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Press Room

Press releases and statements from the Michigan AFL-CIO.

Michigan AFL-CIO Mourns the Passing of Congressman John Dingell


Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO released the following statement after the passing of Congressman John Dingell.

“I have known John and Debbie for many years and consider them dear friends. John, the Dean, was a true champion of the people during his tenure in Congress. From healthcare reform, to environmental protection, to civil rights, to protecting the rights of working families, there was not a major piece of progressive legislation that passed without John having some influence on it. There is no doubt that our country is better off because of the work he did. On behalf of myself and the Michigan AFL-CIO, I express our deepest condolences to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and the rest of their family. We will always be grateful for the time we spent with John and for his advocacy on behalf of working people.”

Michigan AFL-CIO Endorses Lavora Barnes for MDP Chair

Lansing- Ron Bieber, President of the MI AFL-CIO released the following statement in regards to the labor federation’s endorsement of Lavora Barnes to be the next Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

“Lavora is well known and respected for her political skill, campaign knowledge, and strategic thinking. We know that she supports the freedoms of working people to join together to negotiate and protect the things we need to sustain our families. Our goal is to create new rules for the economy that work for everyone. To do that, we must elect pro-working family majorities at the local, state and federal levels. We know Lavora will be a great partner in achieving that goal and we look forward to working with her to recruit and elect candidates who support the working men and women of this state.”

Republicans Defy Voters by Passing Anti-Education School Grading Scale

Lansing – Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO released the following statement after passage of anti-education HB 5526, A-F School Grading Scale, passed the State House in a late-night session.

“If legislative Republicans spent half as much time finding ways to support our schools as they did finding ways to punish them, Michigan would have the best schools in the nation. This overly simplistic letter grade doesn’t give parents or educators any useful information and it will put a lot more stress on our students. This legislation takes education policy in the opposite direction from what the voters expressed support for on election day. When you also consider their actions to dismantle the referendum petition process, it’s clear that these Republicans are willing to do anything to silence the will of the voters.”

Union Backed Candidates Make Big Gains in Michigan

Union Backed Candidates Make Big Gains in Michigan
State’s Largest Labor Organization Declares
Clear Mandate For Pro-Labor Agenda

Lansing – The Michigan AFL-CIO today celebrated a significant increase in labor-endorsed candidates elected to office in Tuesday’s election, and declared a clear mandate for a pro-labor agenda in the coming legislative year.

Michigan AFL-CIO endorsed candidates swept all state-wide partisan races and upset incumbents at both the legislative and congressional levels. The wins include 207 labor-endorsed candidates, including 77 candidates who are union members or come from union households.

“The labor movement helped elect an unprecedented wave of union members and pro-worker allies across Michigan on Tuesday. Voters sent a clear message to Lansing and Washington, D.C. that they want legislators who will support working people,” said Ron BIEBER, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “With the clear mandate that labor secured in this election, it’s time we deliver pro-labor policies and clear results for working families. We’re excited to work with Gretchen Whitmer, Jocelyn Benson, Dana Nessel and the rest of those elected Tuesday to support our freedoms in the workplace and protect our ability to earn a fair return on our work.”

The Michigan AFL-CIO operated an aggressive campaign operation across Michigan that knocked on doors, made phone calls, talked to members at worksites, and mounted robust digital and mail programs. The effort knocked on over 250,000 doors, delivered over 6.5 million digital impressions, and sent over 1,750,000 pieces of mail.

“When union members show up to vote and to volunteer as boots on the ground during the campaign, it’s clear that we can elect legislators who will have our backs,” said Daryl NEWMAN, the Michigan AFL-CIO’s Secretary-Treasurer. “Tuesday should underscore to those who seek to divide and destroy us, that we’ll fight back with everything we have – and win. We look forward to working with our endorsed legislators on both sides of the partisan aisle to advance a pro-labor agenda for our members.”

Notable labor endorsed wins:

• Elected a pro-labor Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Supreme Court Justice, swept all eight endorsed State Board of Education and University Board seats, and re-elected a pro-labor US Senator

• Won a redistricting ballot proposal (Proposal 18-2) and a voting access ballot proposal (Proposal 18-3)

• Elected first Muslim woman to Congress, picked up two targeted Congressional seats, and elected two other former union members to Congress

• Picked up 6 pro-labor seats in the State House, and 5 pro-labor seats in the State Senate

• Elected three statewide candidates with union affiliation

• Elected 27 union members to the state legislature

• Elected 11 union members to local school boards

• Elected 26 union members to local office, and 2 union members to local judgeships

The Michigan AFL-CIO, Michigan’s largest labor organization, is a federation representing forty different labor organizations, eighteen different central labor councils, and eight constituency groups representing over 1 million union members and their families.

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