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Senate bill would turn public workers’ personal info over to unions

Government employees are exempt from forced unionization, but Michigan bill would require the state to give their contact data to organized labor

A bill before the Michigan Senate would give unions access to public workers’ personal information.

Senate Bill 169 of 2023 would require government employers in Michigan to turn over contact information “to the labor organization responsible for representing the public employees in collective bargaining agreements.”

The bill was submitted March 9 by Sen. John Cherry, D-Flint, and referred to the Senate Labor Committee.

Read it for yourself: Senate Bill 169 of 2023

The Mackinac Center opposes the bill, which would effectively put the government in the role of facilitating union membership.

“This is far from innocuous,” wrote Stephen Delie, director of the Workers for Opportunity initiative at the Mackinac Center, in written testimony opposing the bill. Delie submitted the testimony to the Senate Labor Committee last week.

“Personal contact information can and has been misused in order to intimidate employees into joining a union,” Delie wrote. “In a 2007 congressional hearing, a former union organizer for the United Steelworkers testified that he was instructed to threaten migrant workers with being reported to immigration officials if they refused to support the union.”

The repeal of Michigan’s right-to-work law makes it likely that workers in a union shop will again be forced to join and pay unions. But government workers are exempt from this, and Delie recommends the bill be amended so that employers inform government employees of their Janus rights.

Are you a government employee in Michigan? Do you know your Janus rights? If not, read more here.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.