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Breaking news, legislative updates and the facts.


Welcome to the new Michigan State AFL-CIO website! It’s our mission to make this site a one-stop shop for Michigan’s working families.

It’s a work in progress, and we would love your input! Please contact Digital Director Elizabeth Battiste at ebattiste@miaflcio.org if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions.

Stay tuned to our blog for the latest happenings of the Michigan labor movement.

August 2013: Legislative Update

Medicaid Expansion is Good Public Policy

Sometimes a decision is so simple, so obvious, that it is an outrage when it doesn’t get done. Welcome to the 2013-14 conservative-led State Legislature. Medicaid expansion is one of those decisions; the benefits are there for people, hospitals, business and the state budget, yet ideologues continue to hold it back.

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Joint Statement on Detroit’s Bankruptcy Filing

Joint Statement from Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Chris Michalakis and Michigan State AFL-CIO President Karla Swift on Detroit’s Bankruptcy Filing

Every step of the way, the citizens of Detroit were told that they had to give up their right to democratic representation in order to avoid bankruptcy. Now that this filing has come anyway, it is clear that either state control has failed or that Governor Snyder and his emergency manager appointee were not honest about their intentions in the first place.

Today’s action can be taken as confirmation that Kevyn Orr was hired, secretly and ahead of a declared financial emergency, because he is a bankruptcy expert.

As Chapter 9 proceedings begin, Detroit cannot afford any further attacks on working families, who have already sacrificed so much without a say in the process. City workers have already made severe concessions to keep the city afloat. It is time to put the needs of Detroit residents above the interests of out of town creditors.


Hotel Workers Rally for Fairness and Dignity on the Job

Detroit Community Members Urge Crown Plaza to Respect Workers

(Detroit, MI) – Today workers and community allies rallied outside of the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Washington Boulevard, urging the hotel to treat their workers with dignity.  Over the course of four hours, hundreds of supporters pressured the hotel to do the right thing.

Unite Here

“I know firsthand that staff members are proud to serve Detroit visitors at this historic property, and they should be able to bargain for fair wages and safe working conditions in return,” said Christopher Bryant, a cook at Motor City Casino.  “It is a shame that current workers at Crowne Plaza feel intimidated and we want them to know that they have public support.”

Workers at the former Pontchartrain Hotel location have long been organized in favor of a voice on the job, but new management has refused to show them respect.

“As a union member myself, I know that being able to bargain with my employer sets standards that improve our entire city,” said Maureen Pickar, a Midfield Concessions worker at Metro Airport.  “When service workers aren’t able to speak out and provide for their families, that puts downward pressure on the standard of living for all working people.  Let the workers negotiate and we will all be better off.”

The crowd at today’s rally was optimistic that their efforts will improve treatment for hotel workers and conditions in the community at large.  The mood was upbeat as the crowd chanted, sang and carried signs along Washington Boulevard.

“I no longer work at this hotel, but workers here still have the right to bargain,” said Kim Garr, a banquet server MGM Grand and a former Pontchartrain Hotel employee.  “When our neighbors earn a fair wage for an honest day’s work, it improves our neighborhoods.  That is the only way to rebuild an economy that works for everyone, not just a few at the top.”


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