Press Room

Press releases and statements from the Michigan AFL-CIO.

Michigan AFL-CIO Stands in Support with Striking UAW Members

President Ron Bieber of the Michigan AFL-CIO released a statement of support for the UAW members striking at GM facilities. The strike began at midnight on September 16th when their contract expired.

“The Michigan AFL-CIO and our one million active and retired members stand in solidarity with the UAW members on strike against GM in Michigan and across the country. It is because of the hard work of these men and women that GM is alive today making record-breaking, multi-billion dollar profits. This strike isn’t only about pay and benefits, it’s about securing American jobs and protecting working families.”

Communities Across Michigan Celebrate June as Pride Month

Communities Across Michigan Celebrate June as Pride Month

Michigan Labor Movement Supports Local Proclamations

Lansing – Approximately two dozen communities across the state of Michigan passed resolutions or signed proclamations declaring June 2019 as LGBTQ Pride Month. The Michigan AFL-CIO reached out to its network of local elected officials to encourage adoption of these resolutions and bolster support for expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“We started June by proudly standing with Governor Whitmer and state lawmakers supporting expansion of civil rights protections for all working people. While we continue to fight to include these protections in our workplace contracts, we believe the best solution is to pass legislation to protect the freedoms of working people across not only Michigan, but the entire country,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “We are happy to see so many communities celebrating Pride Month and supporting the LGBTQ Community. Hopefully some reluctant members of the legislature will get the message that the time has come to expand the ELCRA.”

According to local officials, several of the roughly two dozen local governments passed Pride Month resolutions for the first time in 2019, including the City of Eastpointe and Calhoun County. June 28th of this year marks the 50th anniversary since the Stonewall Riot in New York City leading to the modern day Pride Celebrations throughout the month of June. In 1979, the AFL-CIO convention unanimously adopted its first resolution calling for the enactment of federal legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. 

The Michigan AFL-CIO adopted a policy platform at its recent constitutional convention that included amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Bieber, Newman re-elected to top spots at Michigan AFL-CIO

May 24, 2019

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO held its constitutional convention this month in Detroit. The event was attended by more than 200 delegates, guests and vendors. The event included speeches from national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The convention elected members to its general board, executive council as well as electing Ron Bierber to a second term as president and Daryl Newman to a third term as secretary-treasurer.

“When I was elected four years ago, I set three main goals: strengthen and grow the Labor Movement, fight for legislation that supports working families, and hold politicians accountable,” said Bieber. “Today we have more people represented by unions than when the so-called ‘right-to-work’ law was passed, we held our ground against needless attacks during the recent lame duck session, and we elected a more labor-friendly legislature and executive branch. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with this unified and focused Labor Movement.”

The central theme for the convention was “Icons of Labor” focusing on the lessons of the past while building a 21st Century Labor Movement. In addition to recognizing the legislative accomplishments of Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) and Detroit City Councilmember Janeé Ayers, the organization awarded a lifetime achievement award to former Congressman Sandy Levin. The labor federation also celebrated the life and work of the late Congressman John Dingell. A new lifetime achievement award named for the congressman was unveiled. Judge Christopher Dingell accepted the posthumous award on behalf of his father. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, unable to attend due to Congress being in session, sent a video message expressing her appreciation.

“I appreciate the trust my brothers and sisters have placed in me. Sound stewardship is critical to our ability to build the Labor Movement,” said Newman. “The working men and women of this state deserve to have people fighting to protect their families and their freedoms. I look forward to  continuing that fight for another term.”

The Michigan AFL-CIO is the state’s largest labor federation, representing over a million active and retired members from nearly 50 unions and constituency groups.

Michigan AFL-CIO Applauds Whitmer Letter on Overtime Rules

May 20, 2019

Lansing – Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, released the following statement in support of Governor Whitmer’s letter opposing proposed changes to overtime eligibility made by the Trump Administration.

“We appreciate Governor Whitmer speaking out on behalf of the working people of Michigan and the rest of the country. The overtime pay eligibility rules proposed by the Trump Administration are a drastic reduction from what was initially proposed by the Obama Administration. When people are away from their families working longer hours, they should be fairly compensated. The rules proposed by the current administration in Washington leaves out too many people and hurts working families who are just trying to make ends meet.”

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