Right-to-work applies to Michigan state workers

LANSING, Mich. — A divided Michigan appeals court ruled Thursday that the state’s right-to-work law applies to 35,000 state employees.

In the first major legal decision on the much-debated, Republican-backed law eight months after its passage, judges voted 2-1 to reject a lawsuit filed by labor unions. The passage of the measure drew thousands of protesters to the state Capitol late last year.

The law prohibits forcing public and private workers in Michigan to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, and applies to labor contracts extended or renewed after late March. It went to court after questions were raised whether it applies to state workers, since the Michigan Civil Service Commission, which sets compensation for state employees, has separate powers under the state constitution.

The majority said lawmakers have the authority to pass laws dealing with union fees.

“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.

The dissent said the court’s decision strips the civil service panel of its “regulatory supremacy.”

Multiple lawsuits have been filed to strike down the law in a mainstay of organized labor. Legal challenges in neighboring Indiana, which passed a right-to-work law just before Michigan did, have been unsuccessful.

More in Herald Business Journal

With surging Amazon stock, Bezos now worth more than $100B

It’s the first time anyone has crossed the $100 billion threshold since 1999.

Small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

“Put yourself into the community more and the money will come back to you.”

Even in the Amazon era, Black Friday shows stores are alive

Industry analysts are watching how the nation’s malls fare this holiday shopping season.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials reports faked quality data

The company makes components used to make autos, aircraft and electricity generation equipment.

Restaurant owners finding strong appetites in Detroit

The former manufacturing and car-making city is remaking itself into a technology hub.

A look at what some stores have planned for Black Friday

With unemployment low, stores are hoping customers are in a mood to shop.

Boeing bolsters team for potential 797 with leading engineer

Terry Beezhold has been chief project engineer for the 777X program.

Uber paid off their hackers — they’re far from the only ones

“More and more companies have their own Bitcoin wallets for such cases.”

Airline defendants to pay $95 million in 9/11 settlement

The litigation claimed that security lapses led the planes to be hijacked in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Most Read