Union Lawsuit Claims Michigan Right-To-Work Law Is Unconstitutional

Unions sue Michigan: protests against right-to-work law.Several labor unions filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday saying a Michigan law banning compulsory union membership for private sector employees violates the U.S. Constitution. The right-to-work law, which takes effect in late March, contains provisions that go "well beyond" the limits of federal law, said Andrew Nickelhoff, an attorney for the Michigan AFL-CIO, one of the unions that filed the lawsuit.

For example, the Michigan law allows for a $500 civil fine and the possibility of criminal liability for violators, which is not done under the National Labor Relations Act, he said.

More: Sign Up For AOL Jobs' Newsletter

"Our position is that so many parts of the right-to-work law are unconstitutional that the court should strike down the law in its entirety," Nickelhoff said in an interview.

The AFL-CIO represents about 50 labor unions, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The Michigan Building Trades Council, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union are among the other groups involved in the case. The defendants, who were not immediately available for comment, are the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Steve Arwood, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

More: Michigan Teachers Join Union Protests, Thousands Forced To Miss School

In December, the Michigan House of Representatives gave final approval to a pair of "right-to-work" bills covering public- and private-sector unions during a lame-duck session. Monday's lawsuit does not cover the Michigan right-to-work law affecting public-sector workers. The law made Michigan, once a union powerhouse, the nation's 24th right-to-work state. When Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed the bill on December 11, more than 12,000 unionized workers and supporters protested at the Capital.

Michigan Unions Take A Legislative Hit

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

More From AOL Jobs

Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

I've worked in both right to work states and others. It is my experience whether it's a union shop or not, right to work means right to screw you, I'm happily done working just sharing my experience.

February 15 2013 at 7:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


February 14 2013 at 8:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A scab is a scab is a scab is a scab.

February 14 2013 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If they want foreign auto makers to move there, they'd better start acting like it.

February 14 2013 at 6:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

A right to work law is just that. It gives one the right to work . Union are just trying to defend their shrinking choke hold they have on workers required to pay dues to get a job.

February 14 2013 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sour Grapes. Shocking they cite the NLRB when the members were assiged illegally

February 14 2013 at 4:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The fact that the unions say that the right-to-work is unconstitutional, just shows how crooked they really are. I personally think that unions are unconstitutional. An American citizen should not have to pay a private organization monthly dues for the right to hold down a job and earn money for their family.

February 14 2013 at 4:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mpsbh's comment

Any type of work related benefit you have left is because workers organized many years ago and fought and won for things like child labor laws, overtime pay, holidays, vacations, health insurance, etc. You should look into how these came to be. Companies ddidn't just give them out of generousity and you working folks have been losing these benefits along with a decrease in union labor. Be carefull what you ask for.

February 15 2013 at 7:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I used to be a member of the steelworkers union in the 70's and they did absolutely nothing for me except take my dues. My wife used to be a union member at Ford Aerospace in Connersville Indiana, all they did there was take her money and never supported her or most of the other workers. However they took great care of the union officers and their favorites. So I guess what they ( the unions ) have sown now they shall reap.

February 14 2013 at 4:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shrinepres's comment

sure but look at the wages you guys made. They were enough to make a middlclass living and own your own home etc. Now look at where the wages are now and housing costs etc. Now who had it better?

February 15 2013 at 7:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Poor things. They just don't like not being able to force people to pay them whether they want to or not. This is whining to the ultimate. Kind of pathetic really. Unions used to be a good thing. However lke the dinosaurs their time is over.

February 14 2013 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No, it is the NLRB appointed by Obama that is unconstitutional. Unions began to fall from favor when their bosses began to politicize. Now, their behavior has cost them what they cannot faford to lose - public Psupport. They have less than 30%. politicans do not fear them, The private sector union has only 7% of labor force. Public sector is only beiing held up by Obama for $1 billion given him every 4 years. Cities and states have financial problems. 80% of it is union wages and pensions. Thats why blue states are electing red governors. Soon, it will dawn on everyone we can do same thing on national basis. Unions will be gone in 20 years. The chickens have come home. Maybe, they can find a job with Acorn and all sleeze they've slept with.

February 14 2013 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web