For Immediate Release
Contact: Sara Wallenfang
Statement from Michigan State AFL-CIO President Karla Swift on Sen. Jones’ Minimum Wage Proposal
Senator Jones’ minimum wage bill is an insult to thousands of Michigan workers who are struggling to get by. This proposal is not adequate to lift families out of poverty, and it is intended to stifle any serious attempt to raise wages.
Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers. Raising the minimum wage, especially for tipped workers who are predominantly women, will boost women’s economic security and help close the wage gap. Jones is pandering to the Restaurant Association with a meager tipped wage increase of 10 cents per hour. A fulltime waitress making his “improved” wage of $2.65 per hour would only see an additional $4.00 per week.
Every time momentum builds for lifting wages, conservative like Jones say it will cost jobs. Every time they’ve been dead wrong.
Jobs should lift workers out of poverty, not trap them in a cycle of insecurity and government assistance. Although this bill does not offer any real solutions, it is a reminder that, if they decided to do so, Republicans in the legislature could address the critical issue of wages through the legislative process. Now, in an election year, they decide to offer up legislation that is inadequate for workers in a blatant attempt to appease special interests. Michigan voters won’t buy it.
Media Advisory for Monday, April 28
Contact: Sara Wallenfang
Workers and Community Members to Honor Michigan Workers Who Died on the Job
Community Calls for Good Jobs and Safe Jobs for All Working People
(Lansing, MI)– On Monday, April 28 at noon, working families and local officials will gather at Wentworth Park for a ceremony to commemorate those who have perished or suffered injuries or illness on the job and to call on Congress to create safe jobs for all working people.
Workers will speak to the importance of workplace safety. Participants in this observance will read the names of workers killed on the job in Michigan since the beginning of 2014.
Workers continue to be exposed to toxic chemicals like silica, and serious safety hazards like combustible dust and workplace violence. Injured workers and relatives of workers who have lost their lives on the job will share their stores and renew the fight for stronger protections for all working people. Participants will note the Obama administration’s work to strengthen Occupational Safety and Health Administration protections for workers, including a new proposed silica standard to protect workers from this deadly dust. They will call out Republican legislators and big businesses who are trying to roll back regulations and block new safeguards that are needed to make sure our loved ones are safe at work.
WHO: Workers and community members
Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift
International Association of Fire Fighters Local 421 President Chris Lake
Deb Chester of MI-FACE
Area Director of the U.S. Department of Labor Larry Johnson
WHAT: Workers Memorial Day Observance
WHEN: Monday, April 28 at noon
WHERE: Wentworth Park, on North Grand Avenue between East Michigan and East Ottawa streets
VISUALS: Color Guard
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Wallenfang
Michigan CEOs Paid 171 Times Average Worker, 455 Times Minimum Wage Worker
2014 Executive PayWatch exposes high paid CEOs in the low wage economy www.PayWatch.org
(Michigan; April 15, 2014) – According to the AFL-CIO’s 2014 Executive PayWatch website, the average CEO of a company based in Michigan made $7,004,386, which is 171 times more than the $40,898 earned by the average Michigan worker. When compared to the earnings of full time minimum wage workers who make $15,392 per year in Michigan, the gap between CEO and worker pay jumps up to a 455:1 ratio.
This year, the highest paid CEO in the state of Michigan is Brett A. Roberts of Credit Acceptance Corp. He makes 1,327 times more than the average worker and 3,526 times more than minimum wage workers in Michigan.
While many companies may argue that they can’t afford to raise wages, across the country the nation’s largest companies are earning higher profits per employee than they did five years ago. In 2013, the S&P 500 Index companies earned $41,249 in profits per employee, a 38% increase.
“Here in Michigan, we realize that the surest path to fairer wages is collective bargaining. We also support any effort to raise wages for all workers. CEO PayWatch is an effective tool to show workers that it is time for CEOs to compensate their hard working employees fairly once and for all,” said Karla Swift, Michigan State AFL-CIO President.
Many of the CEOs highlighted in PayWatch head companies, like Walmart, that are notorious for paying low wages. Meanwhile, U.S. CEOs – the highest paid in the world – pocketed an average of $11.7 million in 2013. That means CEOs were paid 331 times that of the average worker and 774 times more than workers making minimum wage.
“CEO Executive PayWatch calls attention to the insane level of compensation for CEOs, while the workers who create those corporate profits struggle for enough money to take care of the basics,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “This database is relevant to every community in the country. And we’ll use this data to organize and mobilize to lift millions of workers out of poverty and to strengthen the middle class.”
PayWatch is the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking the excessive pay of CEOs of the nation’s largest companies. It offers visitors to the website the unique ability to compare their own pay to the pay of top executives. This year, PayWatch highlights five low wage companies through worker testimonials at Walmart, Kellogg’s, Reynolds, Darden Restaurants and T-Mobile.