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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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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