Michigan Chamber Announces Support for Passage of Freedom to Work Legislation

December 3, 2012

Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 - The Michigan Chamber of Commerce announced today its support for passage of “freedom to work” legislation that would prohibit employees in Michigan from being forced to join a union or provide financial support to a union as a condition of employment. Currently, Michigan employees can be forced toparticipate in a union and are required to contribute financially or face termination.

“After surveying the Michigan Chamber’s general membership (85 percent support), receiving clear direction from our Board of Directors and carefully reviewing the impact Freedom to Work legislation would have on Michigan, it is clear that now is the time for bold and decisive leadership to pass comprehensive Freedom to Work legislation that applies to both the public and private sectors,” said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley. “This action would make Michigan the 24th state (after Indiana) to enact Freedom to Work legislation and it would help create and retain jobs in Michigan and improve our state’s economic competitiveness.”

“We support this legislation because it is good public policy that will protect all employees from being forced to join a union and pay dues against their will,” said Jim Holcomb, Senior Vice President & General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber. “It is important to understand that Freedom to Work legislation is allowed under federal law and does not prohibit a union’s right to exist or prevent collective bargaining – it just gives every employee the ability to decide for themselves if joining and financially supporting a union is the right choice for them.”