Union lawsuit calls Michigan right-to-work law unconstitutional
Tue, Feb 12 2013
By Deepa Seetharaman
DETROIT (Reuters) – Several labor unions filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday, saying a Michigan law banning compulsory union membership for private sector employees violates the U.S. Constitution.
The right-to-work law, which goes into effect in late March, contains provisions that go “well beyond” the limits of federal law, said Andrew Nickelhoff, an attorney for the Michigan AFL-CIO, one of the unions that filed the lawsuit.
For example, the Michigan law allows for a $500 civil fine and the possibility of criminal liability for violators, which is not done under the National Labor Relations Act, he said.
“Our position is that so many parts of the right-to-work law are unconstitutional, that the court should strike down the law in its entirety,” Nickelhoff said in an interview.