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Michigan’s Right-to-Work Law — The data beyond the media spin

December 11, 2012

Economic growth generated from right-to-work is a myth?

“On the right-to-work side, the big myth is that economic growth in states with the law is higher. Studies sponsored by the Mackinac Center, a think tank in Midland, Michigan, that favors right-to-work, conclude as much. But it’s not necessarily so. The Mackinac studies don’t disentangle the effect of right- to-work laws from other factors, such as a housing bust, rapid population growth (a feature of many Sunbelt states) or a robust energy sector.”

– Bloomberg View

OK, let’s pretend for a moment that it is just a “myth’ …

The following is an excerpt from “The Dunlop Report and the Future of Labor Law Reform”, by Samuel Estreich, a professor of labor and employment law at New York University, counsel at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel and was a member of an advisory group to the Dunlop Commission …

“… survey of American workers conducted by commission member Richard B. Freeman and Wisconsin law professor Joel Rogers reported: ‘By an overwhelming 86 percent to 9 percent margin, workers want an organization run jointly by employees and management, rather than an independent, employee-run organization. By a smaller, but still sizable margin of 52 percent to 34 percent, workers want an organization to be staffed and funded by the company, rather than independently through employee contributions’.”

“The key problem in the area of employee involvement is section 8(a)2 of the original NLRA, the so-called company union prohibition. This provision was broadly written to reflect Sen. Robert F. Wagner’s belief that employers should not be able to institute a form of collaborative representation that might compete with independent, multiemployer labor organizations … [and] … also to bar any forum developed and controlled by management for bilateral dealings with employees.”

“American workers born after World War II are less inclined to favor collective and statist solutions… Also, unions increasingly operate in less friendly terrain because of shrinking manufacturing employment, growing service industries, and the movement of plants and jobs from “rust- belt” to “sunbelt” states… America’s labor laws are based on an outdated view of the employment relationship’ that emphasizes the conflict of interest between labor and capital… The model no longer works. From a high point in the mid-1950’s-when unions represented over 35 percent of workers in private firms, influenced the terms of employment for nonunion workers, and effectively imposed their ‘master’ agreements across entire product markets-the unionization rate has plummeted to under 12 percent of the private sector workforce. It is likely to fall even further.”

A final thought to ponder…

Even if you forget about the economic growth, what about the rights of the workers themselves?

The union radicals making the most noise, causing the most violence and getting their pictures on the front page of the media don’t represent the majority of Americans.  Freedom is a value we cherish — forcing all workers to be “unionized” without choice is a model that is “outdated” and will “no longer work”.



Rust Belt” –

“States primarily associated with the Rust Belt include Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. Bordering lands include parts of Wisconsin, New York, Kentucky, West Virginia and Ontario, Canada. Some major industrial cities of the Rust Belt include Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit.”

Sun Belt” –

“The Sunbelt typically includes the states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California.”


From → Data Sources, Economy

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