DETROIT (WWJ) - The head of the United Auto Workers Union says he believes right-to-work will eventually be overturned in Michigan, and he believes some lawmakers who pushed for right-to-work will be pushed out of office.
Talking to reporters at the North American International Auto Show media preview, UAW President Bob King says the union is mapping out its strategy.
"We're looking at all the options -- legal challenges, legislative processes, citizens initiatives and we'll looks together and say, what is the most effective way? Because we're not just concerned about right-to-work," King said. "In many ways, what has been done to K thought 12 education, what has been done to teachers, what's been done on taxing petitioners' pensions is a lot worse than what's been done to us with right-to-work."
In short, right-to-work laws prohibit requiring unions from collecting fees from non-union employees, which opponents say drains unions of money and weakens their ability to bargain for good wages and benefits. Supporters insist it will boost the economy and job creation.
Now that Michigan is a right-to-work state, is the UAW worried about newly hired autoworkers refusing to join the union?
King said he doesn't anticipate there will be a significant drop off in UAW membership because of right-to-work.
"The only people to get raises in this contract are the new workers. News workers are gonna go from about 15 bucks and hour to $19,50 an hour; they get the profit-sharing," said King. "We're committed to getting new workers up to the level of traditional workers and keep the companies competitive.
"New workers have more at stake in a strong union than traditional workers," he said.
He said most auto workers won't want to be seen as freeloaders and they realize a strong union protects them.
Gov. Rick Snyder, amid protests last month, signed a package of bills making Michigan the nation's 24th right-to-work state.
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