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Michigan Unions: What you need to know

The right of workers in private employment to form unions and bargain collectively with their employers is guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and related federal laws. The NLRA is preemptive, meaning it supersedes state law in the areas it covers. However, in areas not covered by the NLRA, such as the rights of public employees and private employees not engaged in interstate commerce, the states are free to make their own laws.
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More information on the NLRA and unions is available.
Michigan has adopted its own labor relations law, known as the Labor Mediation Act, to supplement the NLRA. This law extends to workers not covered by the federal law and guarantees the right to organize to form, join, or assist a labor organization, and bargain collectively through representatives of their own free choosing. The state Act does not cover domestic employees, agricultural laborers, employees of a parent or spouse, executives and supervisors, and individuals subject to the Railway Labor Act (MI Comp. Laws Sec. 423.1et seq.).
One area that has been left to the states is the protection of a worker's right not to join a union. Many states have a so-called “right-to-work” law that prohibits compulsory union membership. Effective in March 2013, Michigan became a right-to-work state for both private and public employees. Employees cannot be required to join a union; refrain from joining a union; or pay union dues, agency fees, or money to a third party in lieu of such dues or fees (MI Comp. Laws Sec. 423.14, Sec.423.210). This applies to employees in the classified civil service (UAW, UAW Local 6000 v. Green, No. 314781 (Mich. Ct. App. Aug. 15, ...

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Michigan Unions Resources

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