Press Room

Press releases and statements from the Michigan AFL-CIO.

Statements from Michigan AFL-CIO, Flint Labor Council on Governor’s State of the State

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO and Flint Central Labor Council released the following statements in response to Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State speech:

“The people of Flint deserve answers and accountability, but the governor didn’t provide either tonight,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Until the governor waives his FOIA exemption and releases all materials on the Flint water crisis – including those from his senior staff – his promise to release a handpicked number of emails is hollow. To help the people of Flint start to heal and ensure a disaster like this never happens again, the governor needs to be fully transparent with the public and start telling the truth.”

“It seems pretty clear that Rick Snyder still doesn’t get it,” said Sam Muma, President of the Greater Flint Central Labor Council. “Our city needs sustained, long-term resources from the state to clean up the mess that Snyder created, and on that front, the governor’s speech fell short. All I heard were more empty promises from a politician who’s desperate to dodge the blame. Snyder needs to start being straight with people and show real leadership if he’s ever going to help Flint recover.”

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Michigan AFL-CIO Statement on Gov. Snyder Signing Bill to Make Voting Harder in Michigan

Bill to eliminate straight-party voting “just plain wrong”

LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement today commenting on Governor Rick Snyder signing Senate Bill 13, which will make voting harder in Michigan.

“This law will make it harder for people to vote in Michigan, and that’s just plain wrong,” said Ron Bieber. “Local clerks from all over the state testified that this bill will mean even longer lines at the polls this November – hurting our seniors, and voters who live in urban communities. It’s pretty clear that Governor Snyder and Lansing Republicans didn’t listen and don’t care. Instead of creating new barriers to the ballot box, they should be working to expand access to voting through no-reason absentee voting and expanded early voting. The people of Michigan deserve better.”

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Statement from Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber on Senate Republican vote to eliminate straight-party voting

LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement tonight in response to the Michigan Senate’s vote to eliminate straight-party voting in Michigan.

“This bill is an absolute disgrace. It’s another partisan power grab that will mean long lines at the polls next November, making it harder for our seniors and people who live in urban communities to vote. That’s just shameful.

“Governor Snyder should do the right thing and veto this anti-democratic legislation. Instead of making it harder to vote, lawmakers should go back to the drawing board and focus on making it easier for people to vote, by passing laws that allow no-reason absentee voting, early voting, and same-day registration.

“Our American democracy should work for ‘We the People,’ not just the wealthy. If Lansing Republicans keep creating new obstacles to voting, then Michigan’s working people need to send them a message next November by voting them out of office.”

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New Website Sends Coal to Lansing Politicians Who Made Voting Harder in Michigan holds politicians accountable for passing legislation to repeal straight-party voting

LANSING – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO launched a new website to hold lawmakers accountable for passing legislation last night that will make voting harder in Michigan. allows voters to send a letter to their state representative on Senate Bill 13, which will eliminate straight-party voting in Michigan. Legislators who voted for these bills will be placed on Santa’s “Naughty List,” and receive a lump of coal for the holidays.

“We should be making it easier to vote in Michigan, not harder,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “This legislation will mean longer lines at the polls next year, plain and simple. Making it harder for seniors and people of color to make their voice heard at the ballot box is downright un-American. We’re putting Lansing politicians on notice that they should go back to the drawing board and work on legislation that expands access to voting. Otherwise, we will be notifying the one million active and retired union members in Michigan about how their elected officials voted on these important bills.”

On behalf of Michigan’s working people, the Michigan AFL-CIO will deliver lumps of coal to the offices of state legislators who voted for SB 13 and SB 639 prior to the legislature’s holiday recess.

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