Friday, January 23, 2015

Right-to-work: Union membership sharply down in Michigan

Heading in the right direction
If unions are so wonderful, workers would be clamoring to join them. But nearly all employees who are union members have that status only because their workplaces, with an assist from some state governments, enforce forced unionization.

Look what's happening in the Great Lakes State. From the Detroit News:
Michigan union membership fell sharply in 2014 in the wake of the state's approval of controversial "Right to Work" legislation that ended compulsory union membership for many workers — as the state fell to the 11th most unionized state, down from seventh in 2013.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that nationally the percentage of workers in a union fell from 11.3 percent in 2013 to 11.1 percent in 2014. But in Michigan, the percentage of workers in a union fell from 16.3 percent to 14.5 percent. The total number of workers in unions in Michigan fell from 633,000 in 2013 to 585,000 in 2014 — even as Michigan's unemployment rate fell and its workforce grew last year.

Michigan had the fourth largest percentage decline. Washington State and West Virginia each saw union membership decline by 2.1 percentage points, while Rhode Island fell by 1.8 percentage points.

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