MIDLAND—The citizens of Michigan have been given a new resource that will enable them to understand the role organized labor plays in the state's economy, politics, and daily life.

An in-depth report just released by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan Labor Law: What Every Citizen Should Know, provides Michigan workers, employers, policy-makers, and the news media with a wealth of important information, including

  • How federal and state laws favor mandatory unionism at the expense of workers' individual freedom;

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  • How government employee unions politicize state and local governments;

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  • The legal rights and responsibilities of employees and employers; and

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  • The current decline and future prospects of the organized labor movement.

"It's important for Michigan citizens to understand that unions serve a vital function, but there are lots of problems with how union power has been abused over the years," says study author Robert P. Hunter, director of labor policy for the Mackinac Center. "Most of the abuses involve what unions were organized to protect in the first place: Workers' individual rights."

Hunter offers four key recommendations for protecting the freedom and rights of both workers and employers in today's dynamic marketplace:

  • End compulsory union membership and financial support with a right-to-work law;

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  • Prohibit unions from using dues for political purposes without workers' consent;

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  • Allow non-union workers and management to solve workplace problems; and

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  • Guarantee employees' rights to participate fully in union governance.

"The primary goals of our labor policy in the next decade must be government neutrality, the preservation of a free collective bargaining system, and employee freedom of choice," Hunter says.