Washtenaw County Exploring How to Keep Union Business

Jan 4, 2013

Washtenaw County is exploring how to keep union business in the area, despite Michigan's new Right To Work laws which goes into effect in March.

Like many areas of Michigan, Washtenaw County has a lot of union relationships.

In fact, Washtenaw County Commissioner Andy Lebarre says some trade organizations have moved their conventions here because of the union-friendly atmosphere.  “I believe", he says, "one group came here from Tennessee after Tennessee became a right to work state.  And others have come here because of what they viewed as not a labor friendly local environment.”

Lebarre says three union-related conventions bring about 12 million dollars a year to county businesses. So, he says, “we want to send the message to labor groups that we remain friendly to them and that we understand the benefits they bring in.”

He says the challenge now is how to keep them from leaving. 

Chris Zollars, Michigan Radio News