Majorities of every demographic group polled, including union households and registered Democrats, strongly favor keeping protection against forced union dues in place

Lansing, Michigan (February 13, 2023) – A recent poll conducted by SurveyUSA, a national pollster rated “A” by polling aggregation site FiveThirtyEight, reveals Michiganders of all backgrounds strongly oppose overturning the state’s Right to Work law.

Michigan’s Right to Work protections, passed in 2012 after grassroots efforts from National Right to Work Committee members and other opponents of forced unionism, simply codify the principle that no worker should be fired for refusing to join or pay dues to a union they oppose.

Under Right to Work, workers can join and pay dues to a union if they voluntarily choose, but membership and financial support cannot be mandatory.

Union-label legislators in Lansing are pushing a repeal. If successful, the repeal would authorize union officials to subject the state’s nearly 4 million private sector workers to the threat of termination for refusing to pay union dues or fees, if a union they oppose gains monopoly control over their workplace.

Among all Michigan registered voters, the poll found 74% opposition to repealing Michigan’s Right to Work Law, while just 14% favored bringing forced union dues back to the Great Lakes State.

Support for Right to Work included overwhelming majorities of people from both major political parties (83% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats), as well as 76% of Independent voters.

The poll parses Michiganders by numerous demographic groups including gender, age, race, employment status, education level, home ownership, and region. In every category, voters favor keeping the Right to Work law in place by more than a 2-1 margin versus those who want to repeal Right to Work.

Notably, 71% of Michigan voters from current union households oppose repeal – a demonstration that even workers who voluntarily affiliate with unions don’t believe that union officials should have forced-dues power.

Record Economic Growth Followed Passage of Michigan Right to Work

“Michigan’s strong economic performance after Right to Work took effect is a key factor likely bolstering the strong poll numbers across all demographic groups,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Committee. Since Right to Work’s enactment, Michigan’s manufacturing sector has expanded 6.4%, while the average forced-unionism state’s manufacturing sector has shrunk by 1.1%.

In that time, Michigan has also outperformed non-Right to Work states in overall job growth, cost-of-living adjusted compensation, cost-of-living adjusted disposable income, and other key metrics of quality of life.

“Right to Work attracted businesses and helped usher in an era of prosperity for Michigan that reversed the devastating ‘Lost Decade’ in which jobs and people fled the state in droves,” Mix said.

Right to Work Gave Michigan Workers Opportunity to Defund Corrupt UAW

“The huge support in Michigan for Right to Work is impressive, but hardly surprising,” commented Committee President Mark Mix. “Michiganders have seen union corruption up-close, and understand the importance of limiting union officials’ coercive legal privileges over workers.”

Over the past few years, federal prosecutors upended the Detroit-based United Auto Workers (UAW) union in a sweeping embezzlement and corruption probe. At least 11 top union executives received jail sentences in connection with stealing worker money, including two former UAW presidents, Gary Jones and Dennis Williams.

“Michigan workers who witnessed the staggering corruption of UAW brass know Right to Work is a vital tool in shutting off the dues spigot and holding union bosses accountable,” Mix said.

Mix continued: “Legislators in Lansing scheming to repeal Right to Work should go on record that, if they had their way, corrupt UAW union bosses would have been able to force workers to pay up or be fired – even as they embezzled workers’ money to fund lavish luxury golf vacations, gambling debts, and other corrupt endeavors.”

“But, at its core, Right to Work is about letting workers choose for themselves whether or not union bosses deserve their financial support, no matter the reason. That’s a choice they should have in all situations,” Mix added.

“There’s no shortage of reasons Michiganders would favor Right to Work, and this poll is certainly a reflection of that,” Mix observed. “The broad base support for Right to Work ought to expose the repeal effort for what it really is: An attempt by Michigan legislators to bestow legal privileges on their union boss allies at the expense of the vast majority of Michigan families and workers.”


Click here to Download The NRTWC News Release PDF.

The National Right to Work Committee, established in 1955, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, single-purpose citizens’ organization dedicated to the principle that all Americans must have the right to join a union if they choose to, but none should ever be forced to affiliate with a union in order to get or keep a job. Its web address is NRTWC.org.