• Warren mayor takes right-to-work fight to bumpers

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    fouts right to workDon’t like the new right-to-work law?

    Neither does Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, and to show his disapproval, he’s giving away hundreds of bumper stickers that read “Right-to-work means lower wages & benefits.”

    Fouts said he printed the stickers at his own expense after watching the Michigan Legislature approve the measure during the December lame-duck session. The new law makes it illegal to make someone join a union into order to be hired for jobs represented by a union. The rapid movement of the bill through the State House of Representatives and Senate caused massive protests in Lansing in mid-December and garnered national attention. Michigan, often considered ground zero for the union movement, became the 24th right-to-work state on Dec. 11.

    “The Michigan Legislature rushed to judgment without any degree of transparency,” he said. “I want to see the standard of living stay high.”

    Fouts, the son of a UAW member, said his father often credited union work for the family’s quality of life. He said the law would ultimately defund unions, leading to lower wages, fewer benefits and a reduced quality of life for Michigan residents. Warren is home to several auto-related companies.

    Proponents of the law say there will be an increase in jobs as a result of making Michigan businesses open shops. Gov. Rick Snyder and others have said that unions will have to do a better job of selling their benefits to maintain membership. But Fouts and others said it’s unfair for dues paid by members to support nonmembers. Union-negotiated contracts typically apply to all workers in a particular classification, not just those that pay dues. The law will go into effect around April 1. Opponents are considering recalls or court challenges to fight it.

    The stickers are available at Warren City Hall, 1 City Square, off Van Dyke. Fouts said they were printed by workers represented by a union.

    This article originally published on The Detroit Free Press

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