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Michigan CEOs Paid 318 Times More Than Average Workers in 2015

New Searchable 2016 Executive PayWatch Report:

LANSING – A new report from the AFL-CIO reveals that S&P 500 CEOs in Michigan were paid 318 times more than average Michigan workers in 2015. The annual Executive PayWatch report shows that average compensation for S&P 500 CEOs in Michigan was $13,699,619 in 2015, while average pay for working people was just $43,038.

“There’s something really wrong with this picture,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “America is supposed to be a place where if you work hard and apply yourself, you can earn enough to sustain a family. But that’s not what we’re seeing. CEOs have manipulated the rules in their favor, and the numbers speak for themselves. We need an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy. The best way to restore opportunity is by empowering working people to speak up together for fair wages, strong benefits, and a secure retirement.”

The Executive PayWatch website is the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay. This year’s report highlights Mondelez International, which represents one of the most egregious examples of CEO-to-worker pay inequality. The company, which makes Nabisco products including Oreos, Chips Ahoy and Ritz Crackers, announced earlier this year that in order to reduce costs, it is sending 600 family-sustaining jobs from Illinois to Mexico, where workers face poor labor and safety standards. Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld made $19.7 million in 2015 – that’s $9,471.15 per hour.

This year’s Executive PayWatch report also found:

– The average S&P 500 CEO in Michigan earns approximately $6,586.35 per hour. At that rate, these CEOs only have to work about 6.5 hours to make as much as an average worker earns in an entire year.

– S&P 500 CEOs in Michigan were paid 771 times more than full-time minimum wage workers, who earn just $8.50 per hour.

– Nationally, the average production and nonsupervisory worker earned approximately $36,900 per year in 2015, a wage that when adjusted for inflation, has remained stagnant for 50 years.

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New Report: 143 Michigan Workers Died on the Job in 2014, Up from Previous Year

View Report ‘Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect’ at

LANSING – More Michigan workers died on the job in 2014, according to a new report released today by the AFL-CIO. In total, 143 Michigan workers died as a result of injuries sustained while on the job, an increase from 135 workplace deaths in 2013. Michigan ranked 21st in the nation for its fatality rate in 2014. In addition, the state had 117,400 total cases of workplace injuries and illness in 2014, the seventh most in the country.

“Everyone who works for a living deserves a safe place to work,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “The fact that Michigan ranks in the top half of states for workplace deaths and the top 10 for injuries and illness just shows that our elected leaders in Lansing need to take action and make job safety a priority.”

As of 2016, Michigan has only 62 workplace safety and health inspectors covering 236,461 job sites, which employ 4,090,009 workers across the state. That means there is only one Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) inspector for every 65,968 employees in Michigan. It would take 58 years for MIOSHA to inspect each Michigan workplace once.

Michigan’s average penalty for workplace health and safety violations was an average of just $612 in 2015, which ranks 48th lowest out of 50 states. The national average for violations of the OSH Act was $1,598.

“When it comes to keeping people safe on the job, Lansing has the wrong priorities,” said Bieber. “The fact that we have one of the highest numbers of workplace injuries in the country, and one of the lowest average penalties for safety violations, shows that the playing field is tilted to protect corporate CEOs over working people. It’s time for Governor Snyder and the Legislature to ensure MIOSHA has the resources it needs to hire more inspectors, hold bad actors accountable, and keep people safe on the job.”

Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, marks the 25th year the AFL-CIO has published findings on the state of safety and health protections for working people in the country. Nationally, 4,821 workers were killed on the job in 2014, and 3.8 million suffered workplace injuries and illness.

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Michigan Unions Challenge Unconstitutional Election Law in Federal Court

PA 269, signed by Governor Snyder, violates free speech rights of union members in Michigan elections

DETROIT – Michigan labor unions filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court today challenging Public Act 269, a law signed by Governor Rick Snyder in 2015. The law, also known as Senate Bill 571, was passed late at night without a single committee hearing, and clearly violates the free speech rights of union members wishing to participate in Michigan elections.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include: the Michigan State AFL-CIO; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 58; the Utility Workers Union of America, Local 223; George Horuczi, an employee of DTE Energy, and a member and officer of UWUA Local 223; the Michigan State Utility Workers Council; and William D. Chadwick, Jr., an employee of Consumers Energy, and a member of UWUA Local 338.

“This law is unfair, unconstitutional, and downright un-American,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “It makes it easier for corporations and their super PACs to spend big money on our elections while silencing the voices of working people. We’re asking the court to do the right thing and protect the First Amendment rights of Michigan’s hardworking union members, so they can make their voices heard in Michigan’s elections.”

The legal action names Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson as defendants in their official capacities with the State of Michigan.

Unions assert that PA 269 discriminates against union members by allowing corporations and their trade associations to collect PAC contributions through payroll deduction, while prohibiting payroll deduction for union PAC contributions. The law violates the First Amendment rights of union members by selectively suppressing political speech and association, which is a clear violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. PA 269 also violates the Contract Clause, which protects existing collective bargaining agreements.

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The Michigan AFL-CIO is a federation of labor unions, and represents over 1 million active and retired union members across Michigan.

IBEW Local 58 is based in Detroit and represents 5,000 electricians in the construction, maintenance, broadcast and manufacturing industries.

UWUA Local 223 is headquartered in Detroit and represents 3,500 members employed by DTE Energy.

The Michigan State Utility Workers District Council is located in Charlotte, and represents 24 UWUA locals across Michigan.

Michigan AFL-CIO Endorses Candidates for Congress

State labor federation backs incumbent Democrats, supports Johnson, Clements, Driskell, Gilbert in competitive districts

LANSING – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO executive council endorsed the following candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives: Lon Johnson (MI-01), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Paul Clements (MI-06), Gretchen Driskell (MI-07), Melissa Gilbert (MI-08), Sandy Levin (MI-09), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), John Conyers (MI-13), and Brenda Lawrence (MI-14).

“Michigan needs members of Congress who know how to fight for working people,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “That’s why we’re proud to support these candidates. Because each one of them understands that the key to a strong economy is a strong middle class, where working people can earn good wages with strong benefits, and a secure retirement.”

Michigan’s 1st, 6th, 7th, and 8th congressional districts are expected to be among the most competitive races in the country this year.

“We need more leaders like Lon, Paul, Gretchen, and Melissa in Washington who will get up every day and fight to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy,” said Bieber. “The Michigan AFL-CIO and our affiliates are committed to working hard to win these tough races by recruiting thousands of volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls all over the state. By starting that work now and educating union households about what’s at stake in this election, we’re confident we can win this November.”

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The Michigan State AFL-CIO represents over one million active and retired union members across Michigan

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