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Freedom to Work: Better for Workers, Better for Michigan

In 2009, there were 20 percent more 25- to 34-year-olds in right-to-work states than in 1999. In the compulsory union states, the increase was only 3.3 percent—barely one-sixth as much. 

Freedom to Work empowers workers to choose whether or not to pay union dues without being fired, compelling the union to act in the workers' best interests and earn its dues.  Since 22 states have adopted Freedom to Work laws, those state are categorically more prosperous and faster growing than forced-union states like Michigan.

The one-pager: This color flyer makes a compelling, complete case for Michigan Freedom to Work. Download it and print it out now!

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Color Tri-fold: This color tri-fold is perfect for giving to people who would be interested in donating to Michigan Freedom to Work.  Download, print, and share!

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Forced unionism labor bad for labor, Michigan

"As a 14-year, pro-union employee, I know Michigan must become a right-to-work state to retain and grow good-paying union jobs. Why? Because it will force union officials to compete for an employee's loyalty and refocus them on doing what unions were originally created to do: represent members inside the workplace.

"Competition, instead of a monopoly, always makes organizations stronger.

"The actions of union bosses become accountable and answerable to the membership. The focus is once again placed on the employee, instead of on a partisan social and political agenda that seems to be the obsession of union officials.

"They would instead be focused on two things: retaining and increasing membership by becoming better at their created purpose, and establishing relationships on both sides of the political aisle to become politically neutral..."

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The 23-page argument: Mackinac Center Study

This paper focuses on the economic benefits of Freedom to Work, continuing an earlier study, tracking the same measurements from 2001 to 2006.  It finds that little has changed—if anything, the apparent advantages of Freedom to Work states have grown larger.  The economies of Freedom to Work states grew by an average of 3.4 percent compared to 2.6 percent for forced-unionism states and 0.7 percent for Michigan.  Jobs grew by 1.2 percent annually in Freedom to Work states, compared to 0.6 percent for forced-unionism states, while jobs decreased by an average of 0.8 percent in Michigan.

National Institute for Labor Relations Research Study Reports Similar Findings

"The economic growth rate of 'right-to-work' states has... so convincingly and consistently eclipsed the average growth of non-right-to-work states as to make the whole argument for more workplace flexibility a noncontroversial subject."   Read more...

Another Study Agrees:

"Every year we rank the states on their economic competitiveness in a report called "Rich States, Poor States" for the American Legislative Exchange Council.  This ranking uses 15 fiscal, tax and regulatory variables to determine which states have policies that are most conducive to prosperity.  Two of these 15 policies have consistently stood out as the most important in predicting where jobs will be created and incomes will rise.  First, states with no income tax generally outperform high income tax states.  Second, states that have right-to-work laws grow faster than states with forced unionism.

"As of today there are 22 right-to-work states and 28 [forced unionism] states.  Over the past decade (2000-09) the right-to-work states grew faster in nearly every respect than their [forced unionism] counterparts: 54.6% versus 41.1% in gross state product, 53.3% versus 40.6% in personal income, 11.9% versus 6.1% in population, and 4.1% versus -0.6% in payrolls."    [Read the full story]    [Download the full report]

The Right to Work: A Fundamental Freedom

It cannot be overemphasized that compulsory unionism violates the first principle of the original labor union movement in America. Samuel Gompers, founder and first president of the AFL, wrote that the labor movement was “based upon the recognition of the sovereignty of the worker.” Officers of the AFL, he explained in the American Federationist, can “suggest” or “recommend,” but they “cannot command one man in America to do anything.” He continued: “Under no circumstances can they say, ‘you must do so and so,’ or, ‘you must desist from doing so and so.’”

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Michigan native, epic Oscar winning actor, and four-term Screen Actors Guild President, AFL-CIO member Charlton Heston on Freedom to Work:

  “I've played men like Tom Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, all of them heroes defending American freedom.  There are Americans still carrying on that fight... where citizens want the Right to Work without being forced to join a union.  As a former union president, I believe Americans should be free to choose.”

President Roosevelt oppose forced-unionism in the public sector

“The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees.  “Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment,” wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, “I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the public sector.”