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Michigan Unions Support New Legislation to Fight Wage Theft

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement from President Ron Bieber supporting new legislation announced today by Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) to fight wage theft in Michigan:

“Working people across Michigan are putting in the hours, going above and beyond to do a good job, and yet far too many are getting stiffed by their employers. It’s about time someone in Lansing stands up for them to make sure everyone who works hard for a living gets the pay they’ve earned. This legislation is long overdue, and Lansing Republicans should do the right thing and pass these bills right away.”

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Snyder’s New Civil Service Rules Attack State Employees

Commission approves rules taking away freedom from 35,000 state employees to negotiate overtime, seniority, grievances

LANSING – Hundreds of working people gathered outside the Capitol Commons building in Lansing today to oppose new civil service rules that take away the freedom from 35,000 state employees to negotiate together for important job protections like overtime pay, seniority, and grievances. The rules were supported by the Snyder administration, and approved by three of the four Civil Service Commissioners appointed by Governor Snyder.

“All working people deserve the freedom to negotiate together for a fair return on their work,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “But once again, Governor Snyder is rigging the rules of our state against working men and women like nurses, social workers, and bridge inspectors. These unfair new rules will make state government less efficient and less accountable by giving the governor more power to dictate working conditions, and by filling vital positions with his unskilled political cronies. That’s bad for families, bad for taxpayers, and bad for Michigan. Working families need leaders who will have our backs, and work together to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy.”

“This is another sad day for Michigan’s State employees and our economy. Governor Snyder’s Civil Service Commission, in a 3- 1 vote today, passed rule changes that are a direct attack on State employees’ rights and benefits,” said SEIU 517M Executive Director Liza Estlund Olson. “But make no mistake, though these rules have passed, we are ready to fight. SEIU 517M members are ready to stand together and ensure their voice is heard on the job. Our members know that their contracts help to create a more efficient, accountable government and that taxpayers deserve quality, public services not the Governor’s friend and family plan.”

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Schuette on Duty for Wealthy Special Interests, Not Working Families

Schuette voted against Buy American, prevailing wage

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement today on Attorney General Bill Schuette’s expected announcement that he will run for governor:

“Bill Schuette’s record shows he’s on duty for wealthy special interests and political insiders, not working families,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “In Congress, Schuette voted against Buy American provisions for transportation projects, making it easier to use cheap steel made in China to fix our crumbling roads and bridges. And Schuette voted repeatedly to undermine the prevailing wage, which would cut the pay of skilled trades men and women in Michigan, and make it easier to hire unskilled out-of-state workers to build new schools. One thing’s for sure, Bill Schuette has the wrong priorities for Michigan’s working families.”

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Michigan Unions Support Democratic Bills Protecting Consumers from Skyrocketing Drug Prices

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement supporting legislation introduced by Democrats in the Michigan House and Senate today to protect consumers from excessive prescription drug prices:

“All working families should have access to life-saving prescription drugs,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “But for far too long, the big drug companies have used their money and influence to advance health care policies that pad their own pocketbooks at our expense. These bills will give consumers a line of defense by forcing drug companies to be transparent in their pricing and holding them accountable when they’re profiteering off people who need these medications to survive. It’s time for our lawmakers to stand up to the drug lobby, and work to stop outrageous prescription drug price increases. Republicans in Lansing need to do the right thing and work with Democrats to pass these bills.”

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