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Senator O’Brien, Representative Iden Get Failing Grades on Labor Scorecard

Kalamazoo-area lawmakers frequently vote against working families

LANSING – State Representative Brandt Iden (R – Oshtemo Township) received a score of just 13% percent in a new legislative scorecard released yesterday by the Michigan AFL-CIO. State Senator Margaret O’Brien (R -Portage) faired only slightly better with a 50% score. The state labor federation analyzed the voting records of all State Representatives on 8 key votes and all State Senators on 6 votes during the 2017-18 legislative session. A copy of the scorecard is available online.

“The working families of Kalamazoo County deserve better than a 50/50 chance of whether Margaret O’Brien is going to have their backs or not,” said Jonathan Byrd, President of the South Central Michigan Area Labor Council. “Whether it’s jeopardizing the education of our students by letting non-certified teachers into the classroom or to slash the paychecks of working families by voting to repeal prevailing wage, Margaret O’Brien has let our community down.”

O’Brien and Iden both voted to repeal prevailing wage which will cut paychecks across the state and open critical infrastructure projects to low-skilled workers. Both lawmakers also voted in support HB 5141 which allows uncertified teachers to teach certain career and technology programs. Additionally, Iden voted for SB 574 which allowed for-profit charter and cyber schools to receive funding from local millages meant for improving public schools.

“Brandt Iden turned his back on the hardworking men and women in the skilled trades when he voted to cut their paychecks and repeal prevailing wage,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “At a time when working families need someone fighting for them to create on economy that works for everyone, Brandt Iden has instead worked to manipulate the rules to benefit wealth corporate interests.”

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