Michigan Court Upholds Teacher’s Right to Work Without Forced Union ‘Fees’

‘Workers need to keep fighting against coercion, as Michigan union bosses have repeatedly shown their willingness to violate employees’ protections…’

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Michigan Court of Appeals has reaffirmed important right-to-work legislation by upholding a decision that found union officials in violation of the law for attempting to force teachers to pay penalty fees.

Ron Conwell, a Michigan public school teacher, filed suit with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission after union officials told him he would still have to pay union fees even though he had resigned from the union. If he didn’t pay the fees, he would be fired, Conwell said.

The MERC has upheld right-to-work in Michigan consistently, ruling in several cases that unions cannot force public employees to pay union dues by extending and enforcing forced due clauses in bargaining agreements.

Union officials have continued to illegally force employees’ hands, though, like they did with Conwell.

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The MERC sided with Conwell and ordered Clarkson Community Schools, the Clarkson Education Association, and the Michigan Education Association to stop threatening employees with termination.

“Michigan workers can celebrate that the decision upholds their right to work without paying forced tribute to union bosses,” Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said in a statement.

“Yet it also shows workers need to keep fighting against coercion, as Michigan union bosses have repeatedly shown their willingness to violate employees’ protections under Michigan’s Right to Work laws in their efforts to keep their forced dues money stream flowing.”

The National Right to Work Foundation said it has litigated more than 100 cases in Michigan to combat compulsory unionism since the state passed right-to-work legislation in 2012.

“Foundation staff attorneys continue to assist dozens of independent minded workers in fighting back against Big Labor’s orchestrated campaign to undermine Right to Work in Michigan,” Mix said.