Unions Prepare to Fight Right-To-Work Legislation

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

Proposal 2 may have been defeated earlier this month, but as far as its supporters are concerned, the fight for working families is just starting.

The Michigan AFL-CIO is holding 17 meetings across the state this week. At the meetings, union supporters are discussing potential battles unions could face as lame duck sessions continue at the Capitol.

"There are rumors out there that they might take a look at something like a right-to-work legislation," said Tom Ferris, a former Lansing teacher and leader of the ALF-CI meeting in Charlotte. "We're concerned that it won't be anything good for Michigan or for Michigan's working families."

A right-to-work law would prohibit contracts that force workers to join unions. In addition, those workers would get the same benefits as union members, a big problem for unions.

It is a heated topic that had cooled off for a while...until now.

"The debate has started in Lansing about freedom to work and whether we should have this legislation," said Ari Adler, Press Secretary for Speaker of the House, Jase Bilge.

For right-to-work supporters, it has everything to do with with keeping Michigan competitive.

"We now have several border states that have gone with right-to-work legislation and they have seen success economically with attracting employers," said Adler.

Those against such legislation disagree.

"It those states where right-to-work has been the case, we found that income for working families has been decreased," said Ferris. "It hasn't created any jobs."

One thing is for sure. Now that the discussion has started, legislators don't expect it to stop.

"The Speaker is ready to continue that debate," said Adler. "It's just a question of whether we do it during lame duck or not."

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  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 12, 2012 at 10:54 AM
    non-unoin member here, great medical, paid continuing education, 6 weeks vacation, life insurance, and a few other perks. No need for a union.
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM
    RTW means Michigan can attract companies who do not want to deal with unions.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 11, 2012 at 10:22 PM
    Bring it on ! Citizens of Michigan want Jobs, and were fed up with the strong arm tactics by the unions . We need Businesses, we need Jobs, we need to be what we once were. Unions have become more corrupt than ever before, and now they just hate that we will have the right to choose...Where we spend our money.
  • by Courtney Location: Location on Dec 11, 2012 at 09:06 AM
    Benjamin, I was union and the union did very little except plan christmas parties and whine about everything the administration tried to do. I had the choice to join and did to see what it was all about. If you were a favorite, they would bend over backwards for you, if not, well then you were called a lier a complainer and you best not expect much help. No matter what administrations do, the union will always ask for more more more. If you give them what they want, then it is only because they were forced and it still isn't enough. I am glad to be out of a union. The old day unions had a place and purpose and were effective. Today's union, for the most part, prefer to get paid high and whine because it is not enough. For them, it will never be enough until every employee gets paid like CEO's regardless of if a company can sustain. Look at what union did for Hostess. They couldn't get their demands and so 18,500 non/union members were the sacrifice. Employees complain about taking on 3 times their job description and the unions do nothing to correct it but you best pay your dues. While union bosses get paid to sit in their cushy chairs, the employees are not getting safer environments under the union. Who needs that! Why have a union?
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 10, 2012 at 04:01 AM
    CadillacKurt, are speaking of the new UAW workers that have been sold out by the older UAW workers. You know, less pay, higher insurance cost, 401K's for the same work. What this does is make union leaders accountable to their membership.
  • by Elaine Location: Location on Dec 6, 2012 at 05:01 AM
    Before I am attacked as a Union person let me make it clear; I have never belonged to a union and probably never will since I am very close to retirement. There is a place for unions; yes sometimes they seem to have too much power but at least it allows people the opportunity to work together to agree on contracts and to protect workers rights. Right now the corporations have too much power and they are not looking out for the interests of the workers; look at examples of the CEO's wages compared to the lowest paid workers in their organization. They have more education but it takes everyone working together to make a business succeed. Don't look down on uneducated people that work hard for a living. I was fortunate enough being a woman to go to college in the 60's when people used to think it was a woman's goal to get an MRS Degree. I have used my education to my benefit but support those who work hard and want to have a liveable wage. Yes I was a flower child so maybe this is the reason I think the way I do today.
  • by Thomas Location: Jackson on Dec 5, 2012 at 10:44 PM
    I've been driving the hilo at the shop for 25 years! You tell me if anyone is going to do that work for $8/hour! You have to breathe them fumes and deal with the extreme hot and cold weather. No way somebody going to do that work for minimum wage! We got a union for a reason! Keep it that way.
  • by Benjamin Mann Location: East Lansing on Dec 5, 2012 at 01:40 PM
    People against Unions don't understand anything about them. They hear one thing and think it must be true since it doesn't help them directly. There needs to be compromise on this issue but in general! What the legislature is doing right now in Lansing is guaranteeing that they will NOT be re-elected and this outrage will be payed for when the pendulum swings back the other way!
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 5, 2012 at 12:40 PM
    I own my own business,s and my employee's had a choice in joining a union or not. They choose Not. We have lost work as they made that choice, and if you want to work on certin projects you must belong to a union. That is not right! It is the union discriminating against anyone who disagrees with them.
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 5, 2012 at 10:35 AM
    I don't work in a union shop and I get great health benefits, more paid Holidays than most, and three weeks paid vacation. we have a team of people dedicated to plant safety and all of this without being in a union. Sorry to all you union mafia dons, I'm not drinking your Kool-Aid.
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