Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan signed so-called “right-to-work” bills into law yesterday, Tuesday, December 11. The bills will impact both public and private sector unions.
The crux of these bills, and any other right-to-work law, is the prohibition of “fair share fees,” also known as “agency fees,” which unions collect from non-members for services. Despite not being able to collect fair share fees, unions that operate in right-to-work states still have to represent and provide services to non-members, and even can be sued by non-members if they believe they are not adequately being represented.
While proponents of right-to-work tout ideological principles such as “freedom in the workplace,” right-to-work is a thinly-veiled union-busting tool. Without fair share, it is extremely difficult for unions to represent their members and participate in the political process.
More information about right-to-work can be found on our website: Right-to-Work is Wrong.
Organized labor in Michigan already has begun to explore the option of spearheading a citizens’ initiative to bring this issue to a statewide vote in 2014. In the meantime, though, the right-to-work law would take effect.