Frequently Asked Questions

What is right-to-work?

Right-to-work simply means that a union cannot have a worker fired for not paying them. It does not change collective bargaining in any way. Unions and workers can still negotiate pay, benefits, and anything else they usually bargain for.

Does right-to-work apply to me?

If you are working under a contract that has been entered into, renewed or extended after the right-to-work law took effect in your state (March 15, 2012 in Indiana; March 28, 2013 in Michigan; and March 11, 2015 in Wisconsin) then right-to-work applies to you. The contract between the UAW and the Big 3 automakers expired on September 14, 2015, affecting around 400,000 workers.

How do I resign from the UAW?

Notify your union representative and your employer. You can fill out the form at www.UAWOptOut.com with all the information needed to resign from the UAW. Make sure your resignation is in writing. It is best to send it by certified mail.

Can I be fired for not being in the union?

No. Being a member of a union is completely voluntary. If your collective bargaining agreement was agreed to or modified after right-to-work took effect. You cannot legally be fired from your job or be penalized for belonging to a union or not belonging to a union. Before right-to-work was passed, your union could require nonmembers to pay an agency fee, which is an amount nearly equal to the full dues requirement.

How will right-to-work change collective bargaining?

Aside from taking away a union’s ability to require a worker to pay dues, right-to-work has no effect on collective bargaining. Unions and workers can still negotiate wages, benefits, hours and working conditions with employers, and all employees, union members or not, will be covered by the union contract.

Under right-to-work, however, any provision that tries to require an employee to pay union dues or agency fees is not enforceable if the contract was agreed to or modified after right-to-work took effect. Thus an employee who chooses not to support a union cannot be fired for that reason, nor can the union file a civil lawsuit against the employee in order to seek financial support.

Is there a way for workers to financially support just their local union and not the national UAW?

Employees cannot choose to only pay dues to their local union. They can, however, opt out of their union membership and then send donations to their local association, if they so choose.

If a worker opts out, can they be retaliated against?

No. Right-to-work laws are very simple: No one can be fired for not paying money to a union. It is illegal for an employer or a union to discriminate against you for exercising this right.

Learn more about right-to-work here.

If you have questions or require legal assistance, UAWOptOut works closely with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. The foundation can be reached at 1-800-336-3600 or online.