Press Room

Press releases and statements from the Michigan AFL-CIO.

Snyder’s New Civil Service Rules Attack State Employees

Commission approves rules taking away freedom from 35,000 state employees to negotiate overtime, seniority, grievances

LANSING – Hundreds of working people gathered outside the Capitol Commons building in Lansing today to oppose new civil service rules that take away the freedom from 35,000 state employees to negotiate together for important job protections like overtime pay, seniority, and grievances. The rules were supported by the Snyder administration, and approved by three of the four Civil Service Commissioners appointed by Governor Snyder.

“All working people deserve the freedom to negotiate together for a fair return on their work,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “But once again, Governor Snyder is rigging the rules of our state against working men and women like nurses, social workers, and bridge inspectors. These unfair new rules will make state government less efficient and less accountable by giving the governor more power to dictate working conditions, and by filling vital positions with his unskilled political cronies. That’s bad for families, bad for taxpayers, and bad for Michigan. Working families need leaders who will have our backs, and work together to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy.”

“This is another sad day for Michigan’s State employees and our economy. Governor Snyder’s Civil Service Commission, in a 3- 1 vote today, passed rule changes that are a direct attack on State employees’ rights and benefits,” said SEIU 517M Executive Director Liza Estlund Olson. “But make no mistake, though these rules have passed, we are ready to fight. SEIU 517M members are ready to stand together and ensure their voice is heard on the job. Our members know that their contracts help to create a more efficient, accountable government and that taxpayers deserve quality, public services not the Governor’s friend and family plan.”

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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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