Protect Michigan Workers and Taxpayers

March 8, 2023 1:59 pm

To:          Members of the Michigan House and Senate

From:    ALEC Action

Re:         Protect Michigan Workers and Taxpayers – Vote NO on HB4004, 4005 and 4007

ALEC Action, the 501(c)4 affiliate of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), writes with concern regarding House Bills 4004, 4005 and 4007. These bills would undermine public sector workers’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to pay union fees, repeal Right-to-Work laws protecting private sector workers, and expand prevailing wage laws. ALEC Action urges you to OPPOSE these attacks on Michigan workers and taxpayers for the reasons listed below.


  • HB 4004’s fiscal note acknowledges that this defies the United States Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME (2018) decision that ruled public sector workers have the right to decide whether or not to join or contribute to a union. Requiring public sector workers to join or contribute to a union as a job requirement infringed on the workers’ First Amendment rights, and thus the justice struck down such requirements. If approved, Michigan could face expensive lawsuits.
  • Instead of forcing workers into union membership, efforts should focus on educating workers about what their rights and options really are. Too often, workers are unaware of their rights before making labor decisions, which results in them unknowingly forfeiting free speech rights and suffering financial losses.
  • The ALEC Public Employee Rights and Authorization Act ensures workers know their rights before making labor choices. It requires that all public sector employees be informed of their right to freely join, leave, or pay a union without employment consequences and that each of these workers must give specific, affirmative consent before any money can be deducted from their wages to contribute to unions.


  • Right-to-Work ensures private sector workers have this same choice to freely join, leave or contribute to a union. It is important to note that Right-to-Work does not ban unions or union membership. Unions are still able to operate and work with employees to negotiate wages, benefits, etc. with employers.
  • Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index continues to document that Right-to-Work states experience faster wage growth, higher employment and increased population growth compared to non-Right-to-Work states.
  • Two of three states that border Michigan (Indiana and Wisconsin) have Right-to-Work laws.
  • NERA Economic Consulting found similar positive results for 2001-2016:
    • 38% output increase in RTW states, versus 29% output increase in non-RTW states
    • 39% increase in personal income in RTW states, versus 26% in non-RTW states
    • Greater tendency for companies to locate in RTW states.
  • House Minority Leader Matt Hall:
    • “Before Right-to-Work was passed, Michigan led the nation in terms of people leaving the state and had lower incomes and fewer jobs. Understanding the history of Michigan and looking at what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last 10 years is critical. We’ve made our state more competitive with job growth in cutting-edge areas like manufacturing and engineering. That’s because of Right-to-Work and other economic policies that we’ve brought forward.”


  • Prevailing wage laws are harmful to taxpayers:
    • Add as much as 30% to the cost of public construction, renovation and other public services.
    • Increase the costs of government and business and diminishes the number of jobs generated by the economy.
    • Raise the wages and benefits for the few at the expense of taxpayers.
    • Harm the young, minorities and other new or would-be entrants to the workforce.


  1. ALEC Statement on the Janus v. AFSCME decision
  2. ALEC’s Labor of Love: A History of Championing Worker Freedom
  3. On Election Day, Conflicting Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot in Illinois and Tennessee
  4. Preemption of State Labor Law in the PRO Act
  5. The ALEC-Laffer Annual Report on Economic Competitiveness Rich States, Poor States
  6. National Federation of Independent Businesses Statement on Worker Freedom
  7. NERA Economic Study on Right-to-Work