Right to Work Michigan

Right to Work StatesI just saw a commercial against legislation called “Right to Work.” (Here’s the “anti-right to work” to be fair.)

From what I understand, the legislation will allow individual employees to decide if they would like to be in union or not. (If it’s a union shop) So let’s say you are a teacher… this legislation would allow you to opt out of the teacher’s union and remain being a teacher. Or if you work at a plant and would like to leave the union, this would allow you to do that and still keep your job.

I can’t lie. I think this is a good idea for Michigan. Take a look at the map. Southern states are the ones attracting businesses. Even places like Boise, Idaho have made the list so there is hope for Michigan! Check out Forbes Magazines “Best Places for Business” list and you’ll see that almost all of the top 10 are located in right to work states. (8 out of the 10.)

I’m not saying “let’s stop the unions” and I’m not a union hater. What I am saying is that there should be legislation that allows employees to chose what is best for them. Employees should have the ability to chose if they’d like to pay into a union, accept union benefits, or otherwise opt in or opt out without threats.

Would right to work negatively impact unions? Probably. As I talk to people in my life who are in unions most would opt out if they could. The one protection they appreciate most, job security, hasn’t worked in Michigan or protected jobs. Companies simply haven’t been able to afford union workers and remain profitable in this new economy. There is a general assumption among pro-union people that the buying public is willing to pay more for products produced in union shops. Wal*Mart, Toyota, and Honda have blown that theory out of the water. The American people may say that they will buy “American made” or “union pride” products… but they don’t care. Consumers are driven by value, price, and how a product makes them feel.

Why am I so suspicious of the “anti-right to work” ad campaign? Um, follow the money trail.





5 responses to “Right to Work Michigan”

  1. Linda Avatar

    On the surface it sounds logical to vote for the right to opt out of unions. Reality is the it is a great mistake to go with this proposal.

    Many of the migrates to the Right to Work States are Baby Boomers who acquired benefits from their union years of work. Ask them if they want to give up their insurance, pension, vision, and dental benefits-to live in retirement like many of the right to work retirees.

  2. Linda Avatar

    Right to work employees in many cases are also recent college graduates who were displaced when Michigan’s economy went down. Unfortunate-but
    “Right to work Laws” will not turn Michigan around.
    Re-education, and training in the correct careers will boost the economy. Overall the working people will not benefit. The Corporations and Businesses will profit. Incomes in the Right to Work States are down and the cost of food & products are still increasing.

  3. adam mclane Avatar

    Linda, thanks for your comment.

    Hope you know I’ll counter your point.

    Not to point out the obvious. But if a corporation can make more money in a “right to work” state, don’t you think they would chose to do that? Capitalism implies that business owners want to profit! Profit is not the enemy of capitalism.

    Look at the Forbes list. All of those cities have average incomes on the rise. Here in Michigan we experience the same level of inflation as the rest of the nation with shrinking incomes. Change is needed to reverse the trend.

    1. Ed Cook Avatar
      Ed Cook

      I have but one question for you. How much are you getting paid from the corporations and big-money concerns to propound this crap??? Unionism is the only way that American workers can have power. I don’t know where you come from, but I know for a fact that unionism is the only outlet that American workers have. I belong to two unions and would not EVEN THINK of working without union protection. At best, you are a fool. At the least, you are a lacky for the capitalist jugernaut.

      1. adam mclane Avatar

        Ed- first off, welcome to my blog. I wrote this piece in Jan 08, so it’s not like your replying to something at the forefront of my mind. I’ve never worked for a union, nor would I.

        No, I’m not paid by anyone. Care to share your affiliation?

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