To the Journal editor:
Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution starts as follows: “No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility. “Here I am only concerned with “obligation of contract.”
It is my opinion that Michigan’s Right to Work law violates this particular provision in the Constitution.
People have a natural right to property and to contract out their labor by which they may acquire property. They also have, in this endeavor, a natural right to band together for their common good, to form an association, membership in which can only be determined by the members themselves.
A labor union and an employer voluntarily enter into an agreement which stipulates, among other things, that the employer shall employ only union members which the union itself designates as members in good standing. To be a member in good standing, one must pay dues.
That agreement is a contract.
The state of Michigan has instituted a so-called Right-To-Work law. This law allows an employer who has signed a union contract to hire employees who may choose not to pay union dues.
By allowing the employment of people who are not “members in good standing,” the state of Michigan has allowed parts of the contract to be skirted.
The state of Michigan has impaired the obligation of that contract.
Perhaps our governor and state attorney general should be summoned to federal court and be asked politely to explain why this law should not be struck down, either in part or in its entirety.