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Better East Texas: Michigan

By Pat Stacey

Recently the state law makers in Michigan passed right to work laws that make it illegal to force workers to pay union dues.  This inspired protests in the state house of Michigan by pro-union groups.  Passage of this law will give workers the right to decide for themselves if they want to pay union dues.  President Obama chimed in on the subject at a speech in Redford, Michigan when he called the law the "right to work for less money" law and that these laws take away your right to bargain for better wages.  I am sorry, but the idea that as workers we should have some type of organized power to bargain for better wages is, to me, against the foundation of a capitalistic society and damaging to the economic engine.  Unions have a place in some businesses and are valuable when addressing working conditions dealing with safety and helping out workers that lose their jobs.  But the way I understand the business model is that you earn better wages for carrying out your job tasks better.  Right to work states – and Texas is one of them, do pay their workers higher wages on average than forced-union states so the idea that right-to-work automatically means lower wages is not accurate.  Individual states need to decide on their own on this issue but the president needs to stay on the sideline in the debate.  That will make for a better America and a better East Texas.

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