On December 11th, the governor of Michigan, Rick Synder signed into law, the right to work bill which bans workers from being forced to join a union or pay union dues. In a state as unionized as Michigan, I found the passage of this piece of legislation to be quite remarkable and it may be a sign of things to come in other states. It might also be the beginning of the end to many unions in this country.
I have mixed feelings about the right to work law. I cannot imagine a union workplace where half of the people are union members who pay union dues and the other half are not members who do not pay dues. And yet they all get the same benefits and pay? Imagine the morale at one of those companies? The lunchroom probably consists of separate sections for those union members and those who are not. The back biting and bickering among workers must be enormous. A successful company involves people working together in harmony and having this kind of division could prove to be troublesome to some companies.
On the other hand, suppose that I am a new teacher just out of college and I am forced to pay union dues at my first job. Why should anybody be forced to pay anything while being employed? Nobody forces me to buy my company’s health insurance, dental or 401k plan. I should have the right to choose where to put my money. I often wonder what happens to those union dues. It has been know that some of those dues goes towards political contributions and that is totally unacceptable!! Why should I contribute money to a party that I do not support? Does the money really go towards helping out the rank and file union members of just another way of adding to the coffers of some fat cat union boss? If I want to contribute money to union, then my hard-earned money should be used to benefit me and my co-workers, every single penny. Does that happen? I highly doubt it!!
I am not totally against unions but sometimes I question how effective they really are. Sure they may help some guy pushing a broom to get an unreasonable salary of 20-25 bucks an hour or prevent some ineffective senior person from getting fired. But are their demands really in the best interests of the company? A lot of companies just cannot keep up with those type of demands and just go belly up. Public unions drain state’s coffers with their pension demands.
If I am a good, highly skilled worker, my company will pay me for what I am worth. I do not need some union boss to be the middle man and take money out of my pocket. If they do not pay me for my worth, then I will go somewhere else and the company will be hurt. That is the way it should be. Companies, not union people should dictate the wages and benefits of workers. Unions always talk about their members getting higher wages and benefits but at what cost to the company? How many of these companies are still in business in this day and age when companies have more choices to move to non-unionized places. Forget about higher wages and benefits. I want job security and I am sure many of those workers in Detroit feel the same way.
It is a proven fact that right to work states have better economic growth and lower unemployment, and in these times, this law could prove to be a big boost for many states especially Michigan. The state is a wonderful place to live and this new legislation could be just the right recipe to get the state’s economy moving again. It has worked in other state’s and there is no reason it can’t happen in Michigan.