FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 24, 2023
Media Contact: Aaron Pelo, email@example.com | 734.355.2741
BREAKING: Governor Whitmer Signs Historic Bills Restoring Workers’ Rights
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed historic legislation to restore workers’ rights and boost wages. In response to the bill signing, Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron BIEBER issued the following statement:
“After decades of anti-worker attacks, Michigan has restored the balance of power for working people by passing laws to protect their freedom to bargain for the good wages, good benefits, and safe workplaces they deserve. Ten years ago, Governor Whitmer was standing side by side with well over ten thousand working people who showed up in Lansing to protest the devastating attack on their rights. Today, she has demonstrated yet again her unwavering commitment to putting working families first. After decades of attacks on working people, it’s a new day in Michigan, and the future is bright.”
The ‘Restoring Workers’ Rights’ package signed by Governor Whitmer repeals a 2012 law prohibiting requirements that employees at unionized workplaces fairly contribute to the cost of union representation. The package also restores the state’s prevailing wage law to ensure good wages for workers on critical government construction projects.
No one is required to join a union as a condition of employment under federal law, and the Supreme Court has ruled that employees cannot be required to pay union dues for political purposes. The repeal of the 2012 so-called “right to work” law is the first of its kind in 58 years.
Research from the Economic Policy Institute finds that states without so-called “right to work” laws have higher wages, and data consistently shows states with these worker suppression laws have higher uninsured rates, higher workplace death rates, and higher percentages of low-wage jobs than states without. EPI data has also found no measurable boost in employment in states that have passed “right to work” policies, contradicting a common argument by corporate special interests. Research also shows prevailing wage laws lead to higher wages for construction workers and ensure contracts for construction projects are awarded to in-state contractors.
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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