Ever since Michigan passed its right-to-work law in 2012, union bosses have been longing for an opportunity to overturn it.
As residents of a right-to-work state, Michiganders are free to join and pay dues to a labor union, and they're free to choose not to.
The bosses that control Michigan's biggest unions would rather workers not have that choice — they want dues to be mandatory.
Any other private organization, be it a church, a civic group or a political party, would be laughed right out of Lansing if they asked the state legislature to mandate contributions to their groups.
But in politics, money talks. Union bosses spent millions of dollars on Michigan's elections this year, and now they're eager to cash in.
It's a shame, but not a surprise, that among the union bosses calling for the reinstatement of compulsory union dues is Ray Curry, president of the UAW, who called right to work a "travesty."
Curry apparently believes that all workers at UAW-controlled facilities should be forced to give money to the union, an organization that has seen at least 11 executives plead guilty and receive jail sentences for taking bribes and dipping their fingers into funds intended to be used for workers.
As just one noteworthy example, Gary Jones, who upon becoming the UAW's general president in 2018 pledged to fight against right-to-work laws, was sentenced to 28 months in prison for embezzling union funds.
As evidenced by the recent UAW election runoffs, there are still active and angry calls for reform within the union.
The truth is, the vast majority of those from union households in Michigan believe workers should be allowed to decide for themselves whether the union's bosses can be trusted with their hard-earned money.
But rather than going through the painful process of rooting out corruption and rebuilding its reputation among the rank and file, the UAW's hierarchy is simply asking the Michigan Legislature to give them the dictatorial dues-collection powers they enjoyed before it became a right-to-work state.
In so doing, not only are union bosses attempting to avoid any accountability, they're advocating the repeal of a policy that's been a tremendous boon for Michigan's economy.
The state has seen a 6.4 percent upswing in manufacturing jobs since right to work took effect in 2013, a period where neighboring forced-dues states lost manufacturing jobs.
Michigan workers' average yearly compensation, after adjusting for the cost of living, is more than $5,500 higher than in the average non-right-to-work state.
Right to work makes Michigan a magnet for jobs and investment. When workers know that a state won't let them be forced to contribute to unions like the UAW, they're more likely to work there.
Michigan's Legislature shouldn't cave to union bosses at the UAW or other unions who want unchecked access to workers' money.
There's a reason why recent polling by SurveyUSA found that more than 8 in 10 Michiganders support the right-to-work principle that no one should be forced to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment.
And that makes sense: Right to work has been good for Michigan's economy and its workers.