the legislation was approved. In a statement, executive director for Michigan’s ACLU Kary Moss said that that passing this bill in a lame duck session “while the public is shut out of the debate every step of the way is illegal and shameful.” The police, however, said that they had to shut down the building due to public safety as there was already such a large number of people inside the building. Pro right-to-work group Michigan Freedom Fund released a statement saying “The lawsuit filed today by union bosses and politicians bought and paid for with their special interest dollars is a blatant and disgusting attempt to line their own pockets by oppressing working class Michigan families.”

There is nothing preventing a worker from joining a union, so why are the unions so scared? If they feel that they provide a marketable service to the workers, they have nothing about which to worry.

In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this, it states that “everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” Doesn’t it also follow that every person has the right to make that decision for himself?However, unions don’t see it that way. It’s too bad, since unions are supposed to represent the best interests of the workers.

Right-to-work benefits workers and the economy. Take Indiana, Michigan’s next-door-neighbor for example. As of December, of last year, 67 companies were looking to move to Indiana in the wake of their right-to-work legislation being passed, and thirty-one had already committed to moving. Those 31 companies account for at least 3,700 new jobs and $431 million to Indiana’s economy. In fact, the top six states in job growth are all right-to-work states, and five of the six worst are union-shop states. The only exception is Louisiana, which is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Right-to-work leads to more companies doing business, which leads to job growth. That’s why unemployment is lower in right-to-work states, it’s an obvious correlation. 

Since Indiana adopted right-to-work legislation, around 90 companies have relocated there from Michigan. With Michigan’s economy already struggling, the state cannot sustain more job hemmorages. It’s time to bring jobs to Michigan, and to those which follow right-to-work legislation. This is not an issue of union-busting, this is an issue of personal freedom and economic success. It looks like right-to-work is here to stay in Michigan, which is a good thing, because that state needs the economic boost, and workers deserve the right to choose. 

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