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SBAM Urges “No” Vote on Repeal of Right to Work Legislation

January 23, 2023

SBAM has joined a coalition working to encourage legislators to protect workers’ freedom by voting “NO” on legislation to repeal Michigan’s landmark Right-to-Work law, including House Bills 4004-5 and Senate Bills 5 and 34. 

Right to Work is about freedom and personal choice. Right-to-Work is about the freedom of employees to decide whether to pay dues or other equivalent fees to labor unions as a condition of employment, even in workplaces covered by union contracts. It gives people a personal choice in how to spend their hard-earned wages. 

The benefits of Right-to-Work have positively impacted all Michiganders:

  • More jobs:* In the 9 years prior to Right-to-Work, Michigan’s labor force was down 350,657, in the 9 years after Right-to-Work, Michigan’s labor force is up 90,648.
  • Higher pay**:  Inflation-adjusted average incomes rose just 0.6% in the nine years before Michigan’s Right-to-Work law and grew 21.9% in the nine years following Michigan’s Right-to-Work law.
  • Better benefits**:  The average employee benefits package per worker is up 5% above inflation over the last 10 years.
  • Healthier state budget^:  The state budget, excluding federal revenue and the small amounts of local and private funding, was down 17.9% in the 10 years prior to Right-to-Work when adjusting for inflation. The inflation-adjusted budget was up 15.3% in the 10 years after passing Right-to-Work.
  • Stronger Economic Development:  A Harvard study found that the share of manufacturing employment was 28% higher in right to work states than the non-right to work states they bordered. Importantly, they also find that “wages and labor compensation do not appear to be lower on average.“

Today, 28 states have Right-to-Work Laws (either by statutes or by constitutional provision).  Being a Right-to-Work state makes Michigan more competitive with neighboring states and nationally.  It helps Michigan compete for desperately need economic development projects and new jobs.  Put simply, if a company is choosing between a site in a Right to Work state and another in a state without a law in place, that factor can positively influence the decision. 

Retaining Michigan as a Right-to-Work state is not just good policy, it is the right thing to do for the people of Michigan. 

Sources: *Bureau of Labor Statistics **U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis ^Senate Fiscal Agency

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