MLive: Town hall meeting in Jackson highlights positive aspects of Right to Work as part of a state-wide tour
State Director Scott Hagerstrom opened the event, stating the group wanted to hear the input from residents of cities like Jackson and what issues they have. F. Vincent Vernuccio of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Terry Bowman president of Union Conservatives and Lewis Butler a professor of economics at Hillsdale College all spoke on the subject of right to work and moving forward.
“Freedom of association is something that union members don’t have in a unionized state,” Bowman said, calling it their first amendment right. Right to assemble means they can assemble without engaging in any violence, he said, but it also has another meaning — it means that “I am there of my own free will.”
“Union officials won’t be able to take their workers and money for granted anymore,” he said. “Officials will understand consequences of using dues money on political agendas.”
Union officials are more accountable, it will make unions work harder and make them more efficient, he added.
“Right to work is very union friendly,” he said. “It always has been.” If members still want to belong to their union, Hagerstrom said, they can still belong to their union.
Vernuccio said that unions will still be able to bargain over wages, hours and working conditions. There was only really one change in his opinion.
“Everything they could bargain for before, unions can bargain for,” he said. “Except for firing a worker that refuses to pay them.”
He also claimed that the right to work bill actually helps unions.
“It actually makes unions stronger…because now they have to serve their members better,” he said. “Unions stand to lose dues money if they don’t treat them right.”