Action Calendar

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New Report: Michigan CEOs Paid 339 Times More Than Average Workers

Largest pay increase since financial crisis
www.PayWatch.org

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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Working Families to Honor Workers Who Lost Their Lives On The Job at Workers Memorial Day Events in Detroit, Escanaba, Negaunee, Iron Mountain Tomorrow

LANSING – Tomorrow local workers, officials, and community members will gather for Workers Memorial Day events in Detroit, Escanaba, Negaunee, and Iron Mountain to commemorate workers who have died or suffered illness or injuries while on the job.

“On April 28, union members across Michigan will observe Workers Memorial Day,” said Karla Swift, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “This is an opportunity to remember the tens of thousands of working men and women who are killed, injured, and get sick on the job each year. It’s also an opportunity to renew our commitment to ensuring that everyone in America can enjoy a safe workplace.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan had 100,300 reported cases of workplace illness or injury in 2013, the seventh highest in the country.

Here is the information on tomorrow’s Workers Memorial Day events:

DETROIT

Where: Transcending Labor Legacy Memorial, Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit

When: Tomorrow, April 28, 12:00pm

NEGAUNEE

Where: USW Ronn Hall, 1206 Baldwin Street, Negaunee

When: Tomorrow, April 28, 6:30pm

ESCANABA

Where: USW Hall, 1201 Sheridan Street, Escanaba

When: Tomorrow, April 28, 6:30pm

IRON MOUNTAIN

Where: Laborers Hall, W-8008 South US Hwy 2, Iron Mountain

When: Tomorrow, April 28, 6:30pm ET / 5:30pm CT

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Stop the Fast Track to Lower Wages

 

LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift issued the following statement today in response to the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority legislation in Congress:

“Michigan workers know a bad trade deal when they see one. For decades, we’ve seen how corporate-driven trade deals like NAFTA have devastated our communities through lost jobs and lower wages. Last year alone, Michigan’s trade deficit was $66.8 billion. Michigan simply can’t afford another bad trade deal that ships more American jobs overseas to countries like China and Mexico.

“Trade deals have wide-ranging economic impacts and shouldn’t be negotiated behind closed doors and then rubber-stamped. The current Trans-Pacific Partnership deal under discussion would cover 40 percent of the world’s GDP. A deal this big should be debated in a full and open manner like every other piece of legislation.

“Michigan can’t afford another bad trade deal. That’s why Congress must reject Fast Track and maintain its constitutional authority and leverage to improve trade deals, and protect American workers.”

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New Report: Michigan Has Nation’s Third Highest Unemployment Rate for African Americans

At 15.8 percent, Michigan trails only Wisconsin and Nevada

LANSING – At 15.8 percent, Michigan had the nation’s third highest unemployment rate for African Americans in 2014, according to a new analysis from Economic Policy Institute economist Valerie Wilson. In Projected Decline in Unemployment in 2015 Won’t Lift Blacks Out of the Recession-carved Crater, Wilson uses a unique analysis of Current Population Survey data and Local Area Unemployment Statistics program data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate state unemployment rates by race and ethnicity in over 30 states.

In 2014, the annual black unemployment rate was highest in Wisconsin (19.9 percent), followed by Nevada (16.1 percent), Michigan (15.8 percent), and the District of Columbia (15.7 percent), out of 30 states for which data was available. Though black unemployment significantly declined in 15 states and the employment-to-population ratio increased in six states, African Americans have returned to pre-recession unemployment rates in just two states—Connecticut and South Carolina.

“The unemployment rate for African Americans in Michigan is at a crisis level,” said Karla Swift, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Instead of giving tax breaks to big corporations that send jobs overseas, we need our elected officials to implement targeted policies to ensure that everyone in Michigan who is willing and able to work has a job.”

Michigan’s black unemployment rate is over twice as high as the highest state white unemployment rate—which is 7.0 percent in Nevada—and is significantly higher than the national black unemployment rate of 11 percent.

Despite projections that the black unemployment rate will drop significantly by the end of 2015, African Americans in Michigan are still further from a full recovery than whites or Hispanics.

A copy of the EPI report can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1CPDuyz

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