Right To Work: A Huge Issue For Detroit Manufacturers

May 28, 2009

Three cheers for the Detroit News's Manny Lopez. His recent column on the issue of Right To Work addresses a huge issue for domestic auto manufacturers.

As one who has benefited from what the United Auto Workers initially stood for (safer work places, and fair pay for work provided), I've also watched as the union "us first" mentality has crippled General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler. The UAW's refusal to fully recognize how the world has changed economically has also devastated the Michigan economy (an economy it once made the envy of the country).

While the U.S. Treasury addresses GM's financial restructuring and has elicited some concessions from the UAW, another major issue that must be addressed is a worker's right to choose between joining and not joining a union. If Michigan refuses to see that this issue is paramount to the state's future economic welfare, as the domestic manufacturers regain their health, pure economics will force manufacturers to move operations to states that don't require union membership.

Lopez writes, "That doesn't mean unions will be broken. Nor does it mean it will even happen. But why not talk about it free from the rhetoric and intimidation from both the union and management? The system is broken in Michigan and unless new things are put on the table to talk about, the state's free fall into oblivion will continue."

Finally, the elephant is recognized.

[Detroit News]

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