Unions Built and Destroyed Michigan

Michigan has long been a union controlled state.  The United Auto Workers (UAW) was probably the largest union in the state.  The UAW was responsible for getting their members better wages and benefits.  Compared to non-union workers, UAW members made more money and had better benefits.

That was great when the economy was good and the nation was prosperous.  During those times, the people of Michigan also prospered and it was largely due to the unions as the sign one man held up said, ‘Union Labor Built Michigan.”

However, when the economy slid and the nation was no longer prospering, the high cost of union labor put many Michigan companies out of business.  Eventually, the impact was felt by the auto giants and they started closing plants and laying off thousands of union workers because they could no longer afford the higher cost of union labor.  As several of them were on the verge of having to file bankruptcy, Obama used taxpayer money to bail them out.

Today, Michigan’s unemployment rate is well above the national average.  If you drive through cities like Detroit, Dearborn and Flint, you will see hundreds and hundreds of empty businesses and boarded up homes. Part of this is due to the national recession and part of it is a direct result of unions.

You see, Michigan is one of the states that allows unions to enslave the workforce.  If you want to work in the auto industry, you must be a union member and pay your monthly dues.  If you want to work as an electrician, plumber, construction worker, grocery clerk or even for the state government, you have to be a union member and pay your $600-$900 a year of union dues.  If you’re not a union member, you may as well pack up and move to another state.

While all you see on the news from states like Michigan is union support for this or the unions are against that.  You would think that all is well with the people of union land, but such is not the case.  A recent poll revealed that at least 25% of government employees in Michigan would choose to leave the union if given a chance.  All toll, there are around 700,000 union member in Michigan.  If the same were true for other union workers in the state, given the opportunity to leave the union, that would mean that the unions would stand to lose over $1 million in dues, and that’s a chunk of change they want to hang on to.

With the economy the way it is, Michigan officials are finding it extremely difficult to attract new businesses to the state because of the mandatory union membership their employees will face.  It is cheaper and easier to establish a business in a right-to-work state, so that is where businesses are heading.

One of the remedies to the state’s economic woes, according to a growing number of state politicians, is to make Michigan a right-to-work state.  Some advocates of the measure say this could be accomplished by the end of the year.  To no surprise, the unions are up in arms as it would emasculate much of their power as well as the loss of a million dollars in dues.

A growing number of union workers also favor the move as it would put $600-$900 a year back in the pocket if they chose to opt out of union membership.  It would also help make the state appear more business friendly, allowing them to woo companies to their northern shores.

What happens in Michigan could have ramifications in the other 26 states that still all union slavery.  Next to President Ronald Reagan busting the air traffic controllers union, this would be the biggest union bust in the history of the US.