Michigan is experiencing unprecedented levels of income inequality. Wages are stagnating and costs are rising. Some 43 percent of households struggle to afford the basic necessities like food, housing, child care, technology, health care, and transportation per the most recent United Way ALICE Report – a study on the financial hardship in the state.
No one knows these problems better than Michigan’s local elected officials. They’re on the front lines of some of Michigan’s biggest problems – like poverty, homelessness, our crumbling infrastructure, and unemployment. These problems are rooted in an economic playbook designed to maximize corporate profits and further widen the wealth inequality. In the era of Right to Work and state preemption of local labor standards, it is clear that Michigan workers are suffering.
We believe Michigan can do better.
Studies have proven that the best way to lift Michigan’s residents out of poverty is by strengthening and growing unions. Unions provide workers with the tools to secure a living wage, better healthcare benefits, and access to economic mobility. As a state federation representing over one million union members and their families across Michigan, the Michigan AFL-CIO is committed to expanding the power and utility of unions in municipalities across our state.
That’s why the Michigan labor movement has created Michigan AFL-CIO Advocates, our public advocacy organization.
This year, Advocates will:
- Further grow our Michigan Electeds Labor Caucus, a body focused on developing and implementing policy proposals which will effectuate our mission in local governments across our state.
- Publish a Municipal Solidarity Index that evaluates municipalities on their legislative and administrative efforts to support organized labor and working families.
- Hold quarterly legislative mixers to foster the relationships, ideas, and energy necessary to drive our mission collaboratively between local electeds and state lawmakers.
Michigan AFL-CIO Advocates relies on local elected leaders to advocate for workers’ rights in their communities. These leaders are key in the fight to change communities across Michigan, and often are the pro-labor candidates recruited for higher office.