Oakland County readers learned this week that the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, has elected to appeal the ruling of a U.S. District Court judge. This ruling found that a state law banning government entities from mandating project labor agreements for state-financed building projects is unconstitutional.
If the state government does contract with organized contractors, this would provide a legal mechanism for the resolution of problems such as contract disputes .
Snyder's action was filed by the Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuett, in response to this decision. One of the points of contention under debate by both legislators and labor organizations is if union labor should be regulated and how so.
The state of Michigan contends that it should not have to discriminate on the basis of a building contractor's status as unionized or non-unionized while state labor organizations believe such a practice guarantees that construction workers will get fair compensation and that appropriately-skilled workers will be hired for state building projects.
This case is a good current example of how workers can be affected by the presence or absence of organized labor and their respective bargaining rights in the workplace.
In a right-to-work state, the employer or labor union cannot require employees to become members of a union or pay union dues, says a local news report.
For his part, Gov. Snyder has taken the position that he will not be considering the organized labor issue during this year.
It is important to note that the issues of right-to-work reach beyond the scope of this matter of the state hiring workers for public construction projects.
Source: Mlive.com, " Gov. Rick Snyder disputes ruling on union workers hired for public construction projects ," Melissa Anders, Mar. 7, 2012