Wisconsin revoked collective bargaining for most public-sector unions, a slap to the labor movement. Michigan's bid to become a 'right to work' state is an even bigger blow to unions.
Last year Wisconsin was a battleground for union rights, as Republican Gov. Scott Walker pushed through a law limiting collective bargaining for many public-sector unions and then survived a recall election. This year organized labor’s focus has turned to Michigan, where a Republican-controlled legislature looks set to pass a so-called “right-to-work” law banning compulsory union fees.
Which of these might end up a worse defeat for US unions? We’d say Michigan, without question.
Michigan is the birthplace and stronghold of the United Auto Workers and a state steeped in union history. In Michigan they still remember 1937’s “Battle of the Overpass,” where Ford guards beat UAW officials near Dearborn’s Rouge plant in a pyrrhic victory that led to the union’s rise.