MI Small Businesses and their workers will suffer by reverting to failed labor and economic policies of the past
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Amanda Fisher, NFIB Michigan State Director, 517-927-1058
NFIB Senior Media Manager Mike Donohue, 202-525-9835
LANSING, MI (March 8, 2023) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the state and nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, this morning condemned the last-minute House Labor Committee mark-up of big-union backed bills to eliminate Michigan’s decade-old Right-To-Work law and compel union membership. The legislation, including the reinstatement of prevailing wage regulations, were passed on a party-line votes and will now be rushed by backers to the full House for expected partisan approval later today.
“The Governor and legislative majorities seem to think moving Michigan forward means reverting to the failed labor and economic policies of the past,” said NFIB State Director Amanda Fisher. “This rushed, partisan vote to gut worker freedom and force workers to choose between accepting a job and joining a union is a direct threat to our members, Main Street small businesses, and Michigan’s economic viability. The record of the last decade is clear: worker freedom leads to greater economic growth and prosperity for all Michiganders.”
After the mark-up was announced yesterday, State Director Fisher submitted testimony to the Labor Committee on behalf of the more than 10,000 small and independent business owners in Michigan who are NFIB members, urging legislators to vote no on House Bills 4004-5 and 4007: “NFIB is unique because we set our policy by a vote of our entire membership. When balloted at the beginning of the year, 85% of members indicated their support for keeping Michigan as a right-to-work state. Protect Main Street’s ability to create jobs, find workers, pay employees, and compete with neighboring states by voting “NO” on HBs 4004-4005 and 4007.”
Regarding HB 4007, the reinstatement of prevailing wage, Fisher noted to the committee that this would be a direct hit to small contractors: “The law acts as a ‘super minimum wage’ that sets wages much higher than local construction wages determined by fair competition in the free market. Beyond inflated wages, most small and medium sized businesses are unable to navigate the almost 500,000 wage classifications that existed before the law was repealed. The regulatory cost would often far exceed the wage increases, and ultimately, discourages small business contractors from bidding on public projects.”
Fisher underscored to lawmakers that since Right-to-Work was enacted in 2013, wages have increased by over 20%, manufacturing jobs have risen by 26%, and even union membership has gone up.
“A strong economic climate is necessary for the free enterprise required for small businesses to thrive, and statistics show time and again that workplace freedom is crucial in attracting and keeping both large and small businesses,” said Fisher. “Reversing policies that could harm our state’s economy is a direct threat to the small businesses that employ almost half of all workers in Michigan. After years of government shutdowns, runaway inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages, small business cannot afford one more hit to Michigan’s economy.
“Michigan’s small business owners urge the full House to do the right thing and stop this hurried payback to the big unions,” Fisher said after the committee vote. “At the same time the Governor and legislative majorities are throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at large corporations to attract them to Michigan, they are rushing through coercive, anti-worker legislation that makes our state less attractive to outside investments and serves to drive current businesses away.”
For 80 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.