DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – United Auto Workers President Bob King said Thursday that a coalition of 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. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has said the issue is not a priority for his administration.

A union coalition will push for a November ballot issue protecting the right to have union shops King told about 1,000 people at the UAW’s national convention in Washington.

King said union representatives discussed the drive Wednesday in Washington, according to The Detroit News.

“In that meeting, we got consensus,” King said. “The UAW has been out in front advocating for in Michigan that we do a ballot initiative to change the Michigan Constitution – to protect workers against corporations and guarantee workers’ right to collective bargaining.”

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

King said other union presidents decided to support the Michigan effort in order to send a message.

“We hope that Michigan can lead what will then be movements around the United States to guarantee workers’ rights to organize and to collective bargaining,” he said.

King predicted Michigan voters would “overwhelmingly” support the initiative. Gov. Rick Snyder has said he doesn’t support right-to-work proposals.


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TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments (8)
  1. Bill says:

    State of Indiana just went right to work. the results are very positive. Toyota adding at least 400 jobs. Caterpillar is relocating a plant from Canada to Indiana. Much more to follow. In time all states will be right to work. Unions just don’t make sense.

  2. Citizen Observer says:

    Right to Work allows fellow citizens to avoid having to be 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 outvoted by a majority of their fellow workers are forced to pay dues and fees to a union they do not want IF they want to continue to have a job. Far more critical is the fact that approximately 90% of Michigan’s union-represented workers NEVER EVEN HAD THE CHANCE to vote in an election regarding their personal choice to be represented 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 exorbinant 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 option to vote for or against.

  3. Kyle says:

    I am a life long Michigander and I try to always support our state and the city of Detroit. I drive a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee which is built right here in Detroit and I could not be more proud of the product. However, I sometimes do not understand people’s mindset here in Michigan. The problem with Unions is that over time, they have become way to powerful and have a stranglehold on our state in both the private and government sectors. When 90% of the automarket is controlled by the Big 3, Unions are all fine and dandy. However, with the evolution of the global marketplace, Michigan needs to change and evolve with it. Why do you think jobs in this state either went south or overseas? Because Unions are a drain on a companies reasources. A person should not have to pay Union dues to keep a job, on top of that, look how the UAW personel behave on there lunch breaks. Really?? They recieve federal bailout money to stay alive and you are actually going to get drunk on your lunch breake? Come on! Michigan needs to be a right-to-work state in order to compete with the WORLD. I believe in our workforce and its capability, but I do not think that Unions are at all neccessary in this day and age. Maybe 80 years ago, but not today. You make Michigan a right-to-work state, and companies will want to invest in Michiagn and its hard working people. Union leaders, followers and workers need to drop the mindset that Unions protect workers when really they harm them in the long run for cuasing jobs to move out of state. Come on Michigan, wake up! Unions need to go, bottom line.

  4. Bill Paden says:

    Unions are a deterant to business. Make Michigan a right to work state.

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