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.”
# # #
Largest pay increase since financial crisis
LANSING – According to the AFL-CIO’s annual Executive PayWatch report, Michigan S&P 500 CEOs made an average of $14,296,525 in 2014 – 339 times more than the average Michigan worker, who earns $42,162 per year. The report also reveals that Michigan CEOs made 843 times more than minimum wage workers.
The Executive PayWatch report – the most comprehensive searchable online database which tracks CEO pay at S&P 500 companies – showed that nationally in 2014, the average worker earned approximately $36,000 per year, while CEO pay averaged $13.5 million per year – a ratio which has grown to 373-to-1.
“This report makes it pretty clear that corporate CEOs are doing better than ever, while Michigan’s working families are struggling to get by,” said Karla Swift, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Giving huge tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas has stacked the deck against Michigan workers. This just underscores why collective bargaining is so important, because it gives working men and women a voice at the bargaining table, where they can negotiate for fair wages and benefits. It’s time to address income inequality by adding more transparency to CEO pay, and requiring companies to publicly disclose CEO to median employee pay ratios.”
Mega-retailer Walmart, highlighted in this year’s PayWatch, represents one of the most egregious examples of CEO-to-worker pay inequality. CEO Douglas McMillon earns $9,323 an hour, compared to $9 for a beginning employee salary. A new employee would have to work for 1036 hours just to equal the pay McMillon earns in one hour. PayWatch also highlights the wealth of the six Walton family members who have more wealth than 43 percent of America’s families combined.
More information about Walmart’s massive CEO-to-worker pay disparity and inequality among S&P 500 companies can be found at www.paywatch.org.
# # #
LANSING – Tomorrow local workers, officials, and community members will gather for Workers Memorial Day events in Detroit, Escanaba, Negaunee, and Iron Mountain to commemorate workers who have died or suffered illness or injuries while on the job.
“On April 28, union members across Michigan will observe Workers Memorial Day,” said Karla Swift, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “This is an opportunity to remember the tens of thousands of working men and women who are killed, injured, and get sick on the job each year. It’s also an opportunity to renew our commitment to ensuring that everyone in America can enjoy a safe workplace.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan had 100,300 reported cases of workplace illness or injury in 2013, the seventh highest in the country.
Here is the information on tomorrow’s Workers Memorial Day events:
Where: Transcending Labor Legacy Memorial, Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit
When: Tomorrow, April 28, 12:00pm
Where: USW Ronn Hall, 1206 Baldwin Street, Negaunee
When: Tomorrow, April 28, 6:30pm
Where: USW Hall, 1201 Sheridan Street, Escanaba
When: Tomorrow, April 28, 6:30pm
Where: Laborers Hall, W-8008 South US Hwy 2, Iron Mountain
When: Tomorrow, April 28, 6:30pm ET / 5:30pm CT
# # #
LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift issued the following statement today in response to the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority legislation in Congress:
“Michigan workers know a bad trade deal when they see one. For decades, we’ve seen how corporate-driven trade deals like NAFTA have devastated our communities through lost jobs and lower wages. Last year alone, Michigan’s trade deficit was $66.8 billion. Michigan simply can’t afford another bad trade deal that ships more American jobs overseas to countries like China and Mexico.
“Trade deals have wide-ranging economic impacts and shouldn’t be negotiated behind closed doors and then rubber-stamped. The current Trans-Pacific Partnership deal under discussion would cover 40 percent of the world’s GDP. A deal this big should be debated in a full and open manner like every other piece of legislation.
“Michigan can’t afford another bad trade deal. That’s why Congress must reject Fast Track and maintain its constitutional authority and leverage to improve trade deals, and protect American workers.”