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Breaking news, legislative updates and the facts.

Knock for Equality

On Saturday, September 28th, President Karla Swift, union member volunteers and the Michigan AFL-CIO team showed up energized to knock doors with the One Royal Oak campaign. The One Royal Oak coalition is working for Proposal A to protect a Human Rights Ordinance already passed by the Royal Oak City Commission. Passing this proposal would solidify protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens of Royal Oak from discrimination in housing and the workplace. Proposal A will be on the ballot November 5, 2013.


The Michigan AFL-CIO and Metro Detroit AFL-CIO standing with One Royal Oak is another mile marker in the long history of labor and the LGBT movement working side by side on issues of basic fairness, justice, and equality in the workplace and beyond.

In 1974, the Teamsters and other labor allies joined forces with LGBT activists to confront discrimination and unfair labor practices, sparking the boycott of Coors Beer, a boycott that spread nationally eventually leading to gains for both worker’s and LGBT rights. In 1978, Proposition 6 sought to ban gay and lesbian teachers from California public schools but was ultimately defeated by a coalition of union and LGBT activists.

Dating back to the 1979 quadrennial convention, the National AFL-CIO passed a resolution calling for the enactment of federal legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

President Karla Swift canvassing for Equality.

President Karla Swift canvassing for Equality.

In 2013, AFL-CIO conventions reaffirmed the fight for equality both at the national and state level, extending support to the transgendered community with National AFL-CIO Resolution 48, Resolution for Health Care Equity For Alland Michigan AFL-CIO Resolution 24, Protecting Against Discrimination.

No worker should be fired or discriminated against for their identity! The Michigan and Metro Detroit AFL-CIO will continue to stand up with our LGBT brothers and sisters in the fight for equal treatment for all.

This October, union members will be turning out in support of Proposal A and the One Royal Oak campaign. These local ordinances are essential to making sure LGBT workers are not discriminated against in the workplace, in housing, and beyond.

Click here to volunteer with other union members and the One Royal Oak campaign! We will knock doors and make phone calls in support of the proposal and help explain why One Royal Oak is such an important fight in our state.

More information about the One Royal Oak campaign can be found at oneroyaloak.org.

October 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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Biennial Convention Keynote Speaker Cornell Belcher

Cornell Belcher Headshot

Political strategist and CNN contributor Cornell Belcher will serve as the Keynote Speaker for the 30th Biennial Convention.

We’re gearing up for our 30th Biennial Convention in Lansing tomorrow, Wednesday, September 25th. We are excited and honored to welcome our Keynote Speaker, Democratic strategist and pollster Cornell Belcher, to join us for a discussion about moving Michigan forward.

Mr. Belcher is President of brilliant corners Research & Strategies, and one of the premier strategists in national progressive politics, as well as in the re-branding of corporate America. He has served as a pollster for the Obama presidential campaigns in both 2008 and 2012 and as the pollster for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 2005 to 2008. Over the years, Cornell has worked with both Senate and House Democrats as Senior Political Advisor to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the 2002 cycle and Special Projects Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in the 2000 cycle. He worked for EMILY’s List in the 1998 cycle as their WOMEN Vote! Coordinator, helping to put together communication and GOTV operations targeting women voters all over the country. He currently serves as a political contributor for CNN.

Belcher is an experienced hand at campaign politics and has years of expertise in quantitative and qualitative research, message development, and product and behavioral insight. Founding brilliant corners in 2001, he is considered the vanguard for demographic trends among the emerging younger and browner America. Both the political and corporate world seek his counsel to decipher emerging trends and to develop communication strategies for reaching this coalition redefining the American marketplace.

In the 2012 election cycle, African American voter turnout surpassed that of whites for the first time, marking a historic watershed moment that greatly depended on Belcher’s contributing work.

We are excited for Mr. Cornell Belcher to join us tomorrow!

Electrical Licensing Saves Lives

The Michigan Senate is considering Senate Bill 358, a bill that would hurt workers and endanger the public by allowing unlicensed electricians to do electrical work. We need to ensure work is done by licensed electricians. Call your senator today to ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 358.

Click here to find your State Senator and call them TODAY.

This powerful video from the Michigan State Conference of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Michigan Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association shows the importance of electrical licensing.


A vote is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18th in the Senate Reforms Committee at 8:30am.

Click here to find your State Senator and ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 358 to protect workers and the public.

Andy Dunbar, a licensed electrician, had this to say about the legislation:

“I’m not a lobbyist or a politician, I’m an electrician. Electrical work is dangerous, even for those who have been in the industry for years. I want to keep not only electrical workers, but all workers safe in our state. SB 358 goes too far in removing electrical licensing requirements for manufacturing operations. This is unsafe for workers and for the public. If we start here, where will be end? Let’s keep all workers and manufacturers safe, because ‘electricity doesn’t care, it’s just looking for a path to go.’ I urge you to call your State Senator and tell them to Oppose SB 358.”

Call your Senator today!

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