Daryl Newman re-elected to second term as Secretary-Treasurer
DETROIT – The delegates of the Michigan AFL-CIO’s biennial convention elected Ron Bieber to serve as President of the state labor federation today, following the retirement of President Karla Swift. Bieber previously served as Director of the UAW’s Community Action Program. The delegates of the Michigan AFL-CIO convention also voted today to re-elect Daryl Newman as Secretary-Treasurer, who will serve for a second four-year term.
“As President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, my goal will be to make sure all working people have a voice on the job, and in Lansing and Washington,” said incoming President Ron Bieber. “It’s time for our elected leaders to get the right priorities, and stop the attacks on working families. Moving forward, the Michigan AFL-CIO will continue to work year-round with our affiliates and members to hold politicians accountable, and make sure both parties are working together to build an economy that works for everyone, and not just the folks at the top.”
Ron Bieber is a third-generation UAW member, and the son of former UAW President Owen Bieber. Prior to serving as CAP Director, Bieber served as Assistant Director of the UAW’s General Motors Department. Bieber joined UAW Local 730 at age 18, after hiring into General Motors Metal Fabricating plant in Wyoming, Michigan. He currently lives in Warren with his wife, Patti.
“Ron and I have been trade union activists together in the Michigan labor movement for over three decades, and he’s always been a fierce advocate for Michigan’s working families,” said former President Karla Swift. “I am confident that despite all the challenges we face, the labor movement’s mission to give all working people a strong voice will continue under Ron’s leadership for many years to come.”
Swift was the first woman to serve as President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. She was elected to lead the state labor federation in 2011.
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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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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:
Where: Transcending Labor Legacy Memorial, Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit
When: Tomorrow, April 28, 12:00pm
Where: USW Ronn Hall, 1206 Baldwin Street, Negaunee
When: Tomorrow, April 28, 6:30pm
Where: USW Hall, 1201 Sheridan Street, Escanaba
When: Tomorrow, April 28, 6:30pm
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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The nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute has a new report out today on the impact of “Right-to-Work” for less laws. According to the report, titled “Right-to-Work” States Still Have Lower Wages, the negative impact of RTW laws translates to $1,558 less a year in earnings for a typical full-time worker.
“It’s abundantly clear that right to work laws are negatively correlated with workers’ wages,” says economist Elise Gould, co-author of the report. “Our model uses widely-agreed upon variables, and holds up under a series of tests to ensure that the model is sound and not being skewed by the inclusion or exclusion or particular variables or estimate technique.”
“Policymakers who are concerned by the three-and-a-half decades of wage stagnation that have plagued American workers should be trying to strengthen unions,” said researcher Will Kimball. “Collective bargaining is a clear way to raise wages, and right to work laws undercut it.”