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Michigan AFL-CIO Announces Hire of New Communications Director

Lansing – The Michigan AFL-CIO has hired Ryan Sebolt as their new Communications Director. Sebolt has over a decade of experience working in the Michigan legislature, serving in various capacities in both the House and Senate.

“We are happy to have Ryan join our team. He brings an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of state and local government and has a history of standing up for working men and women,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Ryan is going to be a great advocate in helping us build an economy that works for everyone and making sure workers earn a wage that can sustain a family.”

During his tenure in the legislature, Sebolt worked in both the House and Senate for lawmakers from the counties of Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland and Ingham. He also brings a background of working on campaigns at the state and local level.

“I grew up in a union household where my family experienced first-hand the kind of opportunities a living wage can provide a family,” said Sebolt. “Both of my parents worked hard to make sure my siblings and I had the chance to get ahead in life. Unfortunately, we’re living with an economy that is out of balance and CEOs and the wealthy are reaping the benefits. We need to change the rules so that hard working people like my parents can have a shot at living the American Dream.”

Sebolt is a Lansing native and a graduate of Albion College. He also currently serves on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.

Ryan’s email address is rsebolt@miaflcio.org and his phone is 517-927-3917.

Michigan AFL-CIO Endorses Candidates for 2018 Election

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO has endorsed the following candidates in races for the Michigan House of Representatives, Michigan Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate. The endorsements were voted on by the Michigan AFL-CIO’s Executive Council.

“Now more than ever, our state needs leaders who will wake up every day fighting to make our economy work for everyone,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “That’s why we’re proud to support these candidates for public office in 2018. Each one of them has demonstrated a strong commitment to fighting for good jobs, strong wages, and a quality education for every student in Michigan. That’s why the Michigan AFL-CIO and our affiliates are ready to knock on doors, make phone calls, and mobilize our members across the state to win these important races in November.”

 

Endorsed Candidate for U.S. Senate:

Debbie Stabenow

Endorsed Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives:

Matt Morgan (District 1), Robert Davidson (District 2), Jerry Hilliard (District 4), Dan Kildee (District 5), Gretchen Driskell (District 7), Elissa Slotkin (District 8), Andy Levin (District 9), Tim Greimel (District 11), Debbie Dingell (District 12), Brenda Jones (District 13), Brenda Lawrence (District 14)

Endorsed Candidates for Michigan State Senate:

Stephanie Chang (District 1), Adam Hollier (District 2), Sylvia Santana (District 3), David Knezek (District 5), Erika Geiss (District 6), Dayna Polehanki (District 7), Henry Yanez (District 10), Jeremy Moss (District 11), Rosemary Bayer (District 12), Mallory McMorrow (District 13), Bill LaVoy (District 17), Jeff Irwin (District 18), Sean McCann (District 20), Adam Dreher (District 22), Curtis Hertel, Jr. (District 23), Jim Ananich (District 27), Winnie Brinks (District 29), Phil Phelps (District 32), Scott Dianda (District 38)

Endorsed Candidates for Michigan House of Representatives:

Tenisha Yancey (District 1), Wendell Byrd (District 3), Mark Payne (District 5), LaTanya Garrett (District 7), Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (District 8), Karen Whitsett (District 9), Leslie Love (District 10), Jewell Jones (District 11), Alex Garza (District 12), Frank Liberati (District 13), Cara Clemente (District 14), Abdullah Hammoud (District 15), Bill Johnson (District 16), Michelle LaVoy (District 17), Kevin Hertel (District 18), Dan Centers (District 19), Matt Koleszar (District 20), Kristy Pagan (District 21), John G. Chirkun (District 22), Darrin Camilleri (District 23), Nate Shannon (District 25), Jim Ellison (District 26), Robert Whittenberg (District 27), Patrick Green (District 28), Wisam Naoum (District 30), Bill Sowerby (District 31), Sheldon Neeley (District 34), Vincent Gregory (District 35), Chris Greig (District 37), Kelly Breen (District 38), Jenny Suidan (District 39), Mari Manoogian (District 40), Padma Kuppa (District 41), Mona Shand (District 42), Laura Dodd (District 44), Kyle Cooper (District 45), Mindy Denninger (District 46), Colleen Turk (District 47), Sheryl Kennedy (District 48), John Cherry (District 49), Tim Sneller (District 50), David Lossing (District 51), Donna Lasinski (District 52), Yousef Rahbi (District 53), Ronnie Peterson (District 54), Rebekah Warren (District 55), Jon Hoadley (District 60), Jim Haadsma (District 62), Jennifer Aniano (District 63), Sheila Troxel (District 64), Terri McKinnon (District 65), Dan Seibert (District 66), Kara Hope (District 67), Sarah Anthony (District 68), Angela Witwer (District 71), David LaGrand (District 75), Rachel Hood (District 76), Eric Sabin (District 85), Andy O’Riley (District 91), Terry Sabo (District 92), Dave Adams (District 94), Vanessa Guerra (District 95), Brian Elder (District 96), Celia Young-Wenkel (District 97), Sarah Schultz (District 98), Allison Quast-Lents (District 99), Kathy Wiejaczka (District 101), Dan O’Neil (District 104), Bob Romps (District 108), Sarah Cambensy (District 109), Ken Summers (District 110)

The Michigan AFL-CIO Executive Council previously endorsed Gretchen Whitmer for Governor, Jocelyn Benson for Secretary of State, and Sam Bagenstos and Megan Cavanagh for MI Supreme Court.

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President of Michigan AFL-CIO Issues Statement Condemning Supreme Court Blocking Access to Courts for Private Sector Employees

Lansing, MI – In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis et al on whether forced individual employee arbitration violates the National Labor Relations Act, President Ron Bieber from the Michigan AFL-CIO released the following statement:

“Today in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has paved the way for employers to block access to the courts for thousands of Michigan families whose employers have broken the law or violated their workplace civil rights.

With Trump-nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch casting the deciding vote, the Supreme Court broke with over eighty years of labor law and sided with corporate special interests, allowing employers to force employees to sign exploitative individual arbitration waivers as a condition of employment. That’s a spineless, backdoor way to repeal laws on the books: wage laws, anti-discrimination laws and others – these protections are of little use if workers can’t enforce them.

In Michigan, we know how critical it is for individuals to be able to voice their concerns together – and how harmful forced arbitration can be to women fighting sexual harassment and assault. Nobody, should have to sign away their civil rights just to have a job.

Today’s ruling continues a series of harmful rulings from the Roberts Court that erode workers’ rights and freedoms.”

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New Report: 162 Michigan Workers Died, 97,000 Injured on the Job in 2016

LANSING – A new report from the AFL-CIO shows that the state of Michigan had 162 workplace fatalities and 97,000 workplace-related injuries and illnesses in 2016. The report, titled Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, compiles data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2016, the most recent year data is available. These figures rose from the previous year when 134 workers were killed and 96,000 injured in 2015.  The new data was released in advance of Workers Memorial Day, which takes place on April 28 to commemorate workers who have died or suffered illness or injury on the job.

This year marks an especially urgent fight as the Trump administration continues to roll back and weaken protections and rights for working people. These actions have ranged from repealing, weakening or delaying standards on toxic chemicals and safety hazards like workplace violence, to cutbacks in enforcement, and efforts to eliminate key job safety research and training programs.

“Every American has the right to a safe and healthy workplace. Hardworking men and women putting in long hours deserve to know that they’re going to make it home at the end of the day,” said Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber. “Yet, Michigan families are here mourning their loved ones. We’re here to fight for workplace safety for everyone.”

“Our leaders in government and business should be protecting working people’s lives above all else,” said Bieber.  “It’s time for change. Working people deserve good, safe jobs now.”

Nationally, 5,190 American workers died on the job in 2016, an increase from 4,836 deaths the previous year. Another estimated 50,000 to 60,000 died from occupational diseases, meaning approximately 150 workers died on the job each day from preventable, hazardous workplace conditions. Overall, the national job fatality rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 workers from 3.4 in 2015.

Startlingly, the national figures show that workplace violence is now the second-leading cause of workplace death, accounting for 866 workplace deaths, including 500 homicides.

Other report highlights show that the construction, transportation and agriculture industries remain among the most dangerous. In 2016, 991 construction workers were killed—the highest total of any sector. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting was the most dangerous industry sector per capita, with a fatality rate of 23.2 per 100,000 workers.

On Saturday, working people across Michigan will gather at Workers Memorial Day ceremonies to honor those who were hurt or killed on the job. Attendees will also speak out against recent actions taken by the Trump administration to roll back and block regulations that protect workers from serious hazards, like deadly silica dust, chemical explosions, and workplace violence, as well as cuts to the job safety budget.

https://aflcio.org/reports/death-job-toll-neglect-2018

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