Election Outcome Creates Opportunity for Restoring Workers' Rights in Michigan

In Part 1 of our 2021 series, Gubernatorial Elections: 36 in ’22, we recounted the story of how, from 2010 to 2012, anti-worker governors in several states, including Michigan, forced through so-called “Right to Work” legislation to undercut union power in favor of their corporate backers.

Steelworkers were among the thousands who descended upon the Michigan capitol in 2012 to protest the legislation before it was signed by former Governor Rick Snyder, and we’ve fought on every front for its repeal ever since.

This month – after more than a decade of worker organizing in worksites, our communities, and the ballot box – we have some incredible news to share.

In early March, the new pro-worker majority in Michigan’s state legislature -- the state’s first in nearly 40 years -- acted swiftly on their promise to restore workers’ collective bargaining rights by passing legislation to repeal the state’s so-called “Right to Work” law.

Leading up to the Michigan State House’s initial March 8 vote, more than 60 Steelworkers were in Lansing to spend time meeting with their legislators to educate them on the real worker impacts of Right to Work and urging them to support its repeal.

As the legislation has moved through the chambers, Steelworkers have been there every step of the way.

Pictured: USW members with Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks

A final vote in the legislature is expected as early as today.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has long promised to sign the repeal into law if the state legislature sends it to her desk.

“The pending repeal of Michigan’s so-called “Right to Work” law, along with Governor Whitmer’s action to put an end to the unfair pension tax in early March, speaks volumes about the impact workers can have in local, state and federal elections,” said Donnie Blatt, USW District 1 Director. “I’m so incredibly proud of everything our union has done to make this possible.”

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222