Michigan to Job-Creating Companies: Go Away

Right to Work Florida is a job magnet. Does Gov. Whitmer really want Michigan to be the opposite? (Credit: WNDU-TV/South Bend, Ind.)

Right to Work Foes Glad State Soon Won’t Be ‘Open For Business’

Why would any Michigan elected official who cares about good-paying job opportunities for workers in the Wolverine State want it to become the “anti-Florida”?

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) household survey data, from 2012 to 2022 employment in Right to Work Florida soared by 22.5%, more than in all but four other states, and well over double the average gain for the 23 states where forced unionism is currently authorized and promoted.

In addition to enjoying stellar employment growth, Floridians benefit from housing and health care that are far more affordable than in costly forced-dues strongholds like New York, California, and Washington State.

Once interstate differences in the cost of living are factored in according to an index established for that purpose by a state government agency in Missouri, Florida’s after-tax income per capita in 2022 was roughly $1,200 above the forced-unionism average.

Based on its employment growth and its residents’ real, spendable incomes, Right to Work Florida is clearly a success story.

Big Labor Politicians Evidently Don’t Care if Businesses and Jobs Flee

And yet, in an April interview with Politico touting Michigan Big Labor Democrat politicians’ 2023 achievements, among which repeal of their state’s decade-old Right to Work law is the most prominent, Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) excitedly labeled the Wolverine State as “the anti-Florida”!

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Matthew Leen said that the contempt poured upon the Sunshine State by Ms. McMorrow, a rising star among union-label politicians within her own state and nationally, speaks volumes about how out of touch she is with the aspirations of ordinary citizens:

“From 2011 to 2021, the last decade for which state age-segregated population data are available, Right to Work Florida enjoyed a net increase of 267,000 in its ‘peak-earning-year’ population, that is, people aged 35-54. Meanwhile, forced dues states collectively endured a net loss of 1.8 million ‘peak earners.’

“Unfortunately, the preferences of employees seeking better futures for themselves and their families mean nothing to Big Labor politicians like Ms. McMorrow, who focus instead on how much money and manpower for their electoral campaigns they can extract from the union political machine.

“Because Right to Work laws make voluntary choice, they tend strongly to reduce the amount of money Big Labor can pour into politics.

“In Mallory McMorrow’s world, that fact alone clinches the case against Right to Work laws.

“And she is far from alone. For example, in a lengthy article for Jacobin applauding the return of forced unionism to Michigan, sociology professor Barry Eidlin admitted that Right to Work laws ‘send a message to employers that a state is “open for business.”’ But from his perspective, ‘open for business’ is a bad thing!”

Polls Show Michiganders Continue Overwhelmingly to Oppose Forced Union Dues Pro-forced Unionism Michigan

Democrat politicians are claiming that their success in ramming through Right to Work destruction on straight party-line votes in March, and then in securing Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature on the legislation, shows they have “transformed” the state.

But there has been no transformation in public opinion, which is just as lopsidedly pro-Right to Work as it has always been.

A statewide scientific poll conducted at the end of 2022 by the top-rated opinion research firm SurveyUSA showed that an overwhelming 88% of Michigan voters agree that workers should never be “forced, or coerced, to join a union or pay dues to a union.”

Big Labor Michigan politicians are calculating that the huge chasm between their agenda and voters’ wishes on labor policy won’t suffice to offset the massive forced-dues support they will reap once the repeal takes effect in a few months.

Mr. Leen posited this could be a huge underestimate of the coming backlash.

“Decades of history show freedom-loving citizens punish politicians severely for voting to take away the freedom to get and keep a job without being forced to bankroll an unwanted union,” he said.

“And in the fall of 2024, the Committee’s candidate survey program will ensure hundreds of thousands of Michigan citizens who are identified as opponents of forced unionism have fresh in their minds exactly how their legislators voted on Right to Work repeal.”

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. Go here to access previous newsletter posts.

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