MI Court: Right to Work Protects First Amendment Rights of Workers
A coalition of state employee union officials pushed to keep compulsory unionism and argued illogically that it was antithetical to freedom of speech. However, the court has embraced the argument that National Right to Work has made for decades — that forced unionism creates forced political speech and thus compulsory unionism is inconsistent with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Free choice ends the debate.
Now, in January, 36,000 Michigan state government employees will have the freedom to choose granted by the state’s Right to Work law.
“In light of the First Amendment rights at stake, the Michigan Legislature has made the policy decision to settle the matter by giving all employees the right to choose,” Judges Henry Saad and Pat Donofrio wrote, adding that legislators decided to “remove politics from public employment and to end all inquiry or debate about how public sector union fees are spent.”
“With PA 349, the Legislature has . . . remov[ed] political and ideological conflict from public employment, and eliminate[ed] the repeated need to decide, on a case by case basis, whether unions have properly allocated funds.”