Chamber Voices Opposition to Legislation Repealing Right-to-Work Law

January 14, 2019

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today issued the following statement in response to legislation (HBs 4033 and 4034) introduced last week by two leading House Democrats that would repeal Michigan’s 2012 right-to-work law.  

“The Michigan Chamber is strongly opposed to efforts to repeal Michigan’s historic right-to-work law and will fight to preserve and protect it,” said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley. 

“Returning Michigan workers to the days of forced unionization and compulsory union dues is completely unacceptable,” continued Studley. “Michigan’s right-to-work law has been a key factor in Michigan’s economic recovery and competitiveness. No Michigander should be forced to join a union to get or keep a job.”

“We are disappointed that some House Democrats apparently want to revisit old fights instead of working together on key issues where there is seemingly bipartisan agreement, like fixing Michigan’s roads, filling the talent gap and reducing Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation auto insurance costs,” said Jim Holcomb, Executive Vice President for the Chamber. 

“The right-to-work law doesn’t prohibit a union's right to exist or prevent collective bargaining, it simply gives every employee the ability to decide for themselves if joining and financially supporting a union is the right choice for them,” noted Wendy Block, Vice President of Business Advocacy for the Michigan Chamber. “Labor unions typically hide behind the ‘free loader’ argument for repealing right-to-work; however, it is usually the unions themselves that insist on contracts that cover all workers in a workplace.”

“There is no legislative or constitutional provision against unions requesting ‘members only’ contracts during negotiations with management,” continued Block. “Just like anything else in the marketplace, unions should continue to prove their value to workers. If workers see value, they will join the union and pay dues.” 

“In 2019, legislative leaders have a very important choice to make: look for points of agreement and opportunities to work together or revisit divisive old fights,” noted Studley. “Will House Democrats be bridge builders or a road block to moving Michigan forward?” 

For further information on this issue or the Michigan Chamber's position, please contact Wendy Block at wblock@michamber.com.

Updated January 21, 2019

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