Press Room

Press releases and statements from the Michigan AFL-CIO.

Michigan AFL-CIO Congratulates Local Recipients of AFL-CIO “Dreams of Jobs and Freedom” Scholarship


Scholarship Honors the Legacy of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

(Freemont, MI) – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO congratulated a local winner of the AFL-CIO “Dreams of Jobs and Freedom” Scholarship.  Anna Zeerip received a one-time $5,000 award for the academic year beginning in fall 2013 through summer 2014.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, the AFL-CIO is offering scholarships to help graduating high school seniors realize their dreams of a college education.  Zeerip is one of 60 recipients around the country from union households and community groups to receive the scholarship.

These scholarships will further educational dreams for many, but the scholarship will also continue the legacy of the March on Washington.  “Dreams of Jobs and Freedom” scholarship recipients will also be acknowledged at the upcoming AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles this September.

The Michigan AFL-CIO congratulates Anna Zeerip on receiving the “Dreams of Jobs and Freedom” scholarship and wishes her success in future endeavors.

For more information on the Dreams for Jobs and Freedom Scholarship visit:


Media Contact: Sara Wallenfang

Medicaid Expansion Statement from President Swift

Michigan State AFL-CIO President Karla Swift on the Passage of Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid expansion is a victory for over 400,000 of Michigan’s most vulnerable families, but the way in which it was passed was plagued with political gamesmanship and months of delays. Today’s vote made it clear that the Tea Party controls some Lansing politicians. While they were busy playing games and negotiating back room deals, the lives of children, veterans, and the working poor were on the line. We urge our representatives in the House to pass the revised bill as soon as possible.  Every second counts in the lives of Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens.


Media Contact: Elizabeth Battiste


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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