VASSAR - The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Paul Kersey will be the featured speaker at the next Western Thumb Tea Party meeting. The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 15, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Vassar Public Library, 520 W Huron Avenue. Kersey will speak about the Right to Work initiative in Michigan.
The Michigan Freedom to Work Act would guarantee that no resident of Michigan can be required, as a condition of employment, to join or pay dues or “fees to a labor union. Such a law would also reaffirm and strengthen the existing federal labor-law provisions that bar hiring discrimination against union members. Currently 23 states have passed similar laws. These laws are commonly known as "Right to Work" laws.
The Freedom to Work principle affirms the right of every American to work for a living without being compelled to affiliate with a union. Compulsory union membership or dues in any form contradict the fundamental human right represented by that principle. Every individual must have the right, but must not be compelled, to join or financially support a labor union.
The Freedom to Work without being forced to join or pay dues to a union is a basic civil right. While other civil rights laws protect employees from being discriminated against or fired based on membership or non-membership in a certain race, creed, color, or sex, a Freedom to Work law prohibits job discrimination on the basis of membership or non-membership, or financial support or nonsupport, of a private labor organization.
By guaranteeing every employee’s individual freedom to choose whether to join or pay dues to a union, unions must focus on serving their members as best possible. Just as a company must satisfy its customers, a union must satisfy its members. The effect is to democratize unions. Unions must put their members first, instead of pursuing a controversial political agenda with their confiscated money.
Paul Kersey became director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in September 2007, having served as the Center’s senior labor policy analyst since December 2006. As director, Kersey leads the Center’s Labor Policy Initiative and researches labor and employment issues.