DETROIT (WWJ) – The UAW and other unions are fighting to keep “right-to-work” supporters from changing the state’s labor laws.

The “We are the People” Coalition is starting a petition drive to create a ballot measure that, if passed, would amend Michigan’s constitution and prevent it from becoming a right-to-work state.

“What has really been the catalyst for this is the fact that right-to-work just passed in Indiana, and of course there is this fear that this would snowball and the right-to-work legislation would move through other midwestern states,” said Labor Historian Mike Smith.”So, I think the labor movement needs to stop it in its tracks.”

People who support right-to-work say it would make Michigan a more attractive place to do business.

Opponents believe it’s an attempt to break down unions and the protection they offer workers.

“You’re going to get a lot of support from citizens, especially since this is a strong union state. Still, there are a lot of folks who belong to unions, who feel threatened, and these people vote,” said Smith. “However, since we have a Republican House and a Republican Senate, there is plenty of support for right to work.”

Nearly 18 percent of the state’s workers belong to a union. Michigan has the fifth-highest percentage of unionized workers in the U.S.

Comments (14)
  1. Bill says:

    Right to work will open the state up to more employment. Unions discourage employers from doing business in Michigan.

    1. gbortz says:

      you are wrong unions provide a standard of living every american deserves. where is your pride in being american. its just a sham to make people like you think like the 1% ers

  2. Barb says:

    Unfortunately, history has shown that, left to their own devices, most employers don’t really care about what they offer or how they treat employees — thus the emergence of labor unions.

    1. Kyle says:

      Um yeah, back when the Federal government hardly regulated employers. THUS, no unions are needed today. Right-to-work will only benefit Michigan and make it a more business friendly state. Union states loose jobs and discourage growth. Its time to change.

      1. Nancy says:

        And what part of the Federal Government regulates how employees are treated, their hours, their pay, their benefits? You are totally wrong Kyle Right to work benefits no one in the end unless you are willing to do the job offered for a very low wage.

  3. Jim says:

    How about this: Unions with no dues, and volunteer leadership. That’s right, no paycheck for the Bob Kings, and no political party (Democrat) favortism. Does anyone think that is a viable alternative. I’m just sayin’!

  4. Yeah, Go ahead and turn Michigan in to a Right to Work State, then you can kiss your benifits and Medical Insurance good bye. You can kiss your job a fund Farewell too because you will have just given your employer the right to fire you at the drop of a hat. Right to Work equals …. No employee Rights.

  5. Shawn says:

    Right to work in any state means Right to earn low wages…lets just call ourselves China. If you want to work for $2 a day and have no protection in your workplace, then by all means. Kyle — you obviously have no idea what you are talking about. There is more of a need for unions now than ever since companies are outsourcing so much. Right to work = NO MORE USA!


    If it weren’t for a union , we would be without medical ins. good wages would be lost , working conditions would be poor, it is obvious that employers treat employees like dirt , people that work hard are being shafted by the outsourcing that has been going on in this country , that is why Japan China and other foreign interests kick our a– in the markets , and a lot of corporate greed , especially on wall street , its too bad unions can’t stop the outsource that has been going on all these years ,

  7. nobody says:

    So, if I’m understanding the argument correctly….right to work could result in more jobs but at possibly lower wages and less or more costly benefits. However, if a company is unionized and pays higher wages, more and less costly benefits, it may be forced to either close down or move the jobs overseas? One option equals jobs and the other equals loss of jobs as I see it.

  8. Craig says:

    Right to work = right to work for less, much less. Lower pay, few or no benefits, poorer safety for workers……..but massively higher profits for those at the top who are already wealthy.
    On top of blocking right to work laws we need MAJOR REFORM at the federal level.
    It would be easy to stop out sourcing of jobs if the federal government took REAL action FOR WORKERS in stead of the wealthy. We could have lower taxes at the same time as well. And here’s how:

    A large increase in import tariffs. If you are shipping in ANYTHING other than raw materials you have to PAY to do business here.

    This to apply to ALL companies & and countries. NO EXCEPTIONS AT ALL.

    This would END OUT SOURCING almost overnight. The USA is the largest market in the world, and companies are not going to walk away from that.

    Companies will scream loud and long over this & have their lobbyists & paid for legislators up in arms against it. But this is the way we must go to reclaim our nation & heritage. It would also be a huge step towards a balanced US budget & foreign trade imbalances.

    1. Arron D says:

      But craig, right to be unemployed legislation would result in no work in the US. Then all those evil companies would be happy to pay the tariffs – all that gets passed on to the consumer anyways. And if you are unemployed and can’t afford their product, someone else is working, maybe for less, maybe for more, and the US becomes just like Soviet russia. Great concept.

      Keep up the good work – Unions; Making the US weaker, poorer and less competent for 110 years!

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