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Michigan Right-to-Work Law Unconstitutional: Union Lawsuit

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By Adam Ramirez on February 13, 2013 11:53 AM

Labor unions filed a federal lawsuit alleging that a Michigan law banning compulsory union membership for private sector employees is unconstitutional.

The right-to-work law, which goes into effect in late March, contains provisions that go "well beyond" the limits of federal law, said Andrew Nickelhoff, an attorney for the Michigan AFL-CIO, one of the unions that filed the lawsuit.

For example, the Michigan law allows for a $500 civil fine and the possibility of criminal liability for violators, which is not done under the National Labor Relations Act, Nickelhoff told Reuters.

The lawsuit is one of three that have been filed challenging Michigan's right-to-work laws, which prompted protests of more than 12,000 unionized workers and supporters at the state Capitol in Lansing after it was enacted on December 11.

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