Tags: michigan | union | membership | right | work | law

Michigan Union Membership Plunges Under Right-to-Work Law

By    |   Friday, 23 Jan 2015 07:55 PM

Union membership in Michigan, an organized labor bastion with its large auto worker base, has fallen sharply since passage of a state right-to-work law that unions vehemently opposed, Michigan Live reports.

The percentage of wage- and salary-earners belonging to unions in Michigan fell by 48,000 people — or almost 2 percentage points — in 2014, the state's first full year under the law championed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

Michigan union membership in 2014 fell to 585,000 employees (14.5 percent of the state's work force) from 633,000 employees (16.3 percent) in 2013, even as total state employment climbed, Michigan Live reports, citing numbers released on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state law prohibiting public- and private-sector unions from charging dues to new members, called the Employee Free Choice Act, has been in force since March 2013.

The law "did not appear to have a major impact on union numbers" at first, writes Jonathan Oosting of Michigan Live, "but the 2014 data suggest that more workers have begun to opt out of membership."

There were indications early last year that the law was dramatically changing workers' behavior.

In one category alone, home-based caregivers for the the elderly and disabled, an estimated 44,000 people dropped out of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) once the Michigan law banned the automatic deduction of union dues from the Medicaid checks of the caregivers' patients, according to a report published in April.

An organization that supports right-to-work, The Michigan Freedom Fund, issued a statement saying the BLS figures prove that more Michigan workers "are choosing freedom, opting out of their unions, and keeping dues money in their families’ bank accounts, not their union bosses.'"

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Union membership in Michigan, an organized labor bastion with its large auto worker base, has fallen sharply since passage of a state right-to-work law that unions vehemently opposed, Michigan Live reports.
michigan, union, membership, right, work, law
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2015-55-23
Friday, 23 Jan 2015 07:55 PM
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