For decades, unions have been protecting and representing many workers in Michigan, giving them a fair shot against corporate bargaining interests. Recently, however, so-called “right-to-work” proposals have been catching on under Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s administration. “Right-to-work” laws, which should really be called “anti-union” laws, would prohibit employers and unions from requiring a worker to join a union and make collection of dues much more difficult. As a result, unions would lose much, maybe all, of their bargaining power.
If you look past the rhetoric, is becomes clear that anti-union legislation has very little correlation with job availability. Nevada, Florida, Georgia, and both Carolinas have unemployment rates over 10% (the national average is 9.1%), and all are so-called “right-to-work” states. With an overcrowded labor pool and no collective bargaining power, each individual employee is on his or her own against the employer – often a large corporation. As we have seen in Wisconsin and elsewhere, union-busting can have dire consequences for ordinary workers.
Labor and union members who wanted a change from term-limited Governor Granholm’s policies in 2008 may be second-guessing themselves now. Big business is on the verge of getting the upper hand, with no guarantee of a better job climate. As 2012 comes around, employees in all sectors should seriously consider the long-term impact these pro-corporate measures would have.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.