For Immediate Release: June 6, 2019
Michigan AFL-CIO Applauds Reorganization of State Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
Lansing – Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO released the following statement after Governor Whitmer announced that she would be reorganizing the Department of Talent and Economic Development and rename it the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. It was also announced that Jeff Donofrio would be named to head the department.
“Our state’s economy is driven by the labor of the working men and women of this state. It makes perfect sense that all agencies related to labor and economic development be placed under one coordinated effort. This reorganization is thoughtful leadership from Governor Whitmer that will benefit the working families of this state.
For too long, the working people of Michigan have paid the price of being used as pawns in a politicized process that favored corporate special interests. It’s time to make the people of Michigan a priority again. This effort by Governor Whitmer to create a path that gives workers a fair shot at improving their lives, and that of their families, is a positive step. We look forward to working with Jeff Donofrio to build an economy in Michigan that works for everyone.”
For Immediate Release: June 4, 2019
Lansing – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber and Pride at Work Michigan President Cynthia L. Thornton are calling on lawmakers to adopt legislation that would update the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Members of the Michigan House and Senate announced the introduction of the civil rights legislation earlier today.
“For the last 40 years, the AFL-CIO has supported adding protections for the LGBTQ community to federal law. Just last month the Michigan AFL-CIO reaffirmed our support for amending state law to include these protections as well,” said Bieber. “No one should be fired because of who they are or who they love, that’s a basic level of dignity all working people deserve. An injury to one is an injury to all. We’re proud to stand in solidarity with members of the LGBTQ community to advocate for passage of this legislation.”
Pride at Work is an affiliated constituency group of the AFL-CIO, that represents LGBTQ union members and their allies. The organization has more than 20 chapters nationwide, including Michigan, and coordinates mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community to further social and economic justice.
“Pride at Work is dedicated to fighting for equality in the workplace and in the union hall–to protecting the freedoms of all LGBTQ+ working people and to lifting the veil of fear and hate that leads to high suicide rates in the LGBTQ+ Community and the disproportionate murder of transwomen of color. We have been working for the last 25 years to include strong nondiscrimination protections when union contracts are negotiated,” said Thornton. “Updating ELCRA to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity is long past due, if Michigan is to be open and welcoming to ALL–a place where businesses can thrive, and people don’t feel they must move elsewhere to be treated with dignity and respect.”
The Labor Movement’s support for nondiscrimination policies dates back at least as early as 1970 when the American Federation of Teachers became the first union to formally support LGBTQ Rights by passing a resolution denounceing workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. The mutual support between the two movements strengthened in 1974 when LGBTQ Rights Activists and the Teamsters joined together in a boycott of Coors over the beer company’s anti-union and anti-gay practices.
According to a new report released today by the AFL-CIO, Michigan had the 22nd highest rate of workplace deaths in 2017. This analysis, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that 153 Michigan workers lost their lives due to on-the-job injuries, resulting in 3.4 deaths per hundred thousand workers. View Report here: https://aflcio.org/dotj
Nationally, workplace violence is now the second-leading cause of workplace death, accounting for 807 workplace deaths, including 458 homicides. For the 3rd year in a row, workplace violence injuries increased, with nearly 29,000 workers suffering serious violence-related injuries due to assault on the job. Yet, even as violence increases in the workplace, the Trump administration has sidelined developing and issuing an OSHA workplace violence standard.
“This report is a solemn reminder of the dangers facing working people as we prepare to commemorate Workers Memorial Day on April 28th,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Michigan’s working families deserve better. We have a right to a safe workplace. We deserve leaders in Lansing and Washington who will stand up and protect the freedoms of working people. It’s time for change. It’s time for the safety, economic rights and dignity of the working men and women of Michigan to be made a priority.”
Nationally, 5,147 American workers died on the job in 2017, a small decrease from deaths the previous year. Another estimated 95,000 died from occupational diseases, meaning approximately 275 workers died each day from preventable, hazardous workplace conditions. Overall, the national job fatality rate was 3.5 per 100,000, workers down slightly from 3.6 in 2016.
The report, titled “Death on the Job. The Toll of Neglect” marks the 28th year the AFL-CIO has produced its findings on the state of safety and health protections for workers within the United States. The report shows the highest workplace fatality rates are in Alaska (10.2 per 100,000 workers), North Dakota (10.1), Wyoming (7.7), West Virginia (7.4) and South Dakota (7.3).
Other report highlights show that Latino workers continue to be at increased risk of job death, and that the number of Latino worker deaths increased in 2017 to 903 from 879. Deaths among older workers also increased; workers 65 or older have nearly three times the risk of dying on the job as workers overall. Construction, transportation and agriculture industries remain among the most dangerous. In 2017, 917 construction workers were killed—the highest total of any sector. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting was the most dangerous industry sector, with a fatality rate of 23.0 per 100,000 workers.
Please join us this summer for the Michigan HRDI 30 th Golf Outing which will be held at Eldorado Golf Course, 3750 West Howell Road in Mason, Michigan on Friday, June 14, 2019. Golf will begin with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m., with lunch at the turn and dinner following the conclusion of golf.
The $150.00 per person donation includes green fees, a golf cart, lunch, dinner, refreshments, great raffle prizes and much more. Starting hole assignments will be issued upon full payment. Individuals wishing to play will be grouped with others to make foursomes.
If you’re not able to spend the day golfing, here’s another opportunity: “Golf Tee Sponsorships” are available at $500 for a large sign and $150 for a small sign. That is an excellent way to get your name out there!!
The popularity of this event and the number of players possible under the shotgun format limits participation, so to ensure a spot for yourself or your team, please send in the attached registration form and check as soon as possible to the address below.
Michigan HRDI, Golf Outing, 419 S. Washington Ave., Ste. 300, Lansing, MI 48933-2138. Make checkspayable to “Michigan HRDI”.
For more information, call Patty at (517) 388-0261 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you on the golf course on June 14 th ! The staff of HRDI sincerely appreciates your participation.
Registration form can be found here.