Does the Repeal of Michigan’s Right to Work Laws Impact Businesses?

On Friday, March 24th, almost exactly 10 years after Michigan passed their right to work laws, the State repealed them.  What does that mean for HR and business leaders? 


First off, it is important to understand what the Right to Work laws do.  Michigan’s Right to Work law made the payment of union dues voluntary for employees of unionized companies.  Under the law, even if most employees vote to unionize, some may choose not to support or join the union.  Those employees could choose not to pay union dues even though they benefit from the terms of the bargaining agreement negotiated by the union.  The result of employees choosing not to pay dues was a weakened negotiating position and decreased revenue from union dues. 


The repeal of the Right to Work legislation now means that all members of a bargaining unit in a unionized company will be required to pay union dues.  This provides more resources to the unions.  


The impact on businesses is that this could make unions stronger and, when coupled with the willingness of the NLRB to support unionization activities, could make it easier to unionize additional organizations. 


If you want your organization to stay union free, we recommend that you focus on creating a positive work environment, paying competitive wages, and treating employees well.  That’s the winning recipe for building a great culture and keeping employees engaged. 


Need help creating the ideal work environment?  Give us a call.  The HR team at Rose Street would love to help you. 

Kevin Brozovich


Meet Kevin Brozovich, energetic entrepreneur, people-focused team-builder and HR practitioner-turned consultant. For almost 10 years, Kevin was Founder and Chief People Officer of HRM Innovations, a Kalamazoo-based Human Resources consulting firm many would consider the top in the region. After pulling his hair out making daily decisions about running the business (does it matter where the coffee comes from?), Kevin joined forces with the Rose Street Advisors team so he could solely focus on what he loves most: working with clients.

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