UPDATE, 8 PM TUESDAY: Michigan’s governor tonight signed two so-called right-to-work bills passed by the state Legislature that allow workers in unionized workplaces to opt out of paying union dues if they wish. SAG-AFTRA strongly opposed the legislation and issued this statement in response:
“This legislation does nothing but require that unions provide full representational services to people who refuse to pay their fair share of the cost. It’s freeloading.”
PREVIOUS, 2:27 PM FRIDAY: Remember when Michigan was going to be the next go-to state for Hollywood productions, with choice incentives that included an almost 50% tax credit on TV and film projects? It lured native son Sam Raimi’s Disney pic Oz The Great And Powerful among others to film there. Now, economic realities have led to heavy caps that have watered down the credits (the anatomy of one Michigan studio’s downfall was nicely dissected this week in the NY Times), driving away Hollywood in the process. Now Hollywood’s biggest union SAG-AFTRA is drumming up support to fight bills passed this week in the state House and Senate that would make Michigan a right-to-work state. That would make it illegal for unions to collect dues from non-union workers and is seen by local governments as a business-friendly law — 23 other states have done the same thing. Obviously, unions like SAG-AFTRA feel otherwise. Here’s what the Hollywood guild has sent around, asking members to sign an AFl-CIO petition to protest the legislation:
(LANSING, Mich. Dec. 7, 2012)- Yesterday the Michigan House and Senate passed bills that would make Michigan a so-called “right-to–work” state. There is still time to fight for union rights: Both the House and the Senate still have to vote on each other’s bills, and there is talk that such votes will occur in Lansing on Dec. 11. “Right-to-work” laws allow nonmembers to work under union contracts and enjoy all of the benefits of those union contracts without paying for the union’s services.
If the bill passes, Michigan would become one of the first northern manufacturing states to pass this kind of antiunion law and other states may follow. SAG-AFTRA urges Michigan residents to immediately call their senators and representatives and urge them to stop this bill from passing. The effort against this legislation is of nationwide importance. Anyone in the country can help fight this bill by signing the petition through the link below. Please help to stop this downward spiral that hurts all workers and depletes the resources at their workplaces.
The following is a petition that can be signed nationwide: http://act.aflcio.org/c/172/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=5112