LANSING – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO released the following statement on President Obama’s new overtime rule, which will benefit 100,000 Michigan workers:
“This new rule will help 100,000 Michigan workers get the overtime pay they deserve,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Restoring overtime protections and putting more money in working families’ pockets will help boost our entire economy.
“Since 1975, overtime protections have been gutted by inflation without a significant adjustment. By indexing the threshold for overtime pay to inflation, the new rule will help protect wages from being eroded by rising costs going forward.
“Make no mistake, this new rule is an important first step for the Raising Wages Agenda that will help level the playing field for women, African Americans, Hispanics, and younger workers under age 35. But many more workers will still be denied overtime pay by their employer. Moving forward, Michigan’s labor movement will keep fighting to make sure this proposal is fully implemented, until every worker is paid fairly for the work they do.”
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Fast Track legislation makes it easier to ship Michigan jobs overseas
LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement today, following U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg’s votes to advance so-called “Fast Track” legislation.
“Tim Walberg has a long record of supporting unfair trade deals and outsourcing, and today’s vote is another reminder that he’s not on the side of working families,” said Bieber. “Bad trade deals like NAFTA have already cost our communities tens of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs. Last year alone, Michigan’s trade deficit was $66.8 billion. Fast Tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership will only make it easier for big corporations to send more Michigan jobs overseas. The people of Michigan deserve better from Tim Walberg.”
Tim Walberg has long defended unfair trade agreements, like NAFTA. Walberg has falsely claimed that NAFTA “has been proven to have supplied more jobs of equal or better pay to our country over the course of time.”
Michigan lost 254,763 manufacturing jobs during the NAFTA-WTO period (1994-2014), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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HB 4052 Gives More Power to Lansing Politicians, Special Interests
LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement today on House Bill 4052, which advanced to the floor of the Michigan Senate following a vote in the Competitiveness Committee.
“This is blatant power grab by Lansing Republicans, plain and simple,” said Bieber. “House Bill 4052 will take away local control of schools, and make it harder to ensure local jobs go to local workers. While Republicans say they want smaller government, this bill actually takes power away from our local communities, and hands it over to politicians and special interests in Lansing. It’s time for our leaders to focus on making our economy work for all of us, and not just the folks at the top.”
The Republican-dominated committee also rejected a commonsense amendment by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) that would have preserved the right for citizens to pass local ballot measures that protect working families.
House Bill 4052 is sponsored by Rep. Earl Poleski (R-Jackson). Earlier this month, the Jackson and Ann Arbor City Councils passed resolutions opposing the bill.
“Cities like Jackson need the freedom and flexibility to adopt policies that create good jobs for local workers that pay fair wages,” said Jason Smith, Mayor of the City of Jackson. “Unfortunately, this bill guts local control, and makes it harder for local communities to pass ordinances that protect working families and small businesses. The Legislature should reject this shortsighted bill, and if it reaches his desk, Governor Snyder should veto it to protect local control.”
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Largest pay increase since financial crisis
LANSING – According to the AFL-CIO’s annual Executive PayWatch report, Michigan S&P 500 CEOs made an average of $14,296,525 in 2014 – 339 times more than the average Michigan worker, who earns $42,162 per year. The report also reveals that Michigan CEOs made 843 times more than minimum wage workers.
The Executive PayWatch report – the most comprehensive searchable online database which tracks CEO pay at S&P 500 companies – showed that nationally in 2014, the average worker earned approximately $36,000 per year, while CEO pay averaged $13.5 million per year – a ratio which has grown to 373-to-1.
“This report makes it pretty clear that corporate CEOs are doing better than ever, while Michigan’s working families are struggling to get by,” said Karla Swift, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Giving huge tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas has stacked the deck against Michigan workers. This just underscores why collective bargaining is so important, because it gives working men and women a voice at the bargaining table, where they can negotiate for fair wages and benefits. It’s time to address income inequality by adding more transparency to CEO pay, and requiring companies to publicly disclose CEO to median employee pay ratios.”
Mega-retailer Walmart, highlighted in this year’s PayWatch, represents one of the most egregious examples of CEO-to-worker pay inequality. CEO Douglas McMillon earns $9,323 an hour, compared to $9 for a beginning employee salary. A new employee would have to work for 1036 hours just to equal the pay McMillon earns in one hour. PayWatch also highlights the wealth of the six Walton family members who have more wealth than 43 percent of America’s families combined.
More information about Walmart’s massive CEO-to-worker pay disparity and inequality among S&P 500 companies can be found at www.paywatch.org.
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