By Tim Skubick

LANSING (WWJ) – A coalition of groups led by the United Auto Workers union is launching a petition drive this week to keep Michigan from following the lead of Indiana and becoming a “right-to-work” state.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says banning right-to-work will not be easy.

“We have right to work supporters who say the polling data suggests right now that the vast majority of Republicans favor right-to-work. Even one-third of the union households favor it,” Skubick said. “So, it could be a battle if the unions get their act together and get the names and place this on the November ballot for you to decide.”

UAW President Bob King announced last week that unions will push for an amendment to the Michigan Constitution that bars so-called “right-to-work” legislation outlawing contracts that require employees to join unions. Republicans who control the state Legislature have been pushing for a law that would ban labor agreements with mandatory union dues.

King said they will seek 500,000 signatures, about twice what the law requires to place a constitutional amendment on the state ballot before the July deadline.

Skubick says even though Governor Rick Snyder claims right-to-work is not on his agenda, the unions say a ballot initiative would ensure Michigan would remain a labor stronghold.

If the proposal makes it on the ballot in November, the issue could also drive Democrats to the polls, which would help a lot of pro-labor candidates.

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Comments (7)
  1. An Observer says:

    Right to Work allows fellow citizens to avoid being forced to pay dues and fees to a union they do not want. Without right to work legislation, fellow citizens who vote against union representation but are out-voted by a majority of their fellow workers are forced to pay dues and fees to a union they do not want IF they wish to continue to have a job. Far more critical is the fact that approximately 90% of Michigan’s union-represented workers NEVER HAVE HAD THE CHANCE to ever vote in an election regarding their personal choice to be represented by a union or not. Finally, should we have to pay dues and fees to hold a job? Should we have to pay dues and fees to a union that uses the money to pay exorbitant salaries to their senior officers and legal counsel, money to pay for a golf course or for conventions and parties and social events you don’t get to use or attend? And do you want your wages to be charged for union dues and fees to then be spent on political candidates you might not support? People….this is a free country. Respect yourself….preserve your dignity. At least don’t pay dues and fees to a union you never even had the opportunity to vote for or against.

    1. Another Observer says:

      To “An Observer”

      Very well said!!

  2. Jim says:

    Bob King and his cronies are just campaigning to keep their high paid jobs, and their resort up North. Another example of “if you have it, I want it”; or “you owe me”.

  3. Racerboy says:

    Just another Union Thug operation. The UAW is nothing more than the Mafia dressed as auto workers. They are also pushing for all Union voting to be done WITHOUT the secret ballot protection. What more do you need to know about these guys? The Right to Work act is exactly that…the right to work without the intimidation of a Union staring over your shoulder and skimming your paycheck to line the pockets of it’s leadership.

  4. shortstop says:

    just ask the dozens of the “new” wage tier employees, who are forced to pay union dues, no rights to vote, and are “temps” , no benefits, no bonus money, and 1/2 the pay of their coworkers.

  5. Kari says:

    Union workers are NOT forced to pay union dues. They can opt-out. Unfortunately, the people who complain about unions have either never been a part of a union or were a poor employee who felt the union didn’t do enough to protect them when they lost their job, so…they complain! The union has provided for me my entire life and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be protected by my union contract and to have the pay and benefits to support my family! Anyone can apply for a job at a company who has a union, and you too would take the benefits and pay offered to you, if you had the opportunity! Not everyone feels their employers are “thugs” as you put it!

  6. racerboy says:

    Earlier in the day, UAW member Terry Bowman testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he was tired of UAW bosses using his dues for politics he opposes. Michigan is not a Right To Work state and thousands of workers in the state are forced to pay UAW fees against their will.

    Bowman testified that the simplest way to fix the system would be to pass a National Right To Work Act that would allow all union members more influence over their unions. With the ability to leave a union, members have the power to force unions officials to listen. Without Right To Work, there is no Voluntary Unionism and only Compulsory Unionism that results in union kingpins rather than responsive officials.

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