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Walberg Votes for Another Bad Trade Deal

Fast Track legislation makes it easier to ship Michigan jobs overseas

LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement today, following U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg’s votes to advance so-called “Fast Track” legislation.

“Tim Walberg has a long record of supporting unfair trade deals and outsourcing, and today’s vote is another reminder that he’s not on the side of working families,” said Bieber. “Bad trade deals like NAFTA have already cost our communities tens of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs. Last year alone, Michigan’s trade deficit was $66.8 billion. Fast Tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership will only make it easier for big corporations to send more Michigan jobs overseas. The people of Michigan deserve better from Tim Walberg.”

Tim Walberg has long defended unfair trade agreements, like NAFTA. Walberg has falsely claimed that NAFTA “has been proven to have supplied more jobs of equal or better pay to our country over the course of time.”

Michigan lost 254,763 manufacturing jobs during the NAFTA-WTO period (1994-2014), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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State Intrusion Bill Guts Local Control of Schools, Jobs, Wages

HB 4052 Gives More Power to Lansing Politicians, Special Interests

LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement today on House Bill 4052, which advanced to the floor of the Michigan Senate following a vote in the Competitiveness Committee.

“This is blatant power grab by Lansing Republicans, plain and simple,” said Bieber. “House Bill 4052 will take away local control of schools, and make it harder to ensure local jobs go to local workers. While Republicans say they want smaller government, this bill actually takes power away from our local communities, and hands it over to politicians and special interests in Lansing. It’s time for our leaders to focus on making our economy work for all of us, and not just the folks at the top.”

The Republican-dominated committee also rejected a commonsense amendment by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) that would have preserved the right for citizens to pass local ballot measures that protect working families.

House Bill 4052 is sponsored by Rep. Earl Poleski (R-Jackson). Earlier this month, the Jackson and Ann Arbor City Councils passed resolutions opposing the bill.

“Cities like Jackson need the freedom and flexibility to adopt policies that create good jobs for local workers that pay fair wages,” said Jason Smith, Mayor of the City of Jackson. “Unfortunately, this bill guts local control, and makes it harder for local communities to pass ordinances that protect working families and small businesses. The Legislature should reject this shortsighted bill, and if it reaches his desk, Governor Snyder should veto it to protect local control.”

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2015 Biennial Convention Photos

Michigan AFL-CIO Delegates Elect Ron Bieber As New President

Daryl Newman re-elected to second term as Secretary-Treasurer

Daryl Newman, Ron Bieber being sworn in as officers of the Michigan AFL-CIODETROIT – The delegates of the Michigan AFL-CIO’s biennial convention elected Ron Bieber to serve as President of the state labor federation today, following the retirement of President Karla Swift. Bieber previously served as Director of the UAW’s Community Action Program. The delegates of the Michigan AFL-CIO convention also voted today to re-elect Daryl Newman as Secretary-Treasurer, who will serve for a second four-year term.

“As President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, my goal will be to make sure all working people have a voice on the job, and in Lansing and Washington,” said incoming President Ron Bieber. “It’s time for our elected leaders to get the right priorities, and stop the attacks on working families. Moving forward, the Michigan AFL-CIO will continue to work year-round with our affiliates and members to hold politicians accountable, and make sure both parties are working together to build an economy that works for everyone, and not just the folks at the top.”

Ron Bieber is a third-generation UAW member, and the son of former UAW President Owen Bieber. Prior to serving as CAP Director, Bieber served as Assistant Director of the UAW’s General Motors Department. Bieber joined UAW Local 730 at age 18, after hiring into General Motors Metal Fabricating plant in Wyoming, Michigan. He currently lives in Warren with his wife, Patti.

“Ron and I have been trade union activists together in the Michigan labor movement for over three decades, and he’s always been a fierce advocate for Michigan’s working families,” said former President Karla Swift. “I am confident that despite all the challenges we face, the labor movement’s mission to give all working people a strong voice will continue under Ron’s leadership for many years to come.”

Swift was the first woman to serve as President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. She was elected to lead the state labor federation in 2011.

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