Labor Reform Efforts Still Big Issue In Michigan, Across Country

Mackinac Center experts recently in the news

Workers deserve a choice not only when it comes to union membership, but also in whether they will work under a union-negotiated contract.

F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and Jeremy Lott, an adjunct scholar with the Center, wrote about Rep. Gary Glenn’s new Worker’s Choice bill in an op-ed published by the Midland Daily News. House Bill 5829 would give Michigan’s government employees the freedom to pay dues to a union and allow it to bargain on their behalf, or not pay union dues and negotiate directly with their employer.

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Labor leaders might not like such a setup, but if the bill were enacted, their legal and crocodile-tear complaint against “free riders” (who are more like “forced riders”) in Michigan’s public sector unions would go away.

Rank-and-file members may already be far ahead of their leadership in understanding the basic fairness of Worker’s Choice. In one national survey, almost 70 percent of union members polled thought those people who don’t wish to pay union dues ought to represent themselves.

They reference Flint teacher Stephen Hall, who wants the freedom to negotiate a contract that fits the unique needs of his family, rather than accept the one-size-fits-all terms negotiated by the union.

Employees and unions in South Dakota would also benefit from a Worker’s Choice law, though a bill has not yet been introduced there. Instead, unions are pushing a convoluted ballot measure to undermine right-to-work and force people to pay for representation, even if they’d rather work directly with their employer and negotiate their own terms. Lott and Vernuccio wrote about the situation in the Washington Examiner:

Forget for a second that unions pushed for the current laws that give them a monopoly on bargaining in unionized shops. It may not be ideal that unions should have to negotiate for workers and not get paid for it. It is incredibly unfair to workers to not be given a choice in the matter.

In other labor-related news, Vernuccio recently spoke with WJR’s Frank Beckmann about the attempts to unionize student athletes, and Lott wrote in The American Spectator about a union’s misguided focus on the Black Lives Matter agenda rather than a potentially jobs-killing tax proposal.

Read the full op-ed in the Midland Daily News here.

Read the full op-ed in the Washington Examiner here.

Listen to Vernuccio’s interview with Frank Beckmann here.

Read Lott’s full op-ed in The American Spectator here.

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