Archives Michigan AFL-CIO

Stand Up to Make a Change — 2014 Young Workers Summit

Lansing, October 16 – 19, 2014

Tired of dead-end jobs and student debt? Ready to join with a new generation to create hope and opportunity for the future?

Check out the 2014 Young Workers Summit, proudly hosted by the UAW, coming to Lansing, Michigan October 16 -19th. As organizers of this can’t-miss event say on their Facebook page:

This is not your grandmother’s summit, nor your parents. The Young Workers Summit has been designed FOR Young Workers, BY Young Workers, to raise awareness of the social and economic issues facing our generation – and to empower Young Workers to stand up, make a change, and become activists for their own future.

The 2014 Young Workers Summit is a unique opportunity for young workers to gather and deal with real issues, no matter where you work, what union you are in – or whether you are in a union at all.

What ever happened to good-paying jobs? Job security? The chance to provide for your family, buy a house, save for the future?

Yws_flyerNobody is giving young workers the answer to the social, economic and political we face today. The 2014 Young Workers Summit is based on the idea that with the right opportunity and resources, young workers can and will find their own answers.

Did we mention the Summit will include recreational activities, celebrity guests and awesome mingling activities? To get the details, register now to join with young workers from across the state and make a difference.

For registration info, please contact:

Catrina Huntley
(810) 767-0910

See you in Lansing, October 16 through 19th!




Snyder hikes taxes, while his top aide gets illegal tax break

One of Rick Snyder’s first acts as governor was to sign a major overhaul of Michigan tax law, hitting individual taxpayers with $1.4 billion in new taxes. At the same time, Snyder delivered $1.8 billion in tax breaks to rich CEOs and wealthy corporations – even those that ship our jobs overseas.

Michigan’s working families have been hit with a new tax on pensions, cuts in the Earned Income Tax Credit, and an increase in the state’s overall income tax.

Because of Snyder’s record of tax increases on the middle class, it was especially outrageous when news broke in August that one of his top aides, Richard Baird, had received an illegal tax break for three years running on his $500,000 home in Bath Township, outside of Lansing.

Baird, who knows Snyder from their years together at accounting powerhouse PricewaterhouseCoopers, also lives in Illinois. Both of his homes were claimed as his “principal” residence, so he got a homeowners’ tax break in both states, which is not permitted.

After the story broke, Baird hurried to fix the problem by paying $16,700 in back taxes to Bath Township. But when Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift wrote about Snyder’s tax hikes and his top aide’s improper tax breaks in an opinion column in the Detroit Free Press, Baird went ballistic.

He responded with an angry message on Pres. Swift’s voice mail, threatening to sue and stating he is “sick and tired of you people.” On Sept. 4 and on Sept. 6, Baird wrote to Swift and to the Detroit Free Press, the Lansing State Journal, and Gannett Co., demanding a retraction.

Pres. Swift answered Snyder’s top aide on Sept. 8., stating she has “no intention” of retracting her opinion column.

“Rick Snyder, as you know, raised taxes on every working person in Michigan, by increasing the state income tax,” Swift wrote. “He also imposed extra burdens on retirees with a new pension tax, and on working families by reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit.”

“Rich, you’re entitled to your own opinion on these issues. You’re not entitled to my opinion. My opinion is that officials of an administration that has raised taxes on so many Michigan working families should pay their own taxes, in full and on time.”

Despite threats from one of Snyder’s closest aides, Pres. Swift and the men and women of the Michigan AFL-CIO will continue to speak out on issues that affect working families.

Baird’s Sept. 4 letter to Karla Swift and the Detroit Free Press is here.

Baird’s Sept. 6 letter to Karla Swift and the Lansing State Journal and Gannett and Co. is here.

Karla Swift’s response is here.

Statement from Michigan State AFL-CIO President Karla Swift on Sen. Jones’ Minimum Wage Proposal

For Immediate Release

Contact: Sara Wallenfang


Statement from Michigan State AFL-CIO President Karla Swift on Sen. Jones’ Minimum Wage Proposal


Senator Jones’ minimum wage bill is an insult to thousands of Michigan workers who are struggling to get by. This proposal is not adequate to lift families out of poverty, and it is intended to stifle any serious attempt to raise wages.


Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers. Raising the minimum wage, especially for tipped workers who are predominantly women, will boost women’s economic security and help close the wage gap. Jones is pandering to the Restaurant Association with a meager tipped wage increase of 10 cents per hour.  A fulltime waitress making his “improved” wage of $2.65 per hour would only see an additional $4.00 per week.


Every time momentum builds for lifting wages, conservative like Jones say it will cost jobs. Every time they’ve been dead wrong.


Jobs should lift workers out of poverty, not trap them in a cycle of insecurity and government assistance. Although this bill does not offer any real solutions, it is a reminder that, if they decided to do so, Republicans in the legislature could address the critical issue of wages through the legislative process. Now, in an election year, they decide to offer up legislation that is inadequate for workers in a blatant attempt to appease special interests. Michigan voters won’t buy it.


Workers and Community Members to Honor Michigan Workers Who Died on the Job

Media Advisory for Monday, April 28

Contact: Sara Wallenfang


Workers and Community Members to Honor Michigan Workers Who Died on the Job

Community Calls for Good Jobs and Safe Jobs for All Working People

 (Lansing, MI)– On Monday, April 28 at noon, working families and local officials will gather at Wentworth Park for a ceremony to commemorate those who have perished or suffered injuries or illness on the job and to call on Congress to create safe jobs for all working people.


Workers will speak to the importance of workplace safety. Participants in this observance will read the names of workers killed on the job in Michigan since the beginning of 2014.


Workers continue to be exposed to toxic chemicals like silica, and serious safety hazards like combustible dust and workplace violence. Injured workers and relatives of workers who have lost their lives on the job will share their stores and renew the fight for stronger protections for all working people. Participants will note the Obama administration’s work to strengthen Occupational Safety and Health Administration protections for workers, including a new proposed silica standard to protect workers from this deadly dust. They will call out Republican legislators and big businesses who are trying to roll back regulations and block new safeguards that are needed to make sure our loved ones are safe at work.


WHO:    Workers and community members

Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift

International Association of Fire Fighters Local 421 President Chris Lake

Deb Chester of MI-FACE

Area Director of the U.S. Department of Labor Larry Johnson

WHAT: Workers Memorial Day Observance

WHEN: Monday, April 28 at noon

WHERE: Wentworth Park, on North Grand Avenue between East Michigan and East Ottawa streets

VISUALS: Color Guard



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