Letter to the Editor: Right-to-Work Laws Threaten Michigan Workers' Quality of Life

Macomb resident Connie Cuellar speaks out against Michigan legislators calling for right-to-work laws.

Legislators in Michigan are poised to once again slap the average worker with more laws to weaken the ability to work in our state. With a colorful play on words meant to mislead the population, the "right-to-work" laws neither guarantee rights nor work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average worker in states with "right to work" laws makes $5,538 less per year compared to those in other states. Lower wages decrease the tax base and lowers the quality of life. The percentage of uninsured workers in "right-to-work" states is much higher, which means their children are also uninsured. "Right to work" means higher poverty; higher infant mortality rate; less investment in education; and increased risk of death on the job.

During Michigan's pre-union days, workers suffered in poor working conditions, often in high-risk situations, with no benefits, earning poverty-level wages. Workers had no rights. Michigan workers are now protected after having paid a high price for many years through suffering and pain. It's a protection workers around the world risk their lives to obtain. Does Michigan really want to turn back the clock on progress and forget the suffering from which this protection was born? If Michigan legislators get their way, that's exactly what will happen. It's ironic, considering the Republican outcry for less government intervention; those same Republicans are trying to interfere with private enterprise.

Federal laws already protect workers who don't want to join a union. Why waste taxpayer’s money pushing an agenda that has proven detrimental in other states?

Contact legislators today and tell them to oppose all "right-to-work" laws and protect our workforce from returning to the dark ages.

Connie Cuellar

Have something to share? Send letters to Macomb Patch editor Jenny Whalen at jenny.whalen@patch.com.


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