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Right to Work: Brought to you in part by the DeVos Family

December 7, 2012

As people are still reeling from news that the state legislature passed a Right to Work bill for Michigan, some sources are saying that Gov. Snyder will sign the bill into law, despite his previous claims that it would be bad for the state.ftw-244x300

One source that is saying that Snyder will make Michigan a Right to Work state is the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which euphemistically calls Right to Work, Freedom to Work.

Not only is the Mackinac Center a source for this news, they are in many ways the architect behind the push for Right to Work legislation in Michigan. The Mackinac Center was involved in the introduction of Right to Work laws in Indiana in the past year and they have been leading the charge in Michigan, even before Snyder became Governor. The Mackinac Center also has a long history of pushing for privatization and other pro-capitalist policies ever since the right wing think tank formed in 1987.

It is also important for those of us who live in West Michigan to recognize that the Right to Work policy that Michigan is about to make into law is a policy that many business leaders in the area have been championing, none more so than members of the DeVos family.

Richard, Dick and Betsy DeVos have also been major donors of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy according to SourceWatch, Right Wing Watch and stories we have posted in the past. In addition, all of these sources also document that the Edgar & Elsa Prince Foundation and the Van Andel Family have been donors to the Mackinac Center as well, making West Michigan a major source funding for the right wing think tank.


Besides funding the main architect behind Right to Work policies in Michigan, West Michigan elites like the DeVos family are deeply involved in the creation of the West Michigan Policy Forum, which since 2008 has been pushing for Right to Work legislation in Michigan.

We reported on the West Michigan Policy Forum in 2010, when they brought anti-union strategist Rick Berman to Grand Rapids and the focus on Right to Work policies at this year’s conference as well.

If indeed, Right to Work becomes policy in Michigan, much of the blame lies with the role that West Michigan elites have played in funding and pushing such a policy. Remember this the next time someone talks about the “philanthropy” of DeVos and company, especially since Right to Work policies are really an attack against working people.

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