Detroit Regional Chamber > Advocacy > Right to Work Repeal Takes Effect, What This Means for Business in Michigan

Right to Work Repeal Takes Effect, What This Means for Business in Michigan

February 13, 2024

Today, Michigan’s repeal of its Right to Work law takes effect, now allowing unionized workplaces to require all employees to pay union dues and fees.  

Despite advocacy from the Detroit Regional Chamber and peer business groups, Michigan lawmakers voted to repeal the law in March 2023. 

Read more about the Chamber’s perspective and what this means for businesses in Michigan below.

The Chamber Perspective

As shared in March, the repeal of Right to Work weakens Michigan’s global economic competitive position and harms our ability to vie for new businesses and jobs. In reality, the Right to Work law has little impact on both unions and businesses – businesses that are union shops continue to partner with unions and only a small percentage of union workers opt out of paying dues. As states compete for jobs in the global market, those with Right to Work laws have a distinct advantage. Michigan now loses this key economic development tool to the detriment of our employment base and local economies. 

What This Means for Business in Michigan

In the decade that Right to Work was in place in Michigan, it progressed in growing new companies, expanded current companies, and attracted companies from around the world. Right to Work was among the considerations that kept Michigan high on the list for site selectors.

While the repeal won’t change much for current Michigan-based businesses, it essentially excludes Michigan from consideration by global businesses looking to expand or relocate. Without this law in place, the state will need to pursue more costly methods to attract economic development opportunities – more upfront cash, deeper utility company discounts, longer tax abatements, etc.

The inconsistency in policy from administration to administration is a further detriment to Michigan’s pro-growth environment. The repeal breaks down businesses’ expectations of consistency and what it’s like to do business in Michigan. The lack of continuity in such business policies continues to be a challenge for Michigan and will play a role in businesses’ decisions to stay in or come to the state.