Right to Work

Michigan State Unions Lose Right-to-Work Challenge

Government employees can opt out of paying union dues


The nearly 36,000 unionized employees who work for the State of Michigan are subject to the new right-to-work law, meaning those employees can opt out of paying union dues when the next round of contracts take effect in January.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the state's new right-to-work law must cover civil service employees represented by unions. The coalition of state employee unions — which together represent at least 90 percent of the state's unionized work force — filed suit in February challenging the constitutionality of one of Michigan's two right-to-work laws: Public Act 349, which governs public employees.

They argued their work rules were covered by the Civil Service Commission and therefore are not subject to the new law.

The appeals court disagreed.