NFIB Slams Rushed, Partisan Process and Final Passage of Bills to Gut Worker Freedom, Repeal Right-To Work, and Add Burdensome Regulations

Date: March 21, 2023



LANSING, MI (March 21, 2023) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the state and nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, criticized the House and Senate for giving final, party-line votes this evening for big-union backed bills to eliminate Michigan’s decade-old Right-To-Work law and force union membership, as well as to reinstate burdensome prevailing wage regulations for state contracts. The package of bills, which were rushed through legislature with little opportunity for debate and public input, are now on their way to Gov. Whitmer, who is expected to sign the measures.


“The Governor and legislative majorities unfortunately seem determined to move Michigan backwards to the failed labor and economic policies of the past,” said NFIB State Director Amanda Fisher. “This rushed and partisan process to gut worker freedom and force workers to choose between accepting a job and joining a union will end up harming our members, Main Street small businesses, and Michigan’s economic viability. Further, by adding additional regulation and shady enforcement tactics to the prevailing wage mandate at the last minute, this big labor boondoggle will particularly burden already disadvantaged small businesses. Despite the economic evidence of the last decade, Lansing has turned its back on free enterprise, worker freedom, and greater growth and prosperity for all Michiganders.”


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.


“Small businesses employ almost half of all workers in Michigan, and after years of government shutdowns, runaway inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages, lawmakers should be working to bolster small job creators, not saddling them with higher costs and regulations,” Fisher said after today’s votes. “Michigan’s small business owners urge Governor Whitmer to do the right thing and stop this ill-advised payback to the big unions. For the good of all Michiganders, she should stop this coercive, anti-worker, anti-competitive legislation.”


Previously, State Director Fisher attempted to testify before the House and Senate Labor Committees 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 and Senate Bills 34 and 6: “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.’”


Regarding the reinstatement of prevailing wage, Fisher had noted 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.”



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

Related Content: Small Business News | Michigan

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