More than 80 percent of the members of a Michigan union representing home health care workers opted to quit the organization in 2013, federal filings show. The workers took advantage of the state's newly enacted right-to-work law, which allowed individuals to opt out for the first time ever.
SEIU Healthcare Michigan, a branch of the powerful Service Employees International Union, saw its membership drop from more than 55,000 in 2012, to just under 11,000 in 2013, according to Labor Department data. The decline happened the same year Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed the right to work law.
The sheer size of the shift suggests that a majority of SEIU Healthcare Michigan's members never wanted to be in the union in the first place. The federal data indicates that those opting out are primarily people who participate in the state's Home Help Services program. The program subsidizes people who provide health care for others, usually family members, in their own home.
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