Impact of MI Right to Work Bills

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Three bills addressing "Right to Work" are going through the Michigan legislature fast. Sponsors of the bills say there's no hidden agenda.

"You don't have to join the union if it's a union shop for a company, you have an option. All we're doing is giving the employee a choice," said Rep. Paul Opsommer, R-Dewitt.

Labor experts agree it's straightforward, but what that means in the long run is a different story. According to MSU Labor Relations Professor John Beck, employees working for a union shop won't be required to pay dues, but would receive the same pay and benefits. However, he says non-union members won't have a say in what the union actually negotiates on their behalf.

According to Prof. Beck, the choice may become a burden for the unions in the long run and ultimately affect benefits of employees

"You can only provide for members and non-members in a workplace if it maintains a certain level of strength both in its power to claim it has majority support, it has solidarity of its members and on the other side that it has the financial resources that come from dues," said Prof. Beck.

Rep. Opsommer maintains that collective bargaining is protected and workers will get more with choice.

"Unions are now in a position to become much more responsive to the needs of all of the members of the union," said Rep. Opsommer.

UAW Local 652 President Mike Green refuses to believe Right to Work isn't about collective bargaining and calls it "union busting." He says they will be back at the Capitol on Tuesday, which is when the legislature is expected to take up the bills again.

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  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 13, 2012 at 04:26 AM
    I love how people argue that the Bill is pushed without a Vote. Did Oboma push the health care bill through without a vote? Yet you supprt that cause you elected him for a 2nd term. LOL This is awesome. I love how people can be so one sided.
  • by Lori Location: Lansing on Dec 10, 2012 at 09:32 AM
    What this "Right to Work" legislation is going to do is make unions nothing more than an organization on paper. No one is going to pay union dues if they don't have to which will, in turn, weaken our unions so much that they will be, in effect, a thing of the past.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 7, 2012 at 06:27 PM
    So if a union of one person is in a shop with 100 non-union member does that mean that what that person negotiates happens.
  • by William Location: michigan on Dec 7, 2012 at 05:33 PM
    Gov. Snyder and the rest of the Republicans are doing what ever they can to bust Unions. There will be a big price to pay for this. I wouldn't want to have to stand to close to this rotten bunch of SOB's.
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 7, 2012 at 04:17 PM
    December 7th, 2012...A date that will live in infamy! Democracy, and the democratic intentions set forth in our constitution were viciously, and deliberately attacked by sources within our own government...... If its the "will of the people" Gov. Why then did you bury it with appropriations so the people couldn't vote it out???? Sad day indeed for democracy, doesn’t matter if you are pro or anti labor!
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 7, 2012 at 04:16 PM
    OK help me with this. It is in retaliation for the unions pushing proposal 2 according to the governor, yet its just to give the employee a choice? Which is it? Feedom to work, what a farce. runiing pretty low on democratic freedoms as far as I can tell.
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