Labor Council backs Faris, Helmboldt, Flores, Gray in Battle Creek; Cooney in Kalamazoo
BATTLE CREEK – Today the South Central Michigan Labor Council announced its endorsements for the upcoming city commission elections in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. In the election for Battle Creek City Commission, the Labor Council has endorsed Kaytee Faris and Andy Helmboldt for the at-large seats, Lynn Ward Gray in Ward 2, and Kate Flores in Ward 3. For the Kalamazoo City Commission, the Labor Council has endorsed Don Cooney.
“To build vibrant communities, we need local elected officials who will get up and fight for working people each and every day,” said Jonathan Byrd, President of the South Central Michigan Labor Council. “All of these candidates have the right set of skills, values, and experience to make cities like Kalamazoo and Battle Creek even stronger. Our affiliates are ready to knock on doors, make phone calls, and get people to the polls on November 3.”
Candidates seeking endorsement for City Commission races were invited to complete a survey, and conduct an in-person interview with the Labor Council.
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The South Central Michigan Labor Council is a coalition of local labor unions, representing thousands of union members in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph counties
LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement on the death of Lansing firefighter Dennis Rodeman:
“This is a truly horrible tragedy. Our union brother Dennis Rodeman dedicated his life to public service, first as a U.S. Marine serving in Iraq, and then as a member of Lansing Area Fire Fighters Local 421. It is our sincere hope that the coward who committed this heinous act will be brought to justice. The Michigan AFL-CIO extends our deepest sympathies to Brother Rodeman’s wife and family.”
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Labor Day is almost here, and we wanted to let you know about a few fun Labor Day events coming up in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Flint, and Detroit.
Muskegon: The Muskegon Labor Day parade kicks off at 11am on Monday. There will be a celebration after the parade at the CIO Hall with food, bounce houses, games, prizes, and more. RSVP for the Muskegon celebration here.
Grand Rapids: Labor Fest 2015 is located Ah-Nab-Awen Park from 11am-5pm on Monday. There will be labor exhibits, free admission to the Ford museum, live music, food vendors, activities for kids, and a car and motorcycle show. RSVP for Grand Rapids Labor Fest here.
Flint: UAW Region 1D is hosting a Labor Day program and cook-out on Monday, starting at 10:30am. There will be a short program honoring Sit-down Strikers and Women Emergency Brigade Members, followed by a hot dog and hamburger cook-out. RSVP for the Flint Labor Day event here.
Detroit: The Metro Detroit AFL-CIO is hosting the annual Solidarity Walk on Monday morning, starting at 9am. There will be free food, ice cream, activities for kids, and a short program. RSVP for the Detroit Solidarity Walk here.
Whatever you do this weekend, we should all take some time to remind ourselves that America’s working people and union members are all about working for a better life.
LANSING – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO launched an online petition aimed at supporting Grand Rapids transit employees. The state labor federation is gathering signatures from taxpayers telling Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid, to reach a fair and just contract with members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 836.
“Grand Rapids’ hardworking bus drivers deserve a decent living, safe working conditions, and the chance to retire with dignity,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “It’s great to see Grand Rapids is doing better, but with 26 percent of the city’s residents living below the poverty line, we can’t afford to let it become a place where all of the gains go to the folks at the top, while working families are forced to keep paying more and more.
“At a salary of $200,000 per year, Mr. Varga makes $41,000 more than Governor Snyder. Now he wants bus drivers who keep the city moving to give up their retirement security? That’s just not right. It’s time for Varga to stop the political games, and focus on making Grand Rapids a place that creates opportunity for all. He can make it happen by reaching a fair contract with members of ATU Local 836.”
A copy of the Michigan AFL-CIO’s petition can be viewed here.
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