Right-to-Work Repeal Will Hurt Michigan

On a party line vote, the House of Representatives acted last night to repeal Michigan’s Right-to-Work law. The legislation must be voted on by the Michigan Senate before making its way to the Governor’s desk — there is still time to join our efforts and let your Senators know the repeal of the Right-to-Work law is bad for Michigan. I have no doubt that this policy change would reverse progress on Michigan’s economic competitiveness and the ability to grow and keep jobs. 

While Michigan has been the cradle of manufacturing innovation for well over a century, the global transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles raises the question about whether Michigan will retain its manufacturing base into the 21st century. It is a critical question since manufacturing is the largest sector of the state’s economy, employing over 612,000 people in Michigan; the success or failure of Michigan’s manufacturing industry is the success or failure of our state. 

New manufacturing investment will land in states with the most favorable business climates as companies continually seek the most favorable location to successfully compete in the global economy. And while Michigan’s new economic development incentives successfully attracted $17 billion in capital investment, creating over 15,000 new jobs in Michigan since the creation of the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund, most of the US-based investments in new electric vehicle battery production have gone to other states. Michigan must continue to make our business climate more competitive in the national and global economy. 

If Michigan loses its decade-long status as a Right-To-Work state, the Great Lakes State will remove itself from the list of states for potential new investment for both companies outside of Michigan and those who are already here. Whether the new investment is related to electric vehicle and battery production, or based in the knowledge economy, semiconductors or green energy, Michigan will lose future investment and we will lose good-paying manufacturing jobs. 

The choice is clear. Michigan must compete for these technologically transformational jobs and projects or we risk losing them to states that choose not to interfere with employee choices. If we make the wrong choice, Michigan will lose jobs, people and families all to the detriment of our collective economic future. 

This is a time for the Legislature to communicate clearly to manufacturing investors, both our existing manufacturing companies and those outside Michigan, that Michigan is open for business and we have the right skilled workforce to make their investments successful in the face of global competition. Repealing our Right-to-Work moves us in the wrong direction. 

Stay up-to-date on the status of this legislation at MMA’s Right-to-Work Action Center and make your voice heard by telling your State Senator how your company will be impacted.

Contact John J. Walsh

John J. WalshMMA President & CEO
Call 517-487-8550