On September 7th Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, introduced House Bill 5829 to bring Worker’s Choice to Michigan. Worker’s Choice is a solution first championed by F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and is quickly gaining national attention. It would allow workers to represent themselves in right-to-work states and relieve unions of having to represent workers who don't pay them.
In August, Worker’s Choice played a role in National Employee Freedom Week, a collaborative effort of more than 100 organizations dedicated to informing employees about their rights to stay in or leave a union.
A national survey conducted by the campaign’s sponsors found that nearly 67 percent of union members support Worker’s Choice. In Michigan, the number was over 70 percent.
Vernuccio served as a national spokesman for the effort and was quoted by several publications around the country. He appeared in a video hosted by The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal, to talk about the survey and Worker’s Choice. Mary Kissel, host for the Journal, ended her interview by saying “Worker’s Choice, sounds like common sense to me.”
The Hill published an op-ed co-authored by Vernuccio with Mackinac Center Adjunct Scholar Jeremy Lott. By the end of National Employee Freedom Week, the article garnered over 1,100 comments.
Politico noted Worker’s Choice is a new idea that is untested in the courts. It said that popular support for the idea was one interesting finding of the survey. It added that “eliminating unions’ obligation to represent nonmembers is an idea that has intrigued a few pro-union commentators as well.”
Worker’s Choice and employee freedom week also received coverage in the Washington Free Beacon, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, The Blaze and several other publications. Grassroots and policy organizations from around the country wrote about the concept or the survey results, including Americans for Prosperity, the Yankee Institute, the Nevada Public Policy Institute, the Illinois Policy Institute and the Civitas Institute.
Back in Michigan, Ingrid Jacques, Deputy editorial page editor at The Detroit News dedicated her Labor Day column to Worker’s Choice, writing “for the workers who do want out, it’s fairer for everyone involved if they can negotiate pay and compensation directly. Unions could finally kiss freeloaders goodbye.”
Thanks to National Employee Freedom Week and the hard work of the Mackinac Center’s communications staff, Worker’s Choice has gone from a white paper to the start of a national movement.