The press is playing the Michigan labor battle as significant because the state is home to the United Auto Workers and is considered a cradle of unionization. But private sector union rates have sunk to about 12 percent of the workforce in Michigan. Meanwhile, however, public sector unionization sits at 55 percent. Today, the Michigan legislature passed a right-to-work law governing the public sector (unionstats.com), with private sector legislation to follow.
We know what happened in Wisconsin when Scott Walker's budget repair bill gave government workers the ability to opt out of joining a union even if their workplace was organized. That law also stopped automatic dues collection by the state. Will something similar follow in Michigan?