I am so troubled by the legislation going through here in Michigan.

Right to work? Who says? Not to mention that the language is misleading.

Here is another example of money and loud voices taking over. It’s not about doing what’s right (ironic that the word RIGHT is first in this discussion…). It’s about winning and speaking louder and trampling over the other perspectives.

I thought this wasn’t high on the governor’s list of priorities. But again, lobbying and persistence pays off.

So the biggest issue here is not even this piece of legislation, it’s the way big business looks at the issue of employment.

Much to my dismay sometimes, I’ve become an employer. I have a team of five, including myself. When I decided to hire a full-time employee, I did my research and had an internal conversation about what kind of employer and company I wanted this to be.

I wrote an Employee Handbook, outlining policies and protocols, vacation time, sick and family leave policies, incentives for raises and bonuses, the works. Included in my handbook is a mandate for all of my employees to write their own vision statements about their careers and their employment here at Your People.

This right-to-work discussion is about who wins – how much can an employer pull over on an employee, who gets more, who walks away with pockets stuffed, regardless of the other people involved. Yes, I am in business to do well but also to do good. I don’t want to take advantage of people and earn more at their expense.

Not to say that an employer and an employee should earn the same amount or reap the same rewards. When you start a business, you seek to achieve and succeed and earn more and more and more. Not just for you, but for all involved.

At least that’s how I look at it.

So arguing about having the RIGHT to work is silly. It’s not a right – it’s a responsibility. We have to work to earn a living to support our families so we don’t end up on the street. And if we can do it in a way that makes a difference in the world, even better.

When we reduce work to who gets more at the expense of others getting less, we reduce ourselves to the lowest form of humanity.

I know of a negotiation going on right now between a big employer and a union representing its employees. The arguments they’re having are ridiculous – over pennies. 1% or 2% raises, reducing the employer’s contribution to health care, everyone’s struggling over the tiniest difference.

As an employer, I look at a 10% raise as pitiful. When you look at the amount of dollars over the course of a year, it’s nothing out of the pocket of the employer and it’s nothing in the hands of the employee. But it’s something more than 1 or 2%.

We should all raise ourselves to the highest level possible. Only then does everybody win.

Give more. Take less. You’ll see that even you benefit in the end.

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