Michigan Bar to Forced Union Dues Challenged in Lawsuit

By Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg

Michigan’s new so-called right-to-work law, which bars unions from forcing workers to pay dues, violates the U.S. Constitution and federal labor statutes, the Michigan AFL-CIO said in a lawsuit.

The law interferes with the rights of workers and Michigan officials should be barred from enforcing it, the union said in the complaint filed in federal court in Detroit today. The Michigan AFL-CIO was joined in the lawsuit by the Michigan State Building and Construction Trades Council and Change to Win, an advocacy group.

The new Michigan law will subject unions and their members in the state to “substantive and remedial regulations that supplant or conflict with” federal labor laws, the AFL-CIO said in its lawsuit. The union asked the court to find that federal labor law pre-empts the new Michigan statute.

The right-to-work law was passed by the Michigan Legislature and signed by Governor Rick Snyder in December. Under the new law, an individual can’t be forced, as a condition of employment, to become or remain a member of a union, or pay any dues or other fees to a labor organization.


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