Michigan Right to Work Bill: Labor is Declining But Can Rebuild With These 3 Things

It was a sad day for labor unions in Michigan when state lawmakers passed the "right-to-work" bill. It symbolically delivered a heavy blow to the U.S. labor movement, courtesy of anti-Union Republicans.

There were thousands of protesters in the state capitol, which, sadly to say, was too meek and too small of a group. I am sympathetic toward the labor movement, even though I have heard tons of negative descriptions of them.

The "right-to-work" bill is not the end of labor movement, if the movement can justify its continued existence. Why?

(1) If truth is on your side, you can win people's support and win the battle, even if your opponents are a lot richer than you. This was the case in the early years of the labor movement. You don't have to have tons of money to spread the truth and to get things done.

(2) The fact that people are obligated to join unions in the state shows that people don't need unions as much as unions need them. If that's the case, unions need to reflect upon their own reasons for existence or how to better represent the interests of its members.

(3) Use other channels to get funding. Unions can always ally themselves with other kindred spirited organizations.

Finally, an organization is like a living organism. In order to survive, it is forced to evolve and adapt to the ever changing environment. So it is with unions.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Yanwen Xia

Research section at University of Kansas Hospital Cancer Center & Midwest Voices contributing columnist

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