[Photo of Robert P. Hunter]

Robert P. Hunter

Senior Fellow in Labor Policy

Robert P. Hunter served as the regional director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority in Washington, D.C., and is the senior fellow in labor policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Hunter was director of labor policy for the Mackinac Center from 1996 to 2003.

For the Mackinac Center, Hunter researches critical employment issues and educates key Michigan audiences including elected officials, policymakers, labor and business executives, and opinion leaders.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Hunter to the National Labor Relations Board in 1981, where he adjudicated more than 3000 labor law cases. He served as Chief Counsel to the U. S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources in 1981. He also served as the chief legislative staffer for U. S. Senators Robert Taft Jr. and Orrin Hatch.

In December 1996, Hunter was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Michigan Civil Service Commission, which has plenary constitutional authority to create and operate the state employment system.

Hunter has authored numerous articles for prestigious publications such as Michigan's Wayne Law Review, and has prepared and delivered over 200 speeches and lectures to national audiences on vital labor issues.

Hunter is a former faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University Graduate Business School and has served as labor policy advisor to the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Human Resource Management, and other organizations.

Throughout a decade of private practice with a major international law firm, Hunter has helped hundreds of clients implement positive alternative strategies to resolve labor issues.

Hunter is admitted to practice before the U. S. Supreme Court and belongs to several state bar associations. He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School and he holds a master of laws degree in labor law from the New York University School of Law.

The Michigan Union Accountability Act:

Unions in Michigan represent over 900,000 workers and take in more than $250 million in membership dues annually. But in spite of their expansive wealth and political power, requirements that unions disclose their financial dealings are minimal. Reform of the federal reporting system, which governs private-sector unions, is needed but unlikely in the current political climate. Michigan can take the lead by passing its own Union Accountability Act, requiring annual financial disclosure reports and independent audits of public-sector union affiliates active in the Great Lakes State. … more

Union Scam

Let's Have Full Disclosure of Union Finances

Under the law, union workers have the right to request a refund of any dues their unions spend on non-workplace-related activities. Unfortunately, lax financial reporting requirements and government enforcement make it difficult for workers to exercise this right. It's time for legislators to hold unions to the same kind of public disclosure standards as corporations, so that workers can know where their dues are going. … more

Voluntary Unionism: An Essential Part of School Reform

Two issues in the educational reform mix that are most often neglected are the critical role that collective bargaining plays in the delivery of educational services and how compulsory unionism hurts public education. … more

Campaign Finance Reform Must Recognize Workers' Rights

As Congress considers various "campaign finance reform" proposals, it should incorporate into any final legislative package the rights of workers not to be forced into paying for their unions' political agendas. "Paycheck protection," which requires unions to obtain up-front written permission before spending dues on political activities, is one way to safeguard workers' rights. … more

Teachers should know their rights

Teacher's Case Shows How Union Workers Can Re-Direct Dues to Charity

A Livonia teacher recently won his bid to send his union dues to charity as an alternative to funding the union's political and moral agenda, which he opposes on religious grounds. … more

"Living Wage" Laws Kill Privatization

Religious Liberty and Compulsory Unionism: A Worker's Guide to Using Union Dues for Charity

Many employees in unionized workplaces do not know that if they harbor religious objections to joining, financing, or otherwise associating with labor unions, they have legal recourse if their union or employer or both violate those rights. This report explains the statutes and developing case law that protect religious employees' freedom of conscience in the workplace by allowing them to refrain from union membership and divert their compulsory dues to a charity of their choice. … more

Time Is Money: Give Michigan Workers a Flexible "Comp-Time" Law

Rigid, Depression-era labor laws should be revised to allow more flexible employment arrangements for America's changing workforce, which increasingly includes women with young children. … more