Michigan union membership drops 1.8 percentage points in 1st full year of right-to-work law

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LANSING, Michigan — The share of Michigan workers in labor unions fell again in 2014, the second year that employees could opt out of union fees under the state's right-to-work law.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that Michigan union membership was 14.5 percent last year. That's a drop of 1.8 percentage points from 2013.

Michigan had 585,000 union members last year, a decline of 48,000.

The right-to-work law began taking effect in March 2013. Union membership rose slightly that year while dropping slightly as a share of the workforce.

Unions have lost more than a third of their Michigan membership in a decade. Michigan also has nearly 300,000 fewer workers overall than in 2004.

Michigan's law hasn't yet affected the union representing the Detroit automakers' employees, who have contracts running until September.

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