Archives Michigan AFL-CIO

One Year Later, Solidarity Thrives

Close up of protesters on December 11, 2012.

Close up of protesters on December 11, 2012.

Exactly one year ago today, Governor Snyder caved to corporate special interests and signed so-called Right to Work, a bill that he himself recognized as “divisive.”

Supporters pretend that so-called Right to Work is about freedom, but the freedoms that actually mean most to working people – like having free time to spend with family or the freedom to retire with dignity – are jeopardized by these policies.

We haven’t seen the job growth that was used as a pretext to pass this controversial legislation. In fact, unemployment is higher than it was a year ago and the governor cannot name one company moving to Michigan because of his actions.

The reality is that RTW was never about creating an economy that works for everyone.  This controversial law is designed to make it harder for workers to speak with one strong voice when negotiating with their employer.

Governor Snyder’s approval rating is very low, and everyday more voters recognize that he is serving corporate special interests.  This is perhaps clearest in Detroit, where the governor’s hand-selected bankruptcy team is doing the bidding of Wall Street investors at the expense of pensioners.

When Snyder closed the NERD Fund without disclosing information about the funds donors, it was the continuation of an agenda that doesn’t prioritize working families.  It matters who paid into the fund because severe conflicts of interest may have existed.  This secretive slush fund was used to upgrade the governor’s home, pay a six-figure salary to his closest advisor, as well as cover lavish housing and travel expenses for his politically-appointed Emergency Manager in Detroit.

The way that a new Court of Claims law was recently rushed through the legislature without much opportunity for public comment is also reminiscent of the anti-democratic way that RTW passed last year.  That power grab may, in part, be an attempt to have the Open Meetings Case challenging RTW heard in a more partisan venue favorable to the Snyder administration.  The first appointees to the Court of Claims are bipartisan, but that does not eliminate the possibility for future abuse.

The Michigan AFL-CIO is working with our affiliates to make sure that they have the support they need to talk to their members about so-called Right to Work and to organize around the pattern of secrecy and overreach established by Governor Snyder.

One positive thing that has come out of all of the attacks on working people – not just RTW but also public education cuts, undemocratic emergency managers, pension taxes, restrictions on women’s health care and others – is a unity that extends outside of the labor movement.

We are grateful to the tens of thousands of people who showed up at the capitol last year, and to all of those who continue to stand up and fight for working people.  One year longer is one year stronger.


The crowd gathered on the capitol lawn, December 11, 2012.

December 2013: Legislative Update

Senate Bill 358: An Update

Your calls and emails continue to remind legislators that Michigan workers are opposed to this dangerous legislation and are watching them.

The House Regulatory Reform Committee has removed the bill from the agenda, but that doesn’t mean it has gone away. SB 358 remains a threat to Michigan’s workforce and we must remain watchful and ready.

Read more

November 2013: Legislative Update

SB 358: An Accident Waiting to Happen

SB 358 removes the electrician’s license requirement for work in manufacturing and mining operations, putting Michigan workers at risk. The bill requires a business only employ one master electrician, who is not even required to be at a mining or manufacturing site. Working with electricity can be dangerous and should be done by trained and licensed professionals. Mistakes can mean injury or death to the electrician or even the entire work site. This bill passed the Senate 21-17 and is now in House Regulatory Reform Committee.

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Working Families Support One Royal Oak


Working families have endorsed the One Royal Oak campaign for fairness and equality in the workplace and housing market. Vote FOR Proposal A on November 5th!

Did you know that in Michigan, you can still be fired just for being gay or transgender? As a labor movement, we have a responsibility to change this and promote equality and fairness for every worker.

Prop A Ad

Recently, the Royal Oak City Commission passed an ordinance that bans discrimination against gay and transgender people in employment and housing. A small group of people is trying to stop this law and now it’s up for a vote on Election Day. This measure is critical to basic workplace fairness and safety.

On November 5th, vote with working families FOR the ordinance in Proposal A.

For more information about the ordinance, visit

Paid for with regulated funds by the Michigan AFL-CIO Solidarity Committee. 419 S. Washington Sq., Lansing, MI.

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