Press Room

Press releases and statements from the Michigan AFL-CIO.

Michigan AFL-CIO President Slams Trump VP Pick Mike Pence for Opposing Auto Rescue

LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement today blasting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for selecting Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. As a member of Congress, Pence “strongly opposed” the auto rescue package that saved GM and Chrysler.

“When the fate of Michigan’s economy was in the balance, Mike Pence stabbed working people here in the back,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “By voting against the auto rescue, Mike Pence voted to let Michigan’s auto industry crumble. Without that rescue package, hundreds of thousands of Michigan workers would’ve lost their jobs, and our economy would’ve gone right down the drain. The fact that Donald Trump, who has already suggested closing Michigan auto plants, would pick Mike Pence as his running mate just shows that he’s totally unfit to be president, and would be a complete disaster for Michigan’s economy.”

During a 2008 interview on Fox News, Pence told Alan Colmes “we strongly opposed this $15 billion bailout to Detroit … The plan that Democrats brought to the floor tonight I think was a disservice to taxpayers, and frankly, it was a disservice to auto workers in the automotive sector in Detroit. There’s — there’s no means to restructure what is obviously a flawed business plan.”

 

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Rep. Tom Barrett Receives Failing Grade on Labor Scorecard

First-term Republican voted against working people on 10 out of 10 key bills

LANSING – State Representative Tom Barrett (R-Potterville) received a score of zero percent in a new legislative scorecard released today by the Michigan AFL-CIO. The state labor federation analyzed the voting records of all 110 State Representatives on 10 key votes during the 2015-16 legislative session. A copy of the scorecard is available online.

“Tom Barrett has been a huge disappointment as our State Rep,” said Ben Freeman, a member of IBEW Local 665 from Delta Township. “On every single vote that matters, Barrett chose to side with corporate CEOs over regular working people like me. I think that’s just wrong. We need a state rep who will go to work every day and fight for working men and women, and not just the big corporations.”

During the 2015-16 session, Rep. Barrett voted for HB 4052, which banned local communities from passing ordinances that raise the minimum wage, require earned family leave time, or establish a local prevailing wage ordinance. He also voted for HB 4610-11, which forces local road commissions to expand outsourcing of road construction jobs without establishing proper safeguards against contractor abuses.

“Barrett’s failing grade speaks volumes about who he’s really working for in Lansing,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Eaton County is home to thousands of auto and manufacturing jobs, and yet Tom Barrett turned his back on working men and women on every major labor vote during his first term in office. It just shows he’s got the wrong priorities, and the people of Eaton County deserve better.”

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Rep. Holly Hughes Receives Failing Grade on Labor Scorecard

Second-term Republican voted against working people on 10 out of 10 key bills

LANSING – State Representative Holly Hughes (R-White River) received a score of zero percent in a new legislative scorecard released today by the Michigan AFL-CIO. The state labor federation analyzed the voting records of all 110 State Representatives on 10 key votes during the 2015-16 legislative session. A copy of the scorecard is available online.

“Holly Hughes doesn’t give a rip about fighting for working people,” said Ryan Bennett, President of the Lakeshore Central Labor Council, and a member of UA Local 174. “Every single time there was an important vote, she sided with corporate CEOs and turned her back on the people she’s supposed to represent. We need a state rep in Lansing who will fight to make our economy work for everyone, not just the wealthy.”

During the 2015-16 session, Rep. Hughes voted for HB 4052, which banned local communities from passing ordinances that raise the minimum wage, require earned family leave time, or establish a local prevailing wage ordinance. She also voted for HB 4610-11, which forces local road commissions to expand outsourcing of road construction jobs without establishing proper safeguards against contractor abuses.

“Holly Hughes has been absolutely terrible when it comes to standing up for working families,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Every time Rep. Hughes a chance to do the right thing, she turned her back on working men and women in Muskegon County. That’s unacceptable, and it’s why we’re committed to educating voters about her record and holding her accountable this November.”

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Rep. Jason Sheppard Receives Failing Grade on Labor Scorecard

First-term Republican voted against working people on 10 out of 10 key bills

LANSING – State Representative Jason Sheppard (R-Temperance) received a score of zero percent in a new legislative scorecard released today by the Michigan AFL-CIO. The state labor federation analyzed the voting records of all 110 State Representatives on 10 key votes during the 2015-16 legislative session. A copy of the scorecard is available online.

“The record speaks for itself,” said Mike Smith, a member of United Steelworkers and a member of the Bedford Public Schools Board of Education. “Jason Sheppard has voted against working families on every major bill since he took office. That’s a huge disappointment. Here in Monroe County, working people deserve a state rep who will have our back up in Lansing.”

During the 2015-16 session, Rep. Sheppard voted for HB 4052, which banned local communities from passing ordinances that raise the minimum wage, require earned family leave time, or establish a local prevailing wage ordinance. He also voted for HB 4610-11, which forces local road commissions to expand outsourcing of road construction jobs without establishing proper safeguards against contractor abuses.

“Our legislators are supposed to represent the people in their districts,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “But ever since he was elected, Rep. Sheppard has sided with corporate CEOs over the thousands of working men and women in Monroe County. That needs to change, and that’s why we’re committed to educating our members about Rep. Sheppard’s record between now and November.”

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