What's next for workers after Michigan repeals right-to-work law?
(CBS DETROIT) - On Friday, Michigan became the first state in decades to repeal a right-to-work law that allowed workers to opt out of paying union dues and fees. The change goes into effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends.
Labor and employment lawyer, Richard Mack, said the repeal does not mean people will be required to join unions.
"In the last 70 years, unions have not been allowed to force members of employees. So if you work at a workplace, the fact that right to work is repealed, you still are not required to become a member of a union," said Mack, an attorney at Miller Cohen Law Firm.
He said workers who receive union benefits will be required to pay service fees.
Which is a little less than dues, but you're still having to pay your fair share."
Mack said the first thing workers should do is take a look at their contracts, as some will have "snapback" provisions, or union security clauses, that were set in place when right-to-work was passed in 2012.
"Provisions which said, 'in the event that right-to-work is repealed, this provision will come back into play," said Mack.
For those who have opted out of paying union fees, Mack said they will be contacted with the next steps.
"Typically they'll indicate to those individuals, 'you haven't been paying. There's a new law and now a new contract provision in place, which requires you to pay your fair share, and we expect you to do so.' And then they'll make arrangements to make that happen."
For employers, the repeal could mean bargaining new provisions into contracts.
"Employers should willingly sit down with unions to put these provisions back in place," said Mack.
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