Lansing— Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed a legal brief arguing the Michigan Supreme Court shouldn’t take up a state worker challenge to the right-to-work law passed by lawmakers in December.
The unions “are seeking political relief, not a legal remedy,” Schuette asserts in his response to a bid by state employee unions to have the Supreme Court reverse a Michigan Court of Appeals decision upholding the law.
Public Act 349, the hurriedly passed right-to-work law, exempts workers in union shops from the obligation to pay dues to labor organizations.
The appeals court ruled Aug. 15 the Legislature is empowered by the state constitution to enact laws regarding hours and conditions of employment. The right-to-work law, therefore, applies to state workers, the judges said.
Union members are arguing new right-to-work provisions can’t be imposed on them because the Michigan Civil Service Commission has exclusive authority to regulate their conditions of employment under the state constitution. They want the high court to review the state appeals court’s decision.
Schuette maintains there are no grounds for it. The state constitution authorizes lawmakers to enact laws regarding conditions of employment, regardless of whether the employment involves civil service status, he argued in his filing.
“There is nothing wrong with the Legislature’s enactment of PA 349 other than Plaintiff’s dislike of the law’s substantive effect,” the Schuette brief says.
“There is no need for this Court to expend its precious resources rehashing the Unions’ tired arguments.”