Press Room

Press releases and statements from the Michigan AFL-CIO.

Schuette on Duty for Wealthy Special Interests, Not Working Families

Schuette voted against Buy American, prevailing wage

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement today on Attorney General Bill Schuette’s expected announcement that he will run for governor:

“Bill Schuette’s record shows he’s on duty for wealthy special interests and political insiders, not working families,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “In Congress, Schuette voted against Buy American provisions for transportation projects, making it easier to use cheap steel made in China to fix our crumbling roads and bridges. And Schuette voted repeatedly to undermine the prevailing wage, which would cut the pay of skilled trades men and women in Michigan, and make it easier to hire unskilled out-of-state workers to build new schools. One thing’s for sure, Bill Schuette has the wrong priorities for Michigan’s working families.”

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Michigan Unions Support Democratic Bills Protecting Consumers from Skyrocketing Drug Prices

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement supporting legislation introduced by Democrats in the Michigan House and Senate today to protect consumers from excessive prescription drug prices:

“All working families should have access to life-saving prescription drugs,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “But for far too long, the big drug companies have used their money and influence to advance health care policies that pad their own pocketbooks at our expense. These bills will give consumers a line of defense by forcing drug companies to be transparent in their pricing and holding them accountable when they’re profiteering off people who need these medications to survive. It’s time for our lawmakers to stand up to the drug lobby, and work to stop outrageous prescription drug price increases. Republicans in Lansing need to do the right thing and work with Democrats to pass these bills.”

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State Must Fully Repay Unemployed Workers Falsely Accused of Fraud

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement today commenting on news that the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is in the process of refunding $20.8 million to people who were falsely accused of unemployment fraud.

“It’s time to make this right,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “What happened to these people is absolutely tragic. Lives were literally ruined by the Snyder administration’s mistake. While this refund is a good step in the right direction, it’s just not enough to repair the damage. The state has an obligation to repay every single penny they stole from these workers, and they should repay them with interest.

“Rep. Kevin Hertel and Rep. Joseph Graves deserve credit for their tenacious work on this issue. We are grateful for their leadership, and hope the legislature will take swift action this fall to make these workers whole.”

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Reckless Pension Proposal Busts the Budget, Hurts Students, Parents, Teachers

Republicans rigging the system to favor corporate donors over hardworking school employees

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement today on legislation approved in the Michigan Senate that will gut retirement savings for Michigan’s hardworking teachers and school employees.

“Cutting retirement savings for new teachers and school employees isn’t just mean, it’s dumb, and it’s downright reckless,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Instead of improving our schools, this proposal will blow a massive hole in the state budget that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars for decades to come. It will make it even harder to attract the best and the brightest people to careers in public education, which will make our teacher shortage even worse. That’s bad news for Michigan students and parents, because the key to a good job is a good education.

“Let’s be clear about what’s really going on here. This is just another example of how wealthy corporate donors like the DeVos family are using their money and influence to rig the economy against regular working people. Billionaires like the DeVos family would rather take pensions away from teachers, librarians, and bus drivers than pay their fair share to improve our schools. If these bills reach his desk, Governor Snyder should grow a backbone and veto them.”

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