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

Best foot forward: Ferndale company to make custom shoes easy

Long specializing in insoles, Superfeet is putting 3-D machines in stores to make customized shoes.

Does a hypersonic US reconnaissance plane already exist?

A Skunk Works executive speaks of the top secret aircraft as if it is already in operation.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Port of Everett CEO Les Reardanz has been called up and will be spending much of the year away from his office. He is going to Afghanistan. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Port of Everett CEO reporting for duty — in Afghanistan

Les Reardanz has been called to active duty with the Navy for an eight-month deployment.

Boeing opens new $17 million training center in Auburn

Workers and dignitaries marked the grand opening of the facility Monday.

Trump’s company fights efforts to shed the president’s name

“Our homes are worth more without the Trump name.”

Airbus floats shutdown of A380 superjumbo

The aircraft is so big that some airports had to expand runways to accommodate the 550-seat plane.

Why 7-Eleven, inventor of the Slurpee, is going organic

As sales of gas, cigarettes and soda plummet, stores to offer “better-for-you” products.

Make sure you don’t miss the memo for financial freedom

Economic empowerment for low- to moderate-income individuals and families.

Most Read